A group of friends accidentally witness a deadly incident and then there's no coming back.
| Friday, June 5th, 2015.
"I wish I could just... just eat you like a chocolate, my chocolate!" Trisha said bringing the mic closer to her lips, "I wish...".
"Shhh...That sound of your breath, I'd die for it anyday!" Akhil said in his sensually husky voice.
"Ah, would you wait for a minute baby, it's the third time Rishi is calling me...this guy just doesn't sleep." Trisha said trying to keep her eyes open as her screen's backlight pierced her retina.
"What can I say, just make it quick sweetheart." Akhil mumbled with desperation high on testosterones.
"Ya, what is ittt?" Trisha inquired in rage.
"Hey Trish, I know I interrupted your hot chat with Akhil." Rishi said wittily. "But I just wanted to know if you and Kriti are in for Mayang tomorrow."
"Yeah I guess so, lemme bring Kriti in." and Trisha transmitted her annoyance by calling Kritika at 3 in the night.
After 10 seconds of Major Lazer leaning on her ear, "Hello..", Kritika said meekly, clearing her throat.
"Mayang trip tomorrow, yes or no?" Trisha made the formality quiz as volatile as possible, she knew Kritika would not refuse. They had always taken these trips together after all.
"Yes of course." said Kritika, struggling with her words.
"Alright then, we leave at 11 in the morning, Kayin too will be there, I thought we could show him around." Rishi uttered like a Pope showing a thumbs up to Kayin at the same time.
"Sounds like a plan. See y'all in the morning then." Trisha disconnected swiftly.
Next morning, "Maa, I'm going out with friends, be back by eve!" Trisha yelled from her room, carefully shading the contours of her right eye. She wore kajal like a burqa on her honey brown, cheetah eyes; concealed yet mesmerizing, and she made sure to always have it on when she left her house.
Her mother came rushing to Trisha's artwork filled room, "You kids are again going to that Mayang village, ain't you ?", she agitated. "It's not safe there and you know it, grow up for God's sake!"
Trisha turned around, gave her mother that "Keep your nose out of my life" smile, which she had mastered by then since she had been consistently practicing it every other weekend for the past 1 year. She then buried her face in her dusky wardrobe to find something that would match her monotonous pair of black jeans. Oh gosh why isn't she leaving now, doesn't she get it that I'm ignoring her, how dumb of her. Moments later, "Aha, this black one would be just perfect." Trisha pulled out a t-shirt and began ironing it, entirely tossing her mother's concern.
"Just take care beta, call me once you reach there and don't be late in the evening." her mother uttered, sighing in disappointment. "I'll make your favorite, paalak paneer!"
Trisha gave her an empty look, but as soon as her mother left the room her mind got caught up in the obscure dangers that her mother was pointing out at. Trisha knew in her heart, there were certain things that were beyond the categorization of right or wrong, beyond the horizons of her understanding, beyond all the scientific facts that she was daily gobbling at IIT Guwahati, but she consciously chose to chuck them all with everything else that she disbelieved. As she was continuing to bethink herself of how the world around appears similar to a labyrinth, her phone beeped. She looked at it and smiled, it blinked purple.
Akhil: Baby just take care of yourself ok, stay alert at all times and buzz me anytime you wanna talk. I'll be here, rushing for office now..love you..
Trisha: I'ma be fine don't worry. Will give you a call at night, happy day..love ya!
She tapped on his name, his profile picture fluoresced on her entire screen and she smiled looking into his eyes, reminiscing how this fairly handsome man with a slightly protruding belly fell for her 6 years ago when she was 16 and he was 28. She put the phone down on her bed softly as if he actually resided in there. Turning towards the mirror kept on her window pane, she looked at her smiling face. If he was here right now, he'd tell me how beautiful I'm looking. Just when she had begun to sip these liquorish thoughts, her phone rang.
"Hello Trish? You ready?", Rishi inquired looking at his watch.
"Hey ya, I'm almost set to go. I'll pick you guys up at the hostel in 15 ok?" Trisha said searching for her backpack.
"No, don't bother, just pick Kriti. We're short of stuff, will see you at the ghat alright?" Rishi said. "And get some food from home would you?"
"Ya ok, see ya then, b'bye!" Trisha grabbed her canvas and paints, some cookies from the kitchen and stuffed them all in her bag. Does she really care about me the way she shows it? Would it even bother her if I didn't return this evening? She fakes it I know, she thinks I'm a fool?
Nothing else mattersss..so close no matter how faarrrrr. Dihing hostel was 3 songs and 1 bridge away, and the sight of Brahmaputra flowing beneath her wheels was all it would take for Trisha to get rid of her domestic melancholy. She parked her violet blue eagle, as she would call it, on the side of the road that lead to Dihing.
"I'm outside your hostel, come soon." Trisha said while Elton John caressed her ears. "I'll be there in 2 seconds" Kritika's voice echoed in the entire car. Trisha juggled through her playlist; those 2 seconds meant 2 more melodies after all. She came here often and yet every time she saw those crimson buildings with white windows, she would stare at them for minutes, trying to take her mind off of the strange smell of grass that stenched the parking area.
Oh no this idiot is here again, where should I hide, where should I hide. How does he come to know whenever I'm here? Does he have some kind of superpowers, he looks nothing like Spiderman though. No no no please don't come here, it's gonna look rude if I drive away now. Trisha just drive away, drive away right now.
"Oh hi Trisha, how nice to have met you here. Nice dress..!" Nirmal said with his huge stalker smile.
