It was the summer vacation and I had come home to my village to spend the holidays. Several of my friends had also come home and as we were finding it rather dull, there still being several days for the Mela, we proposed to undertake a boat trip. Accordingly, a boat was hired and a day was fixed for our departure.
We had revolved to have a boat trip in order to enjoy at leisure that charming river scenery and to travel in perfect ease in the company of select friends. We preferred a boat trip to a railway journey as in the former one can get down wherever and whenever one likes. One can remain in any place, in course of one’s journey as long as it is one’s will to do so. In short, such a traveler is perfectly master of himself.
On the appointed day, my three friends and myself, equipped with our beddings and cooking utensils and rice, dal and vegetables, started for the river bank, which was not far from our village. On reaching the place we found that our boat was ready. The boat was a nice little one, with one manjhi, and one oarsman or mallah. It was early morning and the day promised to be bright and beautiful. A fine breeze was blowing and as soon as we were all on board, the boat was loosened from its moorings, the single sail which the boat carried was unfurled, and we were afloat. The sail receiving the full breeze, the boat cut rapidly through the water, and the sweet rippling sound of the water greeted our ears. All this time it was the manjhi who was busy, the oarsman having no work to do.[the_ad id=”17141″]
The scene that lay stretched out before us baffled description. The rains being just over, the water of the river had not yet gone down. It was almost full to the brim and lay like a white sheet, glittering now and then in the rays of the sun. Boats of various sizes and shapes, from small fishing-boats to huge cargo boats, passed us up and down. Men women and children could be seen at the different ‘ghats which our boat passed-some were bathing, some had come to fetch water and some again were washing utensils. It was really pleasant and interesting to note these as we sailed past.
But the soft breeze that was hitherto blowing suddenly fell. The oarsman now took up his car and began to row, but as the boat was going upstream against the current, it could not make much progress. At this stage we suggested that we could make a halt and finish our meals, as it was noon. The boat was thereupon taken to the nearest bank and we all landed. We cooked our meal and after we had finished our meals we came back to our village. Our minds were full of pleasant, happy and colorful memories.