A dream that was dreamt 15 years back… fulfilled on the 13th of Sep… so said a veteran SIS member. Yes it was the SIS in Payangal Mudivadhillai. Dreams by visionaries may take a while, however eventually will be fulfilled. As one can imagine, we could not have forecasted the weather, when the event was announced a few months back. It was the power of the almighty that it was a perfect weather in September for a perfect day out. We believe it was the same power of the almighty that helped for the safe trip.

Despite many having to wake up at 4 o’ clock in the morning and some of us had to travel over 70 miles for the epic voyage, the energy amongst the approximately one hundred people who met at the bus stop was high. Thanks to Srigeetha, Jayendran and their families for all of their support, including the picking up of food early in the morning. At around 7:30, the coach, or as it was labelled “school bus”, arrived. It was a massive double-decker that was driven by Mr. Vijay extremely well throughout a very long day. It was amazing to see the amount of people in attendance, filling up nearly the entire bus. Kudos to everyone as everyone came on time for the coach to start on time.

Isle of Wight Trip

With everyone on board and in terms of weight, a larger amount of food on board, the coach set off from Hillingdon to Southampton. Many were in a highly excited mood on the bus and for anyone who wasn’t; there was a lovely breakfast to wake them up. One member mentioned “Even British Airways who have trained crew would take over one hour to serve food, but SIS crew served food within the first 15 minutes after the coach started”. Many thanks to everyone for their help to distributing the food whilst everyone else was relaxing or even sleeping! The food and water was plentiful throughout the day and certainly kept everyone going!

Upon arriving in Southampton, the coach loaded itself onto the ferry, giving everyone a chance to stretch their legs and also enjoy a nice sea breeze on the open deck. On the ferry back to Southampton, many members of SIS sang in front of others. Everyone sang extremely well and it was good to give other ferry passengers a taste of our music! This was also the case on the boat tour of the Needle Rocks, when our tour guide eventually gave up on his job after the volume of singing from the group! The only other Japanese couple on the boat, had to take the boat trip second time to see the Needles Rocks, as first time around, they were busy recording and dancing to the live Indian music!

As the coach drove off the ferry and onto Isle of Wight tarmac, it set off for the Needles Park. It was a pleasure to enjoy the quiet and beautiful countryside of the Isle of Wight. Moving on, we got off the coach at Needles Park. It was then a fantastic collaborative effort to distribute lunch to everyone. The lunch, much like breakfast, was also delicious: freshly baked naan bread, channa and jeera rice. The smell of Vadu maangai, nellikkai oorugai and Thair saadham dragged the attention of British tourists as well! We demonstrated the Indian way of living, which is sharing and helping others in the car park of Needles Park!

With lunch gladly eaten up, we enjoyed what the Isle of Wight had to offer, with a chairlift ride down to the pebble beach, where we caught a pleasant boat ride around the bay to see the famous Needle Rocks and Lighthouse. Fuelled by some local ice cream and some more graciously provided snack on the coach in the form of fruit and croissants, we made our way to Sandown beach, where we could enjoy the sandy beach. Many took the opportunity to get their feet dirty, or in the case our younger attendees, get everything they were wearing dirty! Even adults were enjoying themselves in kicking water at each other!

As the coach made its way back to the ferry terminal, the journey back began. We arrived back at Hillingdon, where the day began, at around 9 pm.

It was a long day… months of planning had gone through… and we were tired… But we were touched and re-energised when number of veteran members said…. “We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and we could have never expected anything better and the treatment we got was comparable to the treatment at ‘Palace on Wheels’. SIS should organise this kind of trips more frequently and as frequent as every month”.

Many thanks to everyone who attended as well as the people of Isle of Wight for listening to our singing! We hope that there will be more great trips like this in the future. SIS in Payanangal Mudivadhillai… (Pun intended…)

We have captured photos of key moments.