Remember the last picnic that the kids went to? Yes – the one where they went to the ocean and had loads of fun. This picnic however was a lot different – one because it was a family affair, involving a whole bunch of adults as well and two, because they were planning a trip outside the planet. Minok’s father, Siral owned a space ship and had very kindly volunteered to ferry them around on a picnic.
The adults chose a small planet that was quite close to earth – Mideaius – this however was not inhabitable and so, they had to plan to carry not only their food and drink but their air, walking apparatus, space suits and communication sets as well. Shirke didn’t really care about where they were going. He was super thrilled with the idea of travelling in Minok’s dad’s space craft.
The day dawned super sunny and the house started buzzing with activity. The chores were clear – a couple of adults in the kitchen cooking the picnic basket, the other adults packing the hampers, the kids clearing up and packing the essentials of space suits, air generators and so on. They were finally ready to leave. They all strapped on their backpacks and levitated across to the space station. Siral showed them the cabinets where they could stow their stuff and prepared the flight plan. Once they had clearance, they started the countdown and were soon zooming up over the earth.
Shirke came in then to watch Siral handle the controls and try to understand how to operate the machine. Siral first introduced him to the wonders of space – they looked out of the window and identified the various stars and planets, then they tried to identify the ones that had life and the ones that were most likely to be the next to be occupied and so on. Siral even pointed out the planet, Striodem that was populated completely by the Stridic tribe. All the tries to befriend them had been rebuffed and so, that was one species with which Grajons really had very less interaction.
Siral asked Shirke if he was interested in a space walk and got a very enthusiastic nod in reply. Shirke’s mother, Mekala was also game and so Mekala, Siral and Shirke set out for a small space walk. Mekala and Shirke were thrilled to be out at space and Siral told them that the wonder never decreased irrespective of how many time, he had done that. Siral, Mekala and Shirke got back inside the space craft, literally floating on air. Minok, his mother and Shirke’s dad had started an internal game inside the space craft and were completely occupied.
Soon, (it seemed too soon for Shirke), Siral announced that they would be landing and then all got ready. Once they landed, they geared up and stepped out. They decided to have a quick snack before they started exploring. Siral and Mekala set up the picnic tables and the kids laid the snacks. Once they had made a considerable dent on the food and reduced the weight in the backpacks, they decided to leave their stuff on the picnic tables and explore with just the essentials. They decided to move in different directions – kids in one and the adults split into two more directions.
Shirke and Minok had not got very far when they met a Stridic child a bit younger than them. Apparently his family had also got the idea to have a picnic in this planet. This child was lonely and a bit hungry – she introduced herself as Jubab. Shirke and Minok shared the snacks that they had stashed in their pockets with her and just when they were thinking of some game to play, Jubab’s parents came over searching for her – they wanted to head back home. On hearing that the kids had shared snacks, they only thought it was polite if they met the parents. After spending some time together, the Stridic family waved their goodbye and left. And that was how the Stridics and Grojans started a tentative friendship pact and it was all due to some food that was shared.
The Grajons finished exploring the planet, napped for a while, cleaned up their picnic spot and loaded themselves back into the space craft for the ride home. In spite of being exhausted, Shirke stayed awake the whole trip home, looking at the controls and the outer view even though everyone else slept. Just as he saw earth, he woke them all up to see the landing and promptly went to sleep. He sleep walked the remaining way to tumble into bed with the statement that he had had the best day ever. Remember he said that yesterday too? Wonder what the next day would bring.