The sand danced to the tunes of the wind. The Sun seemed to be in a rush. It left us the darkness that gloomed all over the sight.
Short days. Long nights.
“Shailaja didn’t come to college. What’s wrong with her?” asked Aisha.
“She is sick. Suffering from a high fever.” Replied Sapna.
“I am visiting her home. Who wants to join?” suggested Geeta.
Aisha nodded, so did Sapna. “Count me in!” shrieked Elsa, rushing near the group.
Four friends called it a day at college and walked out of the big black college gate. Geeta raised the thumb to stop the auto. The sight of raised thumb, the auto jolted to the spot, picking up the four friends. And thus, began the journey.
The sand danced to the tunes of the wind. The Sun seemed to be in a rush. The girl gang without Shailaja were in revving auto, on the snaking road bordered with the sand all over its sides. “It’s forever long and away from our village,” whispered Geeta in low voice. How do we return? How do we get back to our homes? Everyone mulled in these questions, but no one thought out loud. Together, they held each other’s hands tight. They were in the coupe awaiting for an adventure.
The blue hour strike in. Hundred steps away from the road, flickered alight. The only light in and around the place. Shailaja’s house. Girls walked together being wary of the creatures that would creep in the night. A ten more steps, friends entered Shailaja’s house making themselves at home. Not a thought of worry. Hands are held free. Smiles. Laughs. And the house beamed with joy.
Gang of five. Shailaja was happy to see Aisha, Sapna, Geeta & Elsa as she missed meeting them. “I miss college. “Not that I am studious but, I miss college as I can’t meet all of you.” “That’s the reason, we came here all the way.” Their banter and the gossip got no hold of time. In the cold winter nights, the chilled wind seeped in and they realized, it is the night!
The darkness gloomed all over the sight.
“I am going home now. Who wants to join?” asked Geeta.
Raised eyebrows. Rolling eyes. Everyone nodded but, they were not sure of how they are reaching their homes.
A hundred steps walk to the road, Shailaja along with her mother stared at their friends, realising they made a mistake. We should not have visited home at such late hour.
Geeta led the group of three. She walked ahead while Elsa, Sapna & Aisha held their hands together holding their sweaters tight to stay warm.
A ten more steps away from the house, they reached the road. The single light flickered in the house amidst darkness. On a deserted road, they walked toward their homes. A long journey in the darkness. “There’s going to be no auto. Hardly vehicles visit this route after sunset. How do we walk for such a long distance? Questions were bubbled but, none thought out loud. Faces twitched. Unable to blame on a single person, everyone walked moaning and fussing every two minutes.
Afraid of desert snakes and scorpions, everyone walked on the road. Confidence that no vehicle visits at the odd hour, all the four friends took their place on the road and sauntered.
Elsa shrieked as she heard the rumbling engine sound. Pomp! Honked the truck. It whizzed past them. All the four friends got along the border of the road, jolted by the surprised visit of the truck.
We cannot even ask for help. We cannot trust strangers. Why did we end up doing this stupid adventure? Questions flashed in their minds. None thought out loud. Everyone continued their walk.
The legs turned into lead, and everyone walked at different paces. The four friends took different places on the road walking behind each other freaking out but not out loud!
Buzzing sounds. Flickering lights. Slicing the darkness came the car with it’s fog lights on. Geeta raised the thumb as the speeding car passed them. Startled by the zooming car. Everyone looked at each other. The hand was still raised with thumb struck out. The tyres were screeched. Brakes were hit. The car was on its reverse drive.
Are we getting into the car now?! thought Elsa.
Are we going to get kidnapped? feared Sapna
Are we doing this for serious?!! went bonkers Aisha.
“Need to go the market centre” told Geeta.
Warm air. Soft music. Clean Car. The two youngsters agreed to young ladies’ requests.
The space was too congested to sit freely for four of them. However, they sat tight overlapping each other.
Two boys. Four girls. Ma is going to kill me tonight! Hope papa is not sitting under the tree near the fire. I haven’t even seen Jaipur. Will I be robbed, molested, killed tonight? Everyone sweated. None thought out loud.
The market seemed forever long and road never-ending but, the throttle and a deserted road made the journey short.
The doors were open. “Khamma Ghani,” said Geeta. “Khamma Ghani,” echoed the girls. The darkness is dreary. Silence reinstalled itself after the car doors were shut. The car whizzed again into the darkness to their own destination.
The chilled winters deserted the market centre as well. A person here and there. No one they knew saw them at the market as they stood, getting out of the car.
“Weren’t you afraid?!” asked Aisha. A word that’s spoken after a long silent ride.
“Will you believe me if I tell, more than all of you, I was scared?” replied Geeta raising a thumb to stop the auto this time, to go home.