This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.
The walk in the forest is through infinite paths between the tall pine trees. Pine trees have been arranged systematically, as if they’re standing for their physical fitness period in school – with one arm’s length distance from each other!
As the day proceeds ahead, sun is nowhere to be seen. The thin layers of mist in the air start getting thicker and translucent from transparent. As the blanket of mist engulfs them, the visibility is reduced drastically. Ruhi can only see Arpit ahead of her, rest all cannot be seen. She grabs his hand tightly as he guides her towards the end of the patch.
Divyah wonders if the mist has other plans for them – Is it nature’s way of persuading them to stay back for one more day? Before she can ponder over that, the cloud above them bursts. The sudden downpour leads everyone in search for their ponchos and wind cheaters as they take refuge under the pine trees.
After a few minutes of shrills and shouts, everyone is ready, once again to walk through the pathless woods – enjoying the smell of the moist soil in the ground. The wind starts getting colder.
They walk through the misty forest in thirty minutes and reach the other side to be greeted by green shrubs and meadows again! The various hues of green make it enchanting. The drizzle has stopped for the time being and the huge open meadows feels like freedom after walking through the pine trees!
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep – Robert Frost
Arpit and Abhinav decide to have a small race and run across the meadows in full speed. As they pace through the meadows, fellow trekkers shout their names cheering them. Their eyes are filled with determination and their faces radiate energy all around!
Arpit reaches the final point three seconds before Abhinav. Both grab their stomachs as they try to catch their breath. They look behind and see the mountains they’ve started descending from along with the patch of pine trees. Peppy Niket and Madhu are running towards them. Swami is walking behind slowly with Ruhi and Divyah.
The descent started getting steeper as they progress towards the touch line of Naranag. Karan looses his balance as he misses a step and tumbles down the small hillock. Tarun and Kartik join him as its a faster way down! Another thirty minutes of walk and they see livestock around; habitation isn’t far from here, they conclude.
As they climb a small incline, they see something they’ve been missing since a week – A house!! It is possibly the best locations a house can be built on. There are wooden fences around the house to guard the sheep. The house is picturesque and right out of a National Geographic Travel Magazine! Rajiv and Prachi stand there looking at the blue house – contemplating staying there forever!
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