Tag Archives: music

Swami joins the backbenchers

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.


December 2007

It was time for Industrial Visit trips organised by seniors for all students. Basically, it was an adventure trip but was named as IV so that maximum students could get permission from home to shell out Rs. 7,500 for college picnic.

IVs were the most happening trips of the college – people got to know each other and their seniors – this year they were headed to Manali. The entire batch from the first year had decided to come. Those who didn’t register were coerced into the trip by others. Swami got enrolled like that. Madhu did not have the required money as nothing could be saved from the money he earned from his part-time internship; it just helped him cover his routine expenses. Arpit, Abhinav and Niket chipped in and filled his application form too.

As they caught the train from Mumbai Central to Manali, they were awed by the preparation of their seniors – they were carrying every gadget possible along with them and huge power extensions and power banks. It was as if they had come prepared for a digital war. They were also carrying booze and cigarette cartons for the new year’s party.

The travel agent had for the first time arranged a trip for college students and had given them good facilities at throw away rates anticipating further tie ups for remaining trips. They had the entire coach to themselves and it was turned into a party venue with loud music and disco lights they were carrying.

They reached Manali on December 28 and did sight seeing, but the major fun was in being together and making a lot of noise in their hotel. None of them went to the industrial visit for which they had come to Manali. The hotel had to cancel their booking after second day due to frequent complaints from other guests. They refunded the amount and booked them into another hotel nearby which was totally empty.

The party on New Year’s Eve was one of the biggest ones they had ever seen in their life. The seniors had kept the bottles open for everyone – drinks were on them, as tradition goes. Swami tried to go to bed early to avoid the party – he knew drinking is compulsory for everyone. Alas, he wasn’t able to hide himself and was brought to the dance floor.

Some seniors mixed vodka in his soft drink and things started rolling. Swami began dancing – doing the funniest steps one would know as he grooved to the music. He came around and hugged everyone. He was high and was happy. For the first time, the gang had seen a lighter side of Swami; he wasn’t a robot like he behaved in the campus – he just wasn’t exposed enough to life. Niket loved the other side of Swami, he never could have imagined him to be so free spirited and happening in spite of sitting on the first bench.

As they went towards their rooms after the party, everyone was high and ecstatic. Swami joined the gang, singing songs on friendship. Suddenly, he began crying unexpectedly – It was then that he mentioned how much he admired them all but couldn’t stay friends with them as he had to focus on his marks and prepare for GRE exams. He was afraid they would spoil him. He also was sad by the fact he didn’t have any friends in college.

That fact changed within that moment, Abhinav hugged him mentioning he could always bank on them. Swami had tears in his eyes on knowing he was accepted by someone the way he was. That’s how he became a part of the gang in his own way. He never joined them in the last bench, but started hanging around with them in the canteen.


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Enchanted by Magnanimity

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.


The rains stop, the trekkers walk out of their small hideout to embrace the clear blue skies and rejenuvated surroundings! Kashmir is unpredictable, but unconditionally beautiful! It is already 3 PM and they are an hour away from Gangabal lake. Sun is shining bright. They start walking quickly to catch up with other trekkers.

They reach a point from where they can see Harmukh peak, but the lake is not yet visible. Raunak reminds them its the final hillock they’ll be ascending on the trek. Divyah is awed by the view – she plays her favourite childhood game with Ruhi and others join in – Guessing the shape of the cloud. Divyah sees a cartoon character with extended hands to reach out for a cookie in the clouds. It’s easy to interpret she is hungry. Everyone is hungry!

The final ascent and the cartoon character reaching out for a cookie

As they reach the top of the hillock, they catch up with the front runners. All of them are sitting there, observing the view and waiting for others to catch up. Sunrays melt the glaciers on the top of the mountain which lead to rivulets. These small rivulets slither through Mount Harmukh making their way to the fresh water lake. This process is slow and continuous. Sunrays shine like stars in the lake.

Harmukh Peak in its glory!

They see the orange tents laid in a semi circle right next to the edge of Gangbal lake. Dr Sudip sits down with the front runners; they’ve not reached the campsite, but the mere sight of it gives an assurance – he sits to capture the beauty of the lake in his memories forever.

