A teen from Delhi left his home, unaware of the path he was going on
|Good morning Aryan, as always, I wished myself. Voices were coming from downstairs, Hmm so the bitch is fighting again. My dog Rafel, looked at me with his brown eyes. “Come buddy”, he jumped at my bed, as if waiting for my invitation from ages.
Half sleepy, half awake I walked towards my bathroom. I looked myself in the mirror; I was getting old, much faster than others. I was nineteen, but my face was looking like twenty-five year old man. My schoolmates thought it was drawback of late night studies. Studies! The only path left for me, my only weapon. Soon I would be out of this zoo. Maybe my family would be happier than me when I would be gone for good.
Rafel was eyeing me with interest, they were not giving food to him too. He was suffering the punishment to be loyal with me. He saw me looking at him, and with his long tongue wagging carelessly he joined me in bathroom and started circling around me. Play time already?
“Let me poop first buddy. Get out.” Come here and get out were the only words familiar to him, he responded my words and walked outside the bathroom, sometimes he was more human than everyone else in my house. The only living soul who loved me, maybe my father also loved me. But he never showed his love for me, maybe he was afraid of her wife, my step-mom.
I never loved my father. He was taking care of me just because of the fear of the law. But at least I was living in his house, eating food from his earnings and my school fee was always paid. That was enough for me to forget my hatred for him. He sure was a guardian to me, but why he never tried to be my dad? Maybe I was really unwanted, as he called me once.
“Aryan, we won’t be waiting for entire day. Come downwards.” I heard my step-mom yelling my name, followed by muffled laughter of my step sisters.
Time to get my day started, I patted Rafel on the back, and he too followed me downstairs. Something was happening to him, he smelled very bad from past few days. Maybe that’s why he was allowed to sleep in my room. But no matter how bad he smelled, his wagging tail was enough to make me happy.
Dad was already gone for the office, Mom was doing the dishes. Siya my seven year old step sister was done with her breakfast, while the bitch Riya was still eating like hippo. Riya was born years before my dad married her mom.
Siya saw me coming and whispered something in Riya’s ear, the bigger one, the ugly bitch. She gave me a look full of loath, and then with an evil smile she said,
“Mom, Aryan has not taken bath today too.” I was expecting something like this from her already.
“That explains the disgusting smell.” She said without looking at me.
I grabbed my sandwich; it was dry as always, maybe like always she had forgotten to add butter.
“Sorry son I was in hurry, I forgot to add butter.” She was sorry four-five times a week, so that was not new to me. Plus a thick layer of butter was clearly visible in the sandwich of that bitch.
Keep feeding them like this, Their cheeks were already telling me the future waiting for them. Firstly they would eat like pig. And after few years, they were going to work like a bull in gym to burn those extra kilos. Thankfully I was saved from it.
I grabbed my glass of milk, as usual, it was cold like ice. Maybe directly out of the freezer. Ever since my stepmom got the wind about my hatred for cold mike, my milk was getting colder every day.
I drank it all in a breath; I was not going to give her the pleasure of winning.
“Loving your milk?” Riya was always ready to poke me.
I controlled my anger, she was not worthy of it. I said goodbye to Siya and marched towards the main door.
Outside my own world was waiting for me. My hatred for my family was not born in a day. I was nine when my mother died. My father married another woman fifteen months after her death, as if he was keen to get a pussy. I never asked for a new mother, but who cares about my emotions. I was informed about this marriage after it was already done. I would have never ruined his happiness, but he was supposed to ask me too. He was my father, and I was a part of his life.
I would never forget that day. My father introduced me to my new mom and her daughter, my new sister. I wasn’t in need of a new mom but I was ok with it. And I tried my best to treat them as a family. I was never been beaten, neither in school nor at home. Never, until they arrived at my doorstep as my new family. Riya was not only a cunning bitch but was also a good liar, with tears in her eyes and her mom standing at her side they kept defeating my truth and innocence.
