You were on a school trip and were on your way back to the hotel late one night when your school bus, full of children, broke down in a lonely area. Describe what you saw and experienced as you looked around. How was the problem solved?

School trips are a part and parcel of school curricular activities. It gives us lessons each time. Here is one incident which I want to share with you all. Every year, our school used to plan tours for every class which were both entertaining and educational. Sometimes, they used to take us to monuments, zoos or some other fun places. It was in the year 2010 when I was studying in VII class, we went on a Rajasthan tour for three days and two nights. They had planned to take us to Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bikaner.

On reaching Jaipur, we landed in one hotel where the rooms were good enough. Groups of four children had to share each room. We were told to get ready within half an hour, and after lunch, we would start with our visit to the monuments. That day we visited Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and City Palace. After having our dinner, we went to sleep and had a nice sleep, because we were tired.

The next day, we went to visit Bikaner and Jodhpur. Both the cities were very beautiful. We sat in our buses after the tea break. We had to reach Jaipur city by 10 o’clock. We hardly travelled for one hour or so when the bus broke down at around 8 o’clock. We were stuck in a deserted place, and there was sand outstretched on both sides. It was an eerie feeling.

The driver along with the conductor got down to examine but to no avail. It was totally dark and cold too since in deserts, nights are cold and days are warmer. They both tried hard, but in sheer darkness, no solution could be reached.

Our teachers were all worried, but they kept their cool and asked us to remain quiet and not to make any noise, lest we should draw the attention of anti-social elements.

At a distance of about 200 metres, we saw some tents. The little light guided us to that place. When we approached nearer to the tents, we saw some camels tied outside. They were Rajasthani Banjaras. They were all busy singing, dancing and enjoying themselves. When we approached their tent, they were shocked and asked us who we were and what we wanted? When our teacher and driver narrated the whole tragedy, they were a bit suspicious. But when we showed them our bus and students crying in it, they readily agreed to help us.

They took all the students to their tents ‘They gave us some food. And they entertained us by singing and dancing around the bonfire. We went to sleep afterwards. The bus couldn’t be repaired before morning. We didn’t mind it, for this was an exciting adventure. We forgot our fear and stress. This adventure would be cherished life-long.

The next morning, our bus was repaired and we came back to our hotel. We packed our luggage, had our breakfast and started early to prevent any more eventualities. We came back at 5 o’clock in the evening and shared our experience with our parents, who were already waiting to pick us up from school.

First, they appeared a little worried, but later they thanked God and the troupe of Banjaras, who appeared as an angel and helped us at such a crucial hour of the night.

We all felt that this adventure was a part and parcel of our school trip, and such challenges teach us to become stronger and brave in life and we should favour everyone in a fix like the Banjaras helped us.

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