Campsite – Orange tents on the left side of the lake

Tarun is playing songs on the speaker. Soft songs which go with the mood.

Ude, khule aasaman mein khwabon ke parindey
Ude, dil ke jahaan main khaabon ke parinday
Oho, kya pata, jaayenge kahaan
Khule hain jo pal, kahe yeh nazar
Lagta hai ab hai jaage hum
Fiqrein jo thi, peechhe reh gayi
Nikle unse aage hum
Hawa mein beh rahi hai zindagi
Yeh hum se keh rahi hai zindagi
Oho, ab toh, jo bhi ho so ho

Kanishka lifts her scarf and holds it in her hands; it flutters with the winds – is it the view or the song or both, but she feels alive! As she loses herself in the melody of the song, Swami begins to sing along melodiously.

Roshni mili
Ab raah mein hai ik dilkashi si barsi
Har khusi mili
Ab zindagi pe hai zindagi si barsi
Ab jeena hum ne seekha hai

Arpit looks towards Abhinav for the first time in the week. There are a lot of pent up emotions, he has to sort things out once and for all. Ruhi sits beside him holding his hand as the song continues…

Yaad rahe kal, aaya tha woh pal
Jisme jaadoo aisa tha
Hum ho gaye jaise naye
Woh pal jaane kaisa tha
Kahe yeh dil ke jaa udhar bhi tu
Jahaan bhi leke jaaye aarzoo
Oho, ab toh…
Jo bhi ho so ho

Slowly, everyone joins in humming the song together. Time seems to have frozen. Swami begins to jot down his best experience on the trek – He names it Song of Stars and Mountains!


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I think I wanna marry you!

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.


After having an eventful lunch by the pond, Kanishka is awestruck by the beauty of the mountains – Kashmir is a pandora’s box of beauty – anything can happen anytime. Many have seen wild horses for the first time in their lives! Swami is thankful for Madhu’s idea of trekking to Kashmir, they couldn’t have been anywhere else to a place this beautiful!

They ascend the final mountain to reach the Satsar Army Camp – the first lake can be seen from the top of the mountain. They greet the Green Eagle jawans at the Camp; now acquainted to their ever-helping nature. A quick check of ID cards and warm exchange of words makes them feel welcome to Satsar.

With Green Eagle Jawans!

From the top of the mountain, they see the first of the seven lakes which give the region this name. It is light blue in colour, reflecting the shine of a thousand suns!! As the lake shimmers in golden rays, Abhinav feels he is in Greece – the lake is beautiful beyond words and water is crystal clear – they can see the soil underneath it.

Everyone proceeds down the mountain towards the lake, Tarun and Karthik are giving remaining people various instructions; the rest have already been informed during the course of the day! Kanishka giggles with the very thought, not able to contain her happiness. Rajiv asks Prachi to wait for him, for he is feeling drowsy. They sit on the rocks and talk about various things under the sun!


After some moments, he grabs her hand and they run down towards the lake! Prachi is pleasantly surprised by his quick recovery; she enjoys the warmth of his hand touching hers and the cool wind blowing her hair. It’s an amazing feeling.


Everyone is sitting in a rather weird formation, watching the light blue lake – how can blue have so many shades, she wonders. Chris is shooting the beauty of the lake and Sara is narrating her experience in Russian.

As they walk away from the lake towards the group, still holding hands together, Tarun and Karthik get up together and begin dancing impromptu on music being played on speakers. She wonders in amazement how many things can they both do to entertain people around them. It is then that she listens to Bruno Mars singing her favourite title.

Rajiv leaves her hand and joins Tarun and Karthik, his energy is unmatched as he dances excitedly on her favourite title. The lyrics play –

It’s a beautiful night,
We’re looking for something dumb to do.
Hey baby,
I think I wanna marry you.

Is it the look in your eyes,
Or is it this dancing juice?
Who cares baby,
I think I wanna marry you.

She cups her hands on her face in excitement as she realises what’s happening. Rajiv’s pathetic dance steps don’t bother her much today. As the song moves ahead, everyone else joins them doing impromptu dance steps.