And my coward father, he just watched in silence. The day my father slapped me, I closed myself in my room, waiting for him to come, to apologize, and to pamper me. But he never came to me. That day I cried myself to sleep. Within few days of her arrival, Riya stole my room, my PC, my collection of comic books and my father. Everything that was mine was snatched from me. And my father not only was on their side, but he was also busy in making me feel unwanted in my own house.
My dad never taught me a word in my life, but still he was my greatest teacher. He taught me about betrayal, he taught me about the tactics of world and he also gave me enough lessons to hate the world.
One Sunday morning my father came to me, just to inform me that he was going on a trip with mom and Riya. I was left alone at home because there was no space left on the bike. I was eleven year old that time, for a kid of eleven that was a huge blow, I didn’t talked to them when they came home in evening. And since then, old innocent Aryan was dead, and cunning me was born.
A familiar smell pulled me out of my past.
I had done very well in my boards exam, and I was sure about my AIEEE exam. The only trouble was IIT, I messed a lot in my IIT exam. Getting admission in IITs was a bit hard, but not impossible. One more year would be sufficient for me to get selected. But the environment in the house was getting worse day by day. NITs were also not that bad, I would take admission this year. IIT or NIT, I don’t care.
Today’s walk was feeling shorter, I reached at my halt. Rahul was sitting on the counter of the restaurant ‘Hot and Cool’, As usual I approached to the counter and placed a note of hundred rupees in front of him. He opened the drawer at his left and handed me the brown packet. The packet which was helping me to deal with all the shit happening in my life.
The advantage of living in a city like Delhi was that everyone was busy here. And isolation from the foolish crowd was my need. I never got along with kids of my school, few called me mature and for rest of them I was just a freak. Maybe they were jealous of good marks. I tried my best to make friends, but I was sure lacking few essentials.
I was sent to a big school just for the sake of the society. My dad never paid my tour fee, many a times I was the only one in the class not going for the tour. I was never given pocket money, to spend with kids of my school. Maybe those things were responsible for my unsocial life too.
I reached my final halt, the railway tracks. There were few trees next to the track, it was the perfect place to smoke marijuana and get isolated from this selfish world. Since school was over and I was awaiting my entrance exams results, so my entire days were going free.
There was tuition at seven pm, six kids would be waiting for me. They were the source of my pocket money and that pocket money was the source for my regular supplies of marijuana. So my entire day was dedicated to marijuana. Morning to evening smoke marijuana, then teach kids for marijuana and after that again marijuana till sleep.
I sat down in the shadow of the trees and opened my packet. As usual, there was a packet of marijuana, four cigarettes, four rolling paper and a matchbox. That was my usual supplies, and since I was a regular costumer to them, my stuffs were always packed in advance.
I laid handkerchief on the ground and started the cleaning process of my marijuana, it was the most boring job. Finally when the trash was separated, I tore the cigarettes and mixed the stuff. Roll was made,
“Bum Bhole.” I said, and inhaled the smoke. I wasn’t a believer in god, I knew god was just a myth, stories made by ancient people. Ancient people were not so busy, with loads of time to kill, they started inventing stories. But I sure was interested in those stories.
I never believed in god because he was said to be kind and a good listener, but neither was he kind to me nor did he heard my prayers. So it was clearly nothing but a bed time story. But I studied about god, I studied about Bramha, Vishnu, and Shiva.
They were considered as the three main gods, then there were Ram, Krishna, Hanuman etc. it was a long list. My favorite character was Shiva, he was cool. Also a marijuana smoker, plus he was quite powerful too. So I read on him as much as it was easily available.
The sun was hot as hell, but I was in shadow of tree. This place was deserted, open, dirty and maybe unsafe too, but this was real home. The house I lived in was just a combo of some weather proof walls with a roof. My house was more like a gas chamber of Hitler to me. Only difference was that his chamber was much faster in killing, while mine was killing me slowly-slowly.
