This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.
Everyone was spellbound and appeared like children musing over their bed time story. It was like opening a jar of chocolate cookies – they wanted more. Sara’s voice modulation and vivid description helped them imagine the king and the daughter and their beautiful kingdom. Swami wondered if she could tell a story to help Arpit and Abhinav.
The sherpas were back in time, they had travelled around to search for their horses and donkeys who were freed in the morning. Most of them had come back on their own. The remaining were searched for and brought back to the campsite over the day.
After the interesting story which had taken them to a different world, they came back to the present and got ready for dinner. Today had been nothing less than eventful, even though their plans were disrupted by hail stones in the morning. The skies were now clear and milky way appeared right above them.
Sandesh couldn’t believe his luck; he ran towards his tent to get his gears and tripod to shoot the star studded sky. Post that he taught the newbies an amazing concept – using torchlight to make words and symbols in pitch darkness using bulb mode. Everyone was amazed by the results.
They had brinjal, chapatis with dal and rice for dinner. Sara was discussing how to tell stories to children with Madhu – they shared interesting insights of their experiences. Arpit got out of the dining tent and started walking towards his tent when Ruhi met him. She requested if he could accompany her to wash her plate as she was not carrying her torch as usual.
As they walked towards the cleaning area, Ruhi tried to figure out Arpit’s state of mind. She wanted to have a conversation with him, but did not mean to intimidate him. She wanted to help him get out of his anxiety towards Abhinav and leave the past in the past. ‘So how long do you and Abhinav know each other?’ she asked casually, focusing her attention on the plate. ‘We know each other since school days.’ ‘Interesting! Just like me and Divyah.’ ‘I was worried about you today, I saw you run towards the horses to free them up. But then Abhinav joined you and I realised he’s got your back. He really cares for you to do that!’ Arpit didn’t want to get into this discussion, he replied in monosyllable,’Yes.’
The conversation wasn’t going anywhere, Arpit came out to be too stubborn to talk about it. Maybe he has protected himself a lot after some incident, making it difficult to open up in front of others, she realised. ‘Look, I’ll ask you directly. You seem to be strained whenever you see Abhinav. Is there anything that is bothering you. Can I help you with that? You can trust me.’ She can make out the impact of this sentence on Arpit. Trying to keep his tone normal, he replied there was nothing to be worried about and walked back, actually, almost ran towards his tent.
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