She shouts in excitement, jumping and smiling all along. Tears fill her eyes as she watches Rajiv bend down on his knees and remove a ring from his pocket; it is the best day of her life!


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The one where they fight

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.


Ruhi receives a warm welcome at the campsite. As she sits down with everyone else in the centre of the campsite, everything starts blurring around – as she adjusts the aperture of her eyes to just focus on Arpit. He approaches her, asking if she is comfortable. She thinks of all possible things she wants to tell him; her heart is racing and she opens her mouth to answer. All that comes out is a low toned thank you. She is shocked at what just happened – she is always able to convey what she feels.

Arpit proceeds to put his backpack in the tent. Music starts playing in her heart as she recaps the entire day – getting her leg twist has acted like a blessing in disguise. Ruhi cannot help but smile in her pain as the last rays of sun warm her body. Madhu settles beside her bringing her back to reality.

Ruhi goes through the various things she wants to know about Arpit and decides to ask Madhu the most important one – ‘Why is Arpit ignoring me, or as a matter of fact, all the girls on the trek? What exactly happened in the past that changed his behaviour?’ Madhu tries to convince her everything is perfectly alright, Arpit is busy trying to sort his own world, that is the only possible reason why he must be ignoring people unconsciously.

‘Does Arpit have a girlfriend?’ ‘No he doesn’t have a girlfriend.’ ‘Has he ever been in a relationship?’ ‘Why are you asking this?’ ‘I want to understand Arpit and help him out,’ it was partially true, she had started having feelings for him was the other part ‘He was in a relationship but they had a breakup in college.’ ‘What was the reason for it?’ Madhu runs back in time, recollecting Arpit and Latika’s fight which was the first crack in their relationship.

It was October 2010. Latika had come to meet Arpit at their PG. The gang was playing video games as she walked in. She was carrying a diamond studded clutch which matched with her backless golden anarkali dress. She looked radiant with the right makeup. She got a whistle from her gourmet companion Niket and it made her blush. Her dress always drew attention. She was going to some relative’s success party along with her parents.

‘Baby, what’s the necessity of wearing such a dress for a social event? Won’t it look a bit different than what others will be wearing?’ Arpit asked her without taking his eyes off the game. There was pin drop silence; as Niket, Abhinav and Swami awaited the apocalypse. ‘I’m an independent girl and decide what to wear on my own. What’s the matter with you?Even my parents are fine with the dress.’ ‘I just don’t want any unneccessary attention on you. I don’t want someone else to come and woo you – I cannot think of a life without you.’ ‘I feel you are being way too possessive. Or is it that you don’t trust me?’

This began a huge fight for next thirty minutes and resulted in Latika storming out of the PG, slamming the door behind in full speed. Arpit got back to the game as if nothing had happened. That was their first huge fight before they eventually broke up on 31st December 2010.

‘There was no particular reason for breakup; things just didn’t happen the way they ought to have,’ replied Madhu as he carefully chose words to answer Ruhi.


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Wherever you go, carry your own Sunshine

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – Arpit gets a date. To read from the beginning, click here.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

The day began with usual hustle-bustle as everyone carried on with their routine to get ready for the trek. Sanitary hygiene talks were in vogue – Pawan jokingly mentioned how baby wipes are better than toilet rolls. Today was Day 4 on their one week trek – only 4 more days to go and they’ll be back to their normal lives, doing normal stuff and getting normal payoffs. With this realization, Niket formed a pack with everyone to live these three days fully, find their crazy side and embrace it. He ended his short speech by playing music from the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Dilon mein tum apni betabiyan leke chal rahe ho
Toh zinda ho tum!
Nazar mein khwaabon ki bijliyan leke chal rahe ho
Toh zinda ho tum!

Hawa ke jhonkon ke jaise aazad rehna seekho
Tum ek dariya ke jaise, leharon mein behna seekho
Har ek lamhe se tum milo khole apni baahein
Har ek pal ek naya samaa dekhe ye nigaahe

Jo apni aankhon mein hairaniyan leke chal rahe ho
Toh zinda ho tum!
Dilon mein tum apni betabiyan leke chal rahe ho
Toh zinda ho tum!