Few passerby were eyeing me with disgust, one of them even blabbed something,
Look at this spoiled teen, smoking at this age. I was sure he would be having thoughts like that in his mind.
I never understood the world’s ideology; instead in worrying about one’s own life, they feel more pleasure in judging others. I was smoking marijuana, bought from my own money, I was destroying my own lungs and was definitely not creating a trouble for them. They who the fuck where they to blab about me?
But now I was used to it, I was not on the contract to enlighten these fools. In fact, they were wasting their important time in thinking about me. He he, the world was full of moving jokes. One more joke passed by me, he was staring me, I too looked directly into his eyes. Maybe he got offended, he stopped and started walking towards me. Fuck!
I grabbed a stone lying near me.
“Keep moving away from me, I am in no mood for a lecture on smoking.” He was in his late twenties.
“I was just going to pee.” He said in a voice full of loath.
“So? Am I wearing a ‘Please pee here’ sign board? Why are you coming here?”
Now he was clearly offended, he walked few steps opposite to me and after he was done peeing, he started walking towards me again.
“Now what?” I enquired; this guy was pissing me off.
“I would love to inform your dad about this good habit of yours.” Was that a threat?
“House no. 8B, maharishi road. Big yellow house, hard to miss. Feel free to be my guest.” As if my dad would be able to control me, gone were those days when that was possible.
“Spoiled rich kid.” He muttered.
“Poor, middle aged man.” I muttered too.
“What you said?” Why wasn’t he leaving?
“I am just a mirror, you would get honest response of everything you do.”
“Smoking in public area is crime.” Maybe he was jobless.
“So is peeing in public. Mirror remember?” He was speechless for a while, maybe busy abusing me in his mind. At last he spoke up,
“You are really a smart kid.” Did I hear him wrong?
“Thanks, you are a very patient man too. Now would you please go? I want some peace.”
“Yes indeed, here is my card. I am a writer, you are good in debate, feel free to contact me if you are in for earning extra money.” He placed his card on the ground, few meters away from me. And walked away.
Extra money? That was something worth thinking. Was I in need of that? I started the calculation.
I was earning Nine thousand from the tuition, my average daily need was something around one hundred and fifty, that was four and half thousand a month. Plus casual drinking once or twice a week, my drinking budget was nearly three hundred and fifty and if I consider drinking eight times a month, then it was two thousand and eight hundred. Even after all that, I was having enough left, so there was no need for extra cash right now, I won’t be a slave to anyone.
But still I took his card off the ground. Zahid Khan was his name. Khan? A Muslim, I had read stories about their gods too, at least their god was a human. A human who was maybe a huge king, was now worshipped as a god. I kept his card in my pocket and dragged some more marijuana inside my lungs. Bum Bhole.
From last few weeks this was usual routine. So many passerby were familiar to me. Now the marijuana was doing its work, I was getting high.
I lay down on the ground in the shadow of the trees, and closed my eyes. My biggest dream in life was to have a family, but my past was clearly telling me that a happy family was out of my reach. Marijuana was occupying my mind and I could feel my reflexes more clearly now. My ears were now capable of hearing the distant sound of vehicles more clearly, my heartbeat was clearly audible to me, and I closed my eyes.
My wrist watch, bought by my own money was beeping and that was the time to wake up. I opened my eyes; sun was about to go to bed and moon was visible in the sky, waiting for his shift to begin. Six-Fifteen, I cleared the dust from my cloths, and walked towards the government water supply tap. I washed my face and tried to fix my long hairs, my long hairs were troublesome, but I wasn’t cutting them because of my father. My father hates my long hairs, and everything my father hates was dear to me.
Finally my today’s life was over, I said good bye to my home, and walked towards my house. Street lights were trying to wake up lazily, so where the couples of the city. I saw a girl overtaking me, I was not a turtle, she must be in hurry. Her walk was telling a different story. Lost virginity in this immature age was maybe last thing she was concerned about. She stopped at the next crossing while I was still yards away from her.