"Hello Sir, thank you for the compliment! How are you doing?" Trisha struggled with the fake manners. It's not a dress you moron. Had you been a junior, those fore-teeth would have gone missing by now.
"I'm here, I'm here...let's go, let's go!" Kritika yelled interrupting Nirmal. She was running towards the car, preventing her Barbie pink sling bag from slipping down her shoulder.
"Oh there she is, we should get going. Nice to meet you Sir." Trisha sighed secretly. As she unlocked the doors, she saw Kritika passing a smile to Nirmal while he went his way. The car experienced a slight jerk as Kritika placed her water-filled balloon like self on the front seat. The frills of her long, sunlit peach dress firmly wrapped her plumpish insecurities.
"Oh his amber eyes.." Kritika muttered. Her thin, magenta lips sat there perfectly, between those fluffy, salmon pink cheeks.
"Don't bother to speak, I could see you drooling over him!" Trisha interrupted, pointing at the seat belt. The music resumed.
A few minutes later, Trisha slowed down in front of the Faculty School. As she looked at Rishi yakking with the ferry wala, on the other side of the road, she could immediately play Rishi's funny Assamese dialect in her mind. A few steps away from them stood Kayin, the guy with the reflective bronze shade, intensely gazing at the hazy waters of the ghat. How lucky he is. I'm sure it's better than Nigeria here.
Rishi: I can see you guys, coming in a minute.
Kritika: Ok ok.
Trisha disgustingly glanced at Kritika's face, her mouth puffed up with cookies and the chocolate chips jewelling her neck line.
"Did you notice those weird scratches above the right rear tire? Poor eagle!" Rishi said as soon as he hopped onto the back seat. "They weren't there 2 days back, were they ?"
"Yah, those scratches, they weren't there even last night, gotta do something about those kids at Mrs. Barman's!" Trisha adjusted the rear-view mirror. "Anyway, Kayin how was your journey? How do you like it here?"
Like a skilled Delihiite langur, Rishi filched the cookies from Kritika.
"O'boy, I had a long long flight but ye itz wodaful hea!" rapped Kayin. His dry, bilging lips that he licked every few minutes moved in a winsome concurrence with his clean shaved jaw line. He rubbed the back of his head for a moment; that Will Smith hairstyle crowning his oval head carried a plethora of untold Afro-American fantasies.
While everyone else continued the trivial chatter, Rishi pulled out a tiny, overpriced transparent packet from his back pocket. He berthed his vintage backpack in his lap and carefully begun spreading the grass on an identically colored paper, a duty that he considered sacred. The dark and deep grooves of his palms could defy the centripetal forces exerted by Assam's snaky roads. After he finished making the joint, as he called it, he fired it up, closed his eyes and took a puff.
"Mmmm, Here!" Rishi said as he touched Kayin's arm, bringing his attention back from the dense forests outside to his perfectly rolled joint. Kayin took 2 puffs one after the other.
"Hey hey bro, one each man!" Rishi mimicked Kayin's accent. "Tat's te only rule man!"
Kayin looked at Rishi in obscurity and leaned towards Trisha. She nodded in negation.
"Trish doesn't smoke while driving." Kritika informed, snatching the joint from Kayin.
Driving was a pleasure that Trisha liked to experience with all her senses fully awake; glazed and curvy roads, numberless shades of green blanketing the earth for as far as the eye could see, constant appearance of the lush valleys lining the horizon, the taste of snow white fog rushing in from the windows, and an indescribable scent of euphoria.
"That's why she is the one driving always!" Rishi said, and everyone broke into a laugh.
This wiggle-waggle continued for 2hrs until they reached their favorite no-human zone, the banks of Pokoriya River, a tributary of Brahmaputra
"Oh wowww..How did you find this place man, itz heavenly!", Kayin lightly punched Rishi's back in amazement. Rishi hushed him instantly.
Everyone respected the Godly silence of that solitary place. Nobody talked there. Everyone would just quietly smoke pot guns with their toes dipped in that chilling nectar.
Trisha had just adjusted her canvas and Rishi was untangling his earphones with a joint held between his lips, just when a lady with her traditional Assamese dress partially ripped, came running towards the river and jumped in. Within moments, a dozen villagers appeared. They were enchanting some unearthly ode, crippling the holy quietude of the place. One lean man in a dirty white vest and a soiled lower folded up to his knees emerged from the crowd and haled her back, while she wriggled like a fish being deprived of water.
"What are they saying? Rishi? What are they sayin?" Kritika shook Rishi's arm in panic. Rishi turned to Kritika, his eyes mildly stoned and his vocal cord paralyzed.
"Guys, we gotta leave! Letz go!" Kayin said, his voice trembled as he trotted towards the car.
"She needs help right?" Trisha said, looking at Rishi with turmoil in her eyes. Rishi just shook his head in accord and opened the dialer on his phone.
The 100 call had not even connected and 2 gruff men held the woman down while a third one slashed her head off of her beaten up body with a large sickle. Her puce blood spurted out like the juice from an orange slice, blotching his off-white vest. They kicked her dismantled corpse into the waters.
The whole sequence took effect faster than the blood running in their drugged veins. Kritika fell on her knees, buried her face in her palms and began howling. The phone slid from Rishi's hand, he locked his eyelids, held his breath for a moment, and he could feel his heart knocking in his throat. Trisha stood there with her fists clenched; her shrunken pupils focalized on that crimson patch of grass. Unfortunately, she knew the taste of death, the sound of omitted heartbeats, and the iciness of halted breathes.