Niket was carrying his own sunshine today! His inspiring thoughts touched and moved other trekkers and they proceeded with enthusiasm from Vishansar towards Gadsar Lake. They would be able to see Line of Control on their way and after crossing Gadsar Lake meet the Indian Army and get themselves verified. (12,000 feet to 13,750 feet (Gadsar Pass – highest peak on the trek) and back to 12,000 feet (Gadsar Lake)- covering a distance of 10 kilometres)

Morning hustle-bustle
Morning hustle-bustle

They began the trek on Dashodhbhai’s call and started walking in an affirmative pace. Stuti couldn’t take her eyes off turquoise blue water of Vishansar lake and regretfully bid goodbye to their first lake on the trek. They walked ahead passing by Kishansar Lake.

As they started trekking towards the top of the ridge, many got breathless and took breaks during the ascent. It was tricky and steep. After two- three hours of efforts, they finally made it to Gadsar Pass. The view which greeted them was exhilarating. Behind them they could see the shimmering twin lakes – Kishansar and Vishansar, Kishansar was obviously the bigger one of the two and they appeared to be sharing water through a small patch in between. Named after lords Krishna and Vishnu, the lakes reflected the clouds passing by.

Jump and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall!

Sandesh got busy suggesting various poses to people. Pawan loves jumps and agreed to do it. As everyone got pics clicked, Karthik and Tarun were busy making a snowman. Tarun had even managed to find small twigs and pebbles to give it eyes and hands. On the count of three, Karthik kicked the snowman as Sandesh captured the moment forever.

Nisha and Shobana sat down at the Gadsar pass to spend some time to capture the beauty of the twin lakes in their minds forever.


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Abhinav’s Dilemma

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – Their first day of fourth year engineering term. To read from the beginning, click here.


Friday, December 31, 2010

Arpit re-enters the club, alone. His face is pale; his eyes are filled with anxiety. Before anyone can confront him, he sits on the stool and orders a shot of vodka on the rocks. Abhinav realises it’s not just about the break up; there’s something more to it. He walks out of the club to confront Latika.

She is leaning on a car on the street, face turned away from the club entrance – sobbing in a quiet but fierce manner. Abhi tries to comfort her. She hugs him as she clears her throat. She begins to speak in a low pitch but with clarity, ‘I broke-up with Arpit. I have realised I have feelings for you. I know you have feelings for me. I would like you to consider this possibility once all of this mess gets cleared up.’ Abhinav is stunned; those words which once would have given him happiness suddenly pull his world into a storm. He is brought back to the present by the loud countdown in the club to usher in the new year. Ten…Nine…Eight…Seven…Six…Five…Four…Three…Two…One…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

He couldn’t have thought new year’s eve would begin on such an emotionally stressed note. ‘Let’s get you home.’, he calls for a taxi. She gets into a cab and restrains Abhi from getting into it. ‘He needs you. I’ll reach on my own. Be with Arpit; he will hate me from today but it isn’t fair on my part to play with his emotions once I know the truth.’ The sound of ignition from the cab engine reverberated in the air as Abhinav stood behind, watching it make its way on the street and slowly disappear at the turning.

Abhinav thought of the various happy moments he had spent with Latika and his gang. She was confident, fun-loving and free spirited. Just like him. She was a part of every plan of theirs – be it night outs, movie marathons, long drives or late night dine outs. She never made others feel out of place or required any special treatments like a typical girlfriend.

Abhinav recollected the night before their project submission about two weeks ago. They had 6 hours to the morning and an entire project to be done. Everyone contributed towards it and went to bed by 3 AM; exhausted. Latika and Abhinav were the only ones awake to write down the project in the journal. She made them some black coffee as they began writing in the journal. Being a mundane activity, they were able to talk about various other things on the planet. Her voice was music to his ears. Her eyes glowed when she talked about travel; she loved the idea of it. Abhinav was always able to express his feelings to Latika in a way he wasn’t able to to others.