A red Kawasaki bike stopped in front of her, the driver got off and removed his helmet. I knew what was coming, and within few moments he kissed that girl for a fraction of second, and they both drove away. Few of the people, with nothing else to do, commented on that situation-
“Modern day spoiled girl, shame for her family.” One of them said.
Comments like these were common to hear on roads of Delhi, but today something happened to me. She was a no one to me, I didn’t saw her face. Her short hairs, beautiful neck, and her immature ass was all I got to see, but something inside me insisted to speak up for her,
“What make her the shame for her family, sir?” I heard venom in my voice.
That uncle heard me, looked at me for a brief moment, and then muttered something.
“She is not the spoiled one, but the boy is the real culprit. But maybe that thing missed your single sided mind.” I knew he was ignoring my words.
“I don’t need wisdom from a kid, I have seen world far more than you.” Finally he spoke up.
“Indeed you have sir. But do you know either of them? You observed them for a moment and made a question mark on her character, maybe she deservers that, maybe not. But clearly the actions of the girl offended you, but why did the boy skipped your observation? As far as I saw, the girl was a kid, maybe unaware of the future of her actions, but the boy was mature. Still the girl is shame, but not the boy, that’s funny.”
“She is girl, she should think about the society.” Now he was talking like traditional Indian uncle.
“Sir, you would find me here every day at this hour of time, and not only me but you would also find that boy nearly every day. I hope you love to observe, observe him. Maybe that would change your mind. That girl was not the first one, and definitely not the last. As far as I have observed, that girl was the fourth immature he took with him. Maybe I missed few of them. Those girls were not mentally mature, but the boy was. If you still think that she is a shame on society, I would pray for your kids.” I was getting late, and after this long lecture that man was eyeing me, with his mouth wide open.
I moved towards my house, I already wasted good amount of time on that uncle. I knew that he was not going to change, but still I was feeling happy now.
I was about the reach my home when I read a hand written note on the gate of a computer shop, ‘Check you IITJEE result in just ten rupees.’
Was it out already? I walked into the shop, feeling a bit nervous.
“Bhaiya, is IIT result out?” I asked the shopkeeper.
“Not IIT, it’s due next week, but AIEEE result is available.”
I gave him ten rupees, and told him my roll number. He was impressed by my capability of remembering my roll number.
“What were the digits at last?” He was typing my roll number in his PC.
“Six, nine, one.”
“It’s quiet impressive, you are the first of the day without his roll number written somewhere.” He said while my result was loading.
That result came on the screen, AIR- 508.
“Congratulations, that’s really impressive, your future is secured now.” He was more excited than me.
Five hundred and eight. I was hoping to be in top two hundred. This year’s AIEEE was easy, merit was high, and so were the marks of everyone. But five hundred was awesome too. I knew my IITJEE was nightmare, I sucked in that exam. So it was done then, NIT was calling me. I produced my Roll from my pocket, and lit it.
The shopkeeper was eyeing me changed expression when I left the shop, probably judging me.
I was getting high again, that was not good, students would be waiting for me. I reached my home. Rafel ran to me and started jumping. He was the only one to welcome me in house, I sat on the ground and allowed him to lick my face. My stepmom was watching it all from kitchen. For her Rafel was an ugly shit, I was the same for her.
I saw the shoes of my students, my watch was telling me that I was twelve minutes late. I took the stairs, today I was not in mood to teach, I was high and it wasn’t a good idea to take the risk. I was highly unstable after consuming marijuana.
I walked in the room, kids were playing with my stuffs, and one of them was lying on my bed. They sat at their place when I entered, Ajay was feeling embarrassed for lying on my bed.
“I am not feeling well today, go and enjoy. Holiday today.” I smiled at them.
Cheer erupted in the room, within few minutes they left the room. I switched off the lights and got laid on my bed. My mind was getting numb, that was usual, but today I was high at seven pm, usually it was supposed to start after nine o’clock.
