18 September 2009 (Friday )
As a variation of athlectic training programme and a reward for my athletes who had been training ernestly for the past 3 weeks since the month of Ramadan(fasting month ), I decided to let the boys to have some fun at the beach. It was also a continuity of the last Saturday's(12.9.09 ) trekking up Bukit Perlindung. Furthermore, the sudden announcement of the public holiday on Friday was a great boon to all of us and this trip was an impromptu event.
I fetched Saran and Vijay while the others made their way to the bridge at Telok Chempedak by 7.30 am. and were eagerly waiting for me. The 8 boys (Saran, Kesav, Kumaravel,Dineel, Divan,Vimal, Sree and Vijay ) wasted no time and hurried to our picnic spot at Telok Tongkang. I brought along a tent, a large and small ground mat and a 5 litre water bottle. The rest of the students brought food from home- sandwich, fried mee, nuggets, sausages, fried keowtow, Sarsi syrup and other tit-bit.
The first activity after a simple warm up was a 30 minutes jog through the jungle to the next beach till they reached Genting Rest House and back. After covering our food from the notorious monkeys of Telok Chempedak , the boys then eagerly took to the water . Just then , a group of 15 boys reached this part of the beach and to muy surprise, from a distance, shouts of "Good morning Sir, punctuated the scene..well..the voices and faces were familair..afterall, I had left St Thomas in 2007 when the boys were in form 1-my old students and now the boys are in form 4. They occupied another part of the beach and had their own agenda.
After swimming and splashing in the water for an hour, hunger got the better of my boys and we decided to have some food. Vimal 's sardine sandwich was soon gone and some even complained that they did not get a bite..The culprit was Saran..his favourite..it seems!
Next, a short splash in the sea again before I called for the next event- a relay race-4 x 150 metres -where the boys ran around a rock and passed the baton to the next runner.Yes..I had brought batons along and Saran's team was the winner. They ran 3 times. Not satisfied, the vanquished team requested for 4 x 300 meteres race ..the results were the same..Saran's team was invincible !
Another round of swimming followed suit and a 15 metres swimming race was held. Kesav emerged the champion. The next activity was water hand-stand.." looks simple but difficult to perform", was the feedback after I performed effortlessly.."Sir..canlah." echoed some boys.. The subsequent activity was "horse fighting"..where the a boy carried a friend on the shoulders and pulled at the opponent till one of them fell into the water..Kumaravel was the champion...but still lost to the "siffu" and vijay tag team! Heard of water relay??..well, nothing is impossible ..holding batons and running in knee deep water, the boys passed the batton. After 3 runs, the defeated team asked for re-match..this time in waist deep water..and well..they got their revenge !
Another round of "makan time" and the food except some fried noodles was cleaned out. By this time my older form 4 boys approached me to keep their valuables as they wanted to do some rock climbing, promising me to be back by 2.30 pm. All are my boys okay. .and I agreed immediately. A picnic is never complete wihout " galah panjang" game , more so when one can dive and touch the opponent on the soft sandy beach. After numerous rounds, I lost count of the number, the boys decided to play kabaddi- the traditional Indian game which is now contested at the SEA games.
While still at the game, the rock climbers returned and retrieved their belongings before leaving . What I heard next, were the one of the sweetest rhymes to my ears "Sir Amba, WE LOVE YOU", as they made their way back home.
I was momentarily stunned..such nice words ..which money cannot buy !
While the kabaddi game was on-going, the raiding bunch of monkeys started raiding our foodstuff..which in a way signalled that we had over-stayed at the beach..I called the boys to call it a day as it was nearing 3.30 pm.After chasing away the monkeys, the boys pleaded for a last dip..how could i say no..but make it a short one.. While I packed up and let the monkeys eat the remaining noodles, the boys finally reluctantly came out of the water at 4.pm.
After packing their respective bags, I made sure they cleaned up the area and took back all the things they brought-paper bags and rubbish. After sending Saran and Vijay home, I lastly got my deserved rest at home at 4.40 pm.