He realised it the moment she went to sleep at 4 AM; he had feelings for her.


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The mystery of thousand eyes

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – Star-struck at Vishansar. To read from the beginning, click here.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Madhu wakes up due to Chris’s snoring. He checks his watch – It’s 5.00 AM. He feels guilty for having an eight hour long sleep; yesterday’s walk was indeed taxing. Now that he is awake, he removes his bag of toiletries and heads towards the washroom. Dawn will come after thirty minutes and the entire campsite will be alive with voices. He likes the peace of the morning. The sky is cloudy and winds are chilling as compared to yesterday.

Madhu wears his floaters and proceeds to attend his morning call; humming some music along. He looks around to check if anyone is awake yet; he is the only soul awake to walk in darkness towards the dug pit with baby wipes in his kit! Kitchen staff also seem to have taken a well-deserved break; they are yet to begin preparations for breakfast. Today (Day 3) is a free day, they can roam around and trek to the nearby lake called Kishansar. Kishansar and Vishansar are twin lakes and can be seen together on the day they advance towards Gadsar Pass (Day 4).

Madhu takes a wrong turn and starts walking away from the camp. Unaware of his mistake; he starts pacing on the route – the pressure suddenly gets to him. He is worried as he isn’t able to locate the washroom and decides to defecate in the open. He finds a muddy patch and digs a hole in it and covers the area with various rocks. As he completes the process and fills the pit, he sees a thousand red eyes staring at him! He tries to recollect which all types of animals have pigment of tapetum lucidum which reflects their eyes as red in the night (as seen on discovery channel). All he can now think of is wild dogs!

Spot the animals!
Spot the animals!

The thought of wild dogs waiting to catch their prey sends a chill down his spine. He starts sweating in 5 degree celcius temperature wondering whether his nature’s call was going to be the last one. After some moments of anxiety, he is able to put on his thinking hat and analyse the situation. He realises they cannot be wild dogs as they are way too many in number – wild dogs hunt in packs of 4-6. Also, they haven’t attacked him; so they are most probably herbivores.

Intrigued, he decides to go ahead to see which are these animals. As he walks towards them, suddenly a pair of blue eyes starts pacing towards him barking all the way. Madhu runs towards the campsite like Milkha Singh; after-all it is a matter of life or death for him. As he crosses a distance, the animal stops following him.

It is not until dawn, that he can unravel the mystery of thousand red eyes. He bursts out laughing when he sees what he should have seen in the first place, had he been carrying a torch! They were flock of sheep!!! Soon, he was able to see an old sherpa walk towards him with a sheepdog. He seemed irritated, must have woken up due to the barking of the sheepdog. Concerned, he had taken a tour to check the well-being of his flock of sheep and walked towards Madhu to give him a warning.

Madhu was relieved with the fact that what he thought wasn’t true! He now could recollect the episode on discovery channel – Sheepdogs in Himalaya tend to reflect blue colour in the night and sheep reflect red. He felt gratitude that nothing untoward happened; although he had done all research to know there are no wild animals on the trek trail – it didn’t seem true when he saw the red eyes staring at him. He walked back towards his tent to wake up Abhinav. He wanted to catch the first rays hit Vishansar lake.


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Another Addition to the Gang

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – Draw Four! To read from the beginning, click here.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Day 2 is the longest day in terms of distance to travel – they have to cover 12 km in 8 hours. It is an ascend of 2 hours to reach Nichnai Pass (from 11,500 feet to 13,500 feet) post which there is a descend to Vishansar lake (12,000 feet). Sandesh has gotten up early at 5.30 AM in order to capture a time lapse of the first light reaching their campsite and morning activities. The sky is clear; there are no signs of clouds – hopefully it’ll be so for the night too and the milky way shall be visible.

It is pleasantly cold at 11,500 feet. Arpit removes his toothbrush and paste to brush; he gargles some water in his mouth and the cold burst of freshness paralyses him! Should have brought a mouthwash instead, he concludes as he watches others use Listerine. After a moment, he feels toothbrush is better as it connects him to the place – and makes him realise how alive he is.