Rafel was knocking his head on my gate. I opened the gate and allowed him in. And again dropped my body on the bed, he followed me too; he was busy chewing my hand while I was feeling my each reflex doing their job. Best part of being high was the advantage to understand my own body. I could feel my mouth and throat getting dry. My saliva sliding from my throat through my wind pipe, slowly-slowly towards my stomach, my weak lungs trying it’s best to grab oxygen from the polluted air. I could hear the mosquitoes humming in my ears, and the continuous effort of Rafel to break my wrist.
“Back off Rafel!” I ordered him. He goggled me with his brown eyes. Still chewing my wrist. My ears caught the sound of the door and then the hard to miss voice of my father. I should give him this good news! After all he was the one who paid for my studies. I waited for few minutes.
My head was feeling heavy. I locked Rafel inside my room, taking him with me wasn’t a good idea. By the time I reached the last step of the staircase, my father was already seated at the dining table. Smell of chicken was filling the entire hall, he was in a good mood perhaps. Even though we were Bramhan, my family was non vegetarian. But I was not so fond of non veg.
Not because of the animal lover feelings inside me, I was completely ok with animals been killed for the food. But that chicken was also family for someone. He or she was snatched from his family, then was forced to see others been killed in front of its eyes. And one day, his throat was chopped and he was left like that to bleed till death.
But still I was forced to eat chicken. Forced by my stepmom just to make herself happy. I never liked the taste of flesh. I tried to eat it, but after each moment of my jaw, a family of chicken was looking at me. Looking at me, while I was busy eating the one they loved so much. That wasn’t the only reason of my hatred for the non veg. It was its taste. It felt like I was chewing a gum, and the more I was chewing it, the guiltier I was feeling inside me.
But my father was a great chicken lover. And him bring chicken was reflecting his happy mood.
“Dad, I have good news for you.” I tried to hide the hatred in my voice.
“What a coincidence, I too have a good news for you.” His eyes were still fixed at his plate.
“And what’s that?”
“I got you a job, they would give you twenty eight thousand per month for just sitting on your chair.”
“Job? For me?” My mind was high with marijuana and low with sense, so it was still processing the exact reaction on that situation.
“Yes for you, I used my contacts and now your life is settled.” Still eyeing his food.
“But I am not going to take that job.” Finally I allowed my anger to take control on my words. He is no one to decide about my future.
Now he looked at me, I realized that I was looking in those tiny black eyes after a long time.
“You don’t know how hard it was for me to get a job for my failure, Ganjedi, good for nothing son.” He nearly shouted at me.
“Well, I really appreciate your efforts, but I have cleared my AIEEE exam and now I would easily get one of the top NITs. So I have my future secured”
“NIT? B.tech?” He sounded puzzled.
“Yes, and counseling would begin at the end of this month.”
“And where would you get the money from?” An evil smile was clearly visible on his face.
“Money?” My slow brain was not working properly maybe.
“Yes money! Where would you get money for your studies?”
“From you, who else I have?”
“I don’t have more money left to spend on your studies.”
No money for me? Was that a no?
“What would you do of the lakhs of rupees stored in your bank account? And I am not going in a private college, Nits are cheap. If you want to I would pay you after my placement.” Now my anger was on its peak.
“That money in bank is for the marriages of both of my daughters. I am not going to give you that money.” My stepmom spoke up.
“Siya is my sister too, I would take care of her marriage and there would be enough money left for Riya even after paying my fee.”
“I am not giving my daughters money.” Hearing her voice boiled me up, I looked straight at her face. My lungs were not making more noise, and my dried mouth was badly in need of moisture.
“I am asking money from my dad, so why don’t you shut up.”
“Aryan! Mind your tongue.” For my father, honor of his wife was more important than his son.
“Let’s wrap this drama. You are paying or not? Just say yes or no.”
“No!” she shouted again, but my father was still silent.
