Mundaring Wier Picnic - 29 June 2000
Zenobia Pavri reflects...........
What a great idea it was to have broken from tradition for a winter picnic!
An inclement weather forecast added to the excitement of taking a gamble on a 'washed out day' as against one which promised to be picnic-friendly! Undaunted by rain, wind or squall many a ZAWA member/friend gathered at each of the 3 points of pick-up at Warwick, in the city and South Street Park-n-Ride!
A cozy, comfortable coachful of chattering Zoros enjoyed the long drive up to Mundaring Wier , being welcomed on board a luxury coach by Farzana Pestonji with Firoze Pestonji of Aussie Perth Tours pointing out sights of interest along the way. Many hilarious comments were being passed around on the precious cargo of 'masoor-ma-gosh' - which, no doubt, was the raison d'etre for ZAWA organising a winter picnic.
Leaving the city traffic behind us, we relaxed to enjoy the peaceful drive through thick forests with a gentle sun playing hide and seek amongst tall trees.
The Youth Hostel at Mundaring is a delightful little building set in a clearing about 10-15mins. from the dam itself, not too far from the Mundaring Weir Pub. While some of us explored inside, many of the children played ball outside. A wood fire was lit in the lounge fireplace which immediately embraced us in its atmosphere of light and warmth.
There was a scramble in the kitchen to get as many kettles boiling simultaneously as possible for morning tea. Once everybody was fed, watered and warmed, many opted to walk towards and across the dam while others were just content to sit on long wooden benches in the sun, on the verandah. Some of us sat inside to discuss weighty matters of state while a dedicated little band of hard-working ladies started preparing for the highlight of the day - 'MASOOR - PAV' - for lunch, which was so generously sponsored by Rukshana & Farad Mehta.
Hours of slaving over 3 hot pressure cookers (which had been pressed into service by Kuky Wadia, Sheroo Vakil, Percis Marfatia and Shobha on the day prior to our picnic), ensured the picnic lunch was a huge success! 6kgs. of masoor dal cooked in freshly made stock from 15kgs. of lamb shanks went down a treat with 'cachumber' and nicely warmed dinner rolls. Some of us - 'bone specialists' were frustrated, not having thought of bringing our marrow-spoons! Second and third helpings were generously served to all those hungry for more. Few of us have had more delicious 'masoor-ma-gosh!'
Ahuramazda smiled on us right up to lunch time, letting us all enjoy the outdoors without drenching us. Even when it did rain it was comforting to watch it from our dry, sheltered spot. Not long after lunch, as promised, Firoze Pestonji drove those of us with adventure on our minds, 9kms. to a camel farm.
By now there was almost a steady but light drizzle outside. It took, what seemed an eternity, to get the poor, bedraggled beasts ready to take on a small, determined contingent of intrepid adventurers on board. It was difficult to tell who was more wary of whom - the ships of the desert or us! It seemed they were eyeing us with contempt for disturbing their peaceful rest in the soft drizzle. One of them in particular, a female aptly named 'Nipper', acted totally out of character. She groaned, nuzzled and nibbled at us on her way around the paddock, chirping like a bird at intervals! Hilarious for some - but not her victims - Kharmen Chami and myself bravely hanging on to our own comparatively sedate beast with the Nipper literally breathing down our necks.
On the ride back to our YH shelter, there was music on the coach followed by a short game of Hindi songs being sung by two teams, each picking up from the last syllable of the other team's song.
Back to our shack for hot afternoon tea, biscuits and scrumptious carrot cake! By now it had become colder and darker. The dedicated band of organisers and workers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes almost throughout the day continued to wash, tidy and pack up for the day. Just after 4pm. Homee Wadia took to the wheel for the drive back to drop off the picknickers for their onward journey home.
Enroute, Phiroze Pestonji asked for an impromptu show of hands to indicate a 'yes' or 'no' vote on various topics viz. future picnics, day/overnight stints to other scenic places, Navroze/other celebrations organised by community-assisted cooking as opposed to restaurants etc. These topics could well be considered food for thought by our fellow ZAWAites who, could not be present on 29th June, 2000 to voice their thoughts!
On behalf of each of the 51 passengers who enjoyed a well-organised day out, ZAWA wishes to thank:
Farad & Ruki Mehta for their generous donation.
Firoz and Mahrukh Pestonji for the comfortable coach and minibus pressed into service for ZAWA members' benefit.
Homee Wadia for all his driving and entertaining.
In particular, a very big thank you to Sheroo Vakil, Persis Maarfatia, Kukee Wadia and Ms.Shobha for all the cooking (& tasting).
Behram Cooper for being everywhere to pictorially record the proceedings of the day.
Homiyar Randeria for doing the foot work prior to the picnic (checking out the picnic site etc.) taking care of the accounts and other organising.
All those who worked on the periphery to ensure a wonderfully happy, safe and relaxed picnic was had by one and all!