Chris and Sara are interviewing the kitchen staff and donkey owners on their go-pro for their travel blog; asking various questions about the mountains, their history and how do they make a living. They had heard about Kashmiri Pundits and their conflicts with Muslims over claim of Kashmir. As soon as they ask the question, they realise they are walking on a double edged sword as kitchen staff are pundits and donkey owners are muslims. Vivian gets a sense of what’s happening and saves them all from witnessing another fight on the same topic.

They gather around the centre to have aloo parathas and get their lunch packed; Niket and Madhu have joined Tarun and Karthik for pre-warm up session. Tarun has got a lot of fan following post the night of music yesterday. Dashodh is explaining the way to Raunak – they will begin with crossing a small, almost dry rivulet near the campsite and climb up the mountain going towards the other side to reach Nichnai Pass.

Kanishka is wearing everything in purple colour today (Previously it was pink) – She has taken painstaking efforts to buy all her winter clothing in matching colours. She is the only girl in the group (and probably in the history of Kashmir Great Lakes trek) to have brought a lip-stick and mascara on a trek. Getting ready like a typical Delhiite, she clicks some selfies and later catches hold of Madhu asking him to shed light on how did he become part of the gang.

Madhu looks around; they still have half hour to begin trekking at 7.30 AM and he might as well use the time to share his story; it feels great to relive those college days.

When I joined VJTI from Indore, I had no idea what was I signing up for. I didn’t have money to pay for engineering fees and was not going to join the institute, had it not been for last moment arrangement of funds by my dad. As I boarded a train from Indore to Mumbai, I was travelling in general class without a reservation with only one thought in my mind – I’ll never ever be in a position where there is shortage of money. I have seen the other side of the country and know how difficult it is to manage without money. Fortunately, my parents supported my education and I’m grateful to them for it.

I was staying at a distant relative’s place and had joined a part-time job to remit money back home; as a result I never was able to attend college other than on Saturdays. On those days, I used to sit in the last bench and try to understand what is being taught with the help of Abhinav. That’s how we became friends. Abhinav and Arpit used to sit in the end, bunk classes and even go out for partying; but their concepts were clear. They helped me understand subjects on weekends once they got to know my situation and shared their books with me. That’s how I became the fourth person to join the gang – Niket would at times pick me up in the evenings and we would all go out for long drives. They were the first friends I made in Mumbai.


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Draw Four!

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – Will Niket Continue the trek? To read from the beginning, click here.


Niket and Abhinav are greeted with claps as they reach the campsite. A wave of satisfaction and pride passes through Niket’s body. He feels nothing but gratitude for each and every person who was there with him, acknowledging his struggle and helping him through it. He realises it was more of a mental block than physical fitness. Today is one of the most important days of his life – he has conquered his fear.

Everyone discusses their experience of day one; excited about what lay ahead. Camping by the lakes is eagerly awaited. Dashodh gives a shout out to everyone as he comes out of the kitchen with a kettle filled with hot tomato soup – it is irresistible. As much as Arpit hates tomatoes, he loves every bit of the soup and takes a second helping to enjoy the soothing feeling it brings to his throat.

Ruhi, Arjun and Abhinav are comparing their pictures and seeking guidance from pro photographer Sandesh. Abhinav has composed his pictures in a great manner – but they have been overexposed; as he wasn’t able to make out the optimum white balance through his tinted sunglasses. Ruhi and Arjun have a long way to go ahead to master photography. They would be shooting star trails in the night on the day they had the opportunity of clear skies. Tonight was going to be clouded. Ruhi understands the required settings to click the milky way from Sandesh.

A curious sheep
A curious sheep

Soon, it becomes dark and everyone assimilates in the dining tent for dinner with their plates and spoons. They are treated to hot rajma along with chapati and dal-chawal. Delhi people fall in love with the cook that day; not able to stop praising him for rajma. Swami doesn’t like rajma and sticks to dal-chawal. Its his turn to wash the plate along with Abhi today.