I ran upstairs, opened my room. Rafel leapt at me, I grabbed few of my T-shirts and a track pant along with some jeans. I smashed my piggy bank, without counting the cash I kept all inside my pocket. Tied Rafel in chain, and marched towards the main door.
“Where the hell are you going?” I heard my father’s yell.
“Away from my coward father and his fucking family. The person with no balls isn’t supposed to be a father. Why you brought me in this world if you were planning to be an asshole like that?” I just lost the respect I was having for that man, and now I wasn’t ashamed in showing him the mirror.
“Aryan, how da-” He tried to approach towards me.
“I never considered you as a father; you were a guardian to me. And moments ago you lost me there too. So try hitting me, and I would show your old body the power of eight years of ignorance.” Really marijuana is injurious for brain. I was mad at that time, totally lost. My father was looking to me with wide eyes and his entire body was shaking with anger.
“Rafel is staying here.” My dad replied coldly.
“I am not leaving him with monsters.”
“He came in the house from my money, and isn’t going anywhere.” He grabbed his chain from me.
I sat on my knees and grabbed Rafel’s face in my hands, my eyes were wet, and so were his brown eyes. Maybe he realized entire situation. He licked my face and started chewing my wrist again.
“Don’t worry, very soon I would be back to take him as well as my share of the property, be prepared for that.” I patted my buddy and marched outside the gate.
I met Riya at the gate, she was coming back from a birthday party.
“Where are you going this late?” she enquired.
“Away from you, bitch.”
“How dare you? Mom!” she yelled from the outside.
“Keep yelling bitch, your mom won’t be able to stop me today.” And I walked away from her.
I directed myself towards the usual path of ‘Hot and Cool’. But a part of me insisted my brain to have a last look at that big yellow building. I was leaving my house, my buddy was trapped there, and maybe he would be dead by tomorrow, killed by that fucking bitch or maybe by her mom. Opps, I left my shoes, I was wearing sleeper, and my underwear was also hanging on the rope tied at the roof top.
No worries, I have enough money to survive couple of months, I would meet a lawyer tomorrow.
It took me few minutes to reach my destination. Rahul was still sitting on the counter, busy reading a porn book.
“Rahul bhai good evening.” I tried to control my voice, he is not so important to know about the shit happening in my life.
“Good evening Aryan. So late?” He gave a look to the clock.
“Ya bro, is there anything left to eat?” I was visiting his restaurant daily from past two years, but that was the first time I was going to have food from his restaurant.
“Just name it bro, I would have it cooked for you. Anything and anytime for you sir ji.” He said with a warm smile.
I ate Paneer along with Tandoori Roti, food was delicious. I was the only costumer eating there, clearly it was their closing time, but Rahul kept it open for me.
“Rahul, food was really delicious bro. I am feeling foolish for not eating here before. I will miss you and your marijuana a lot man.” I was getting emotional.
“Are you going somewhere?” he asked me.
“Yeah, out of this city for a while, don’t prepare my combo from tomorrow. And how much for the food?”
“Nothing?” I enquired.
“Farewell gift. I will miss you too buddy.” Wow free meal.
“I need marijuana too.” I said.
“How much?” he asked.
“For a month.”
“I don’t have that much. It’s closing time.” He said.
“How much you have?”
“Let me count.” And he started counting the pudiya .
He was having twenty three pouches of marijuana.
“One pouch is of fifty-five, but it would cost you fifty since you are taking in wholesale.” And he calculated the one thousand one hundred and fifty rupees in his calculator.
He also suggested me to take raw tobacco instead of cigarettes to mix us with marijuana. So I bought all the marijuana and a huge amount of tobacco along with four packs of cigarettes, two water bottles, a lighter and a Chillum. Paid him fifteen hundred rupees and walked towards the new chapter of my life.
I was moving to my usual spot when I saw that red Kawasaki bike parked across the street, along with two police vehicles. The old uncle I talked in the evening was in police uniform and was talking to a constable when he spotted me.
“Hey son, come here.” I walked towards him.