After completing their dinner, everyone gets back to their tents. Tarun is hosting a live RJ night in his tent where he’ll be commenting and playing english songs from his cell based on dedications – a lot of trekkers flock his tent like a swarm of birds. His tent is occupied with seven people and three sit outside the tent to listen to him. The first dedication is from Siddharth to his sister Nikita – Titanium. Tarun’s voice is mysterious and sexy – it tickles Divyah’s imagination. The next song is from Sandesh dedicated to Pawan – Moves like jagger! Everyone gets out of the tent to groove on it. It is later followed by Lean On and couple of hits by Jason Derulo!

As half of their trek mates are attending the live RJ show in Tarun’s tent; the gang has assembled together to play a game of cards – ENO – as per the spelling on the duplicate card set! After multiple rounds of games, they finally decide to play the final one before going to bed. Swami draws flak for skipping Madhu’s turn; Niket is kind enough to put a reverse card and give Madhu a turn. That’s when Madhu plays draw two card! Swami, Arpit and Abhinav also put their own draw two’s in the pile. Niket has to pick 8 cards now! Soon, Madhu and Swami have completed their cards and won the game; Arpit, Abhinav and Niket are the only ones left. Arpit puts a reverse card and turns the circle so that he can skip Abhinav and later ask him to draw four! Unfortunately, Abhinav also puts in draw four card and Niket lifts another eight cards blurting out swear words. Later, he has all the trump cards possible, but he is the only participant left!

Everyone goes to sleep in their tents. Niket closes the zipper of his tent; determined to get up stronger tomorrow. No matter how bad the day he had, he always is able fall asleep to the music of his thoughts!



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Will Abhinav consider his feelings?

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – On their way to Srinagar. To read from the beginning, click here.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Abhinav is in a fix; it has been a month since he is trying to explain his side of the story to Arpit, but he is not able to catch hold of him. He values his friendship way too much to backstab him or even keep him away from reality. He still wants him to be happy.

Latika is still awaiting a reply from him – their discussion at the new year bash still gives him goosebumps. He realises he needs to stop worrying about what others think and slow down to ponder what does he want.

He closes his eyes, exhausted with the futile brain storming – he sees her eyes – so deep and full of life; her smile – so infectious, it can enchant anyone; her laughter – loud and unapologetic; her long hair – black and silky. It is true that he had feelings for her since the day she joined college – but he never accepted it – he always treated her as a friend; as Arpit liked her. Given the situation all of them are in now; he understands he has to make a decision – and that will decide his equation with Arpit and Latika.

After deliberating over the week, he finally calls up Latika, ‘Hey! How are you doing?’ ‘Not so good. My friend is avoiding me when I probably need him the most.’ she snapped. ‘Would you be interested in going out for coffee?’ he asked, weighing down each word in his mind for the umpteenth time – he didn’t want to sound opportunistic nor give her false hope. He hadn’t made his decision yet. ‘Yes, I am’ she replied. So they decided to catch up over coffee at 7 PM at Cafe Coffee Day near Matunga station.

Latika reaches the cafe on time – after fiddling over what to wear for half hour, she had chosen a black top and denims and coloured her lips pink. She is not the type of girl who gets into the dressing-up shit, but this was different. She is happy Abhinav had finally got present to his feelings for her. As she grabs a table waiting for Abhinav, she knows he’ll be half an hour late as usual.

She realises the extent to which she knows him and a thought crosses her mind – if we have to do this, we’ll have to restart, without any inhibitions from past – we’ll have to re-discover each other as partners rather than friends. Her wandering eyes keep looking on the street, trying to locate him.

The glass door opens and Abhinav walks in. He is wearing his favourite denim jeans with a round necked t shirt flaunting his love for the Big Bang Theory. He gives her a smile as he sits down, she smiles back. After placing the order they look at each other. Latika is waiting for him to speak; Abhi is contemplating what to say – he is reminded of how much he likes her as he watches her sip hot chocolate, leaving a moustache on her face. That and the soft music being played makes him fall for her, again.

‘I like you. I like you a lot! I’m not sure how things will go ahead but I want to give it a try.’ She is delighted to listen this. Her eyes spark with joy and they spend the rest of their first date discussing random stuff.


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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.