“You are a police officer? Sorry for my rudeness in the evening.” I was really sorry for my behavior.
“No son, I am the one who should be sorry, and thanks to you we caught this man. Everything you claimed was correct, he has accepted of spoiling seven girls in his statement. Thanks a lot.”
“Don’t thank me sir, thank yourself, you were the one who acted and caught him.” And I tried to walk away from him.
“Where are you going this late?” he enquired.
“I have a train to catch.” I lied.
“Oh! Sorry for stopping you then, have a safe journey.”
He was a cop, he would be familiar by the laws, I thought to try my luck for the last time,
“Sir, can I ask you something personal?” I spoke in a low tone.
“Sure, ask me anything.”
“I have an article to write; a son has left his father’s house and is now going on his own path. But the son wants to have his dog with him too, but the father isn’t allowing it. Is there a way in law to help the son?” He looked me with a mixed expression for a while. Then said,
“I think you should go back to your father, if you want to, I would talk to him.”
“No sir it’s not about me, it’s just an article.” I was in no mood to go back.
“Son, I have seen the world far more than you, don’t consider me as a fool.”
“Sir, I am legally adult, and free to do whatever I want to. I just thought you would help me with my dog.” I tried to walk away.
“Yes there is a law, but you would have to get a lawyer and file a case against your dad, it’s a long process, so till then why don’t you go back to your home. I would talk to your dad.” He was trying his best to win me over.
“Thanks sir.” And I walked away from him, towards the railway tracks. I could hear his words of wisdom fading away by my each step.
It took me few minutes to reach my favorite spot, I was happy for that girl, maybe she was saved from being spoiled. And that motherfucker got caught, that was surely good news for the society.
I was on the very same spot where I was laying few hours back, but within these few hours my entire life was changed. Few hours back I was having a house, a family and a dog. Now I lost it all, but the plus point was that now I was free, free from the taunts, free from calling that bitch my sister, free from calling that women my mom and free to live my life. My own life!
I started cleaning marijuana and filled the mixture in the Chillum, Bum Bhole.
I inhaled the smoke and laid all my worries aside for few moments. Drag by drag I was sitting there and allowing my reflexes to die slowly. The noises were hurting my ears, vehicles honking unnecessarily, few drunk men were fighting nearby me. Those noises were irritating me. I was feeling sleepy, my bed was hard with a thin mattress but still it was dear to me, I was missing my bed badly.
I stood up, and guided my unconscious body towards the highway; my mind was not so sure about my destination, I was just walking, away from home, away from crowd, away from Delhi. My mind didn’t keep the count of the minutes I kept walking but they sure were long minutes, at last I saw a bus coming towards me. I signaled it to stop, and launched myself in it even before its wheels were at rest.
Conductor came to me to make the ticket, “Where?” he asked my destination.
“Last stop.” And I handed him a five hundred note.
“I don’t have change.” He tried to return me my money.
“Keep the change, just let me sleep. Please don’t disturb me until we reach the last stop.” And I closed my eyes.
It took me a while to rewind my last night adventure when I woke up. The bus was not moving, maybe they were taking a halt. I looked outside the window to spot a toilet. All I could see outside were tress, trees on both side of road. No shop and no houses, only trees. We were in a forest.
“Where are we?” I asked the conductor.
“We were close to Rishikesh. Our engine failed, so we are repairing it.”
I sipped the water from my bottle, grabbed my bag and decided to smoke a cigarette in woods.
“Where are you going?” The conductor spotted me getting off the bus.
“For a walk.”
“We are about to leave any minute.” He replied.
“No worries, in which direction is the nearest city?” the wood was calling me for a walk.
“Nearly ten kilometers.” He directed his finger towards the city.
“Ok then please don’t wait for me. Thanks for the ride.” And I got off the bus.
“But that isn’t the last stop.” He shouted from the window.
“For me, it is.” I lit one of the cigarettes and wished good morning to myself. The first morning of my new life. And moved my legs into the wood.
Dry leaves were making a musical sound after being crushed by my foot, I counted the money left in my pocket. Five thousand and seventy rupees, enough for me right now. I would easily get some part time job. My plan was clear, I was going to hire a lawyer and crush my dad, this year I would drop my studies. I would try for IITs next year, till then I would arrange money for my fee too.
With my plan prepared and lungs filled with tobacco, I decided to take a walk in the wood. I was born in Delhi and was never take on tour by school or family, so this greenery was new for me. The environment here was so peaceful, I was feeling hungry so I opened my bag to get my potato chips out and my eyes got onto the marijuana.
I sat on a nearby rock ate my chips, drank water and made my roll. When everything was done, I inhaled the poison, “Bum Bhole.” And allowed the intoxicants to take control over my mind. Rafel would be missing me, was he fed today? I was supposed to take him to the vet today. I was missing my buddy badly, it was nearly half a day of my free life, but it was at that moment I felt alone. Alone, free to do anything, no one to stop me. And no one to love me.
I should hurry, water in one of my bottle was already finished. I packed my stuffs, with my bag on my shoulders and my Chillum stuck in the fingers of my right hand, I moved ahead. This tobacco was shit, it was inflammable, I was bored of flaming it again and again. I kept roaming in those woods till evening but I didn’t reach the city.
I looked at my watch, four thirty eight pm. I was wandering in the woods for more than seven hours, where the hell was the city? Finally unable to hold anymore, I threw my bag on the ground and decided to climb one of the trees. I picked a tall but bent one, easy to climb. I climbed to the extent it was humanly possible, but all I could see was forest, no roads, no city, not even a house. Was I lost? Really?
My first day alone and I was lost? Wow, nice start asshole! Was that the freedom I always dreamt of? The sun was going down, so it was easy to pick the directions, but what was use of that? Neither was I aware of the direction of Rishikesh, nor did I paid attention to the sun when I got off the bus. I was about to give up, when I saw a trail of smoke. Smoke? That means fire, and fire meant human, finally I was saved. This time I kept the mental note of the direction and also calculated an approx angle of the smoke from my tree.
I started running in that direction, whoever he was, he would soon leave for his house. I would have to reach him before he leave. I climbed one more tree just to check the direction, I was going right, the smoke was more clear and more near to me.
And finally I was there, my lungs were out of air, mouth was dry as desert. A clearing was clearly visible in front of me, fence was made was huge rocks, it was like a small house inside the forest, but the interesting fact was that there was no house. All I could see was a zigzag fence and a fire, someone was sitting behind the fire. I walked towards him.
Fire was making him look scary, he was covered in dust, his face was not visible, only dust and his facial hairs were visible. He was looking like a priest but less civilized. And then it hit me, was he a tantrik? I had read about them, they were known for giving human sacrifices and black magic.
Should I run? As soon as this thought came in my mind that man opened his eyes, as if he heard me planning to run. Very well, now I was fucked! Clearly he was living here, and this forest was familiar to him, plus it was already getting dark. So running was not only a bad idea but that was a foolish image to make in front of him. I never believed in god, and if god was a myth then ghosts and evil spirits were a myth too. So trying to act brave, I walked towards his fence. He was still sitting there, eyeing me. His eyes were red, as if he was drunk or was badly in need of sleep or perhaps about to kill me.
I tried to show some manners and decided to take his permission before walking in his territory.
“Baba, can I come in?” I spoke in Hindi, he was a monk so him knowing English was out of equation.
He examined me for a moment and then nodded.
I sat in the farthest corner. The ground was not plain, it was having very small peaks here and there. And they were also arranged in a perfect manner. Like they were created by someone.
“Sorry for disturbing you baba, please continue your pooja, I would wait for it to end.” What was that smell? A very bad smell was coming, something burning, and then my eyes moved at the only burning thing visible to me.
Holy crap! It was an animal. Him burning animal was ok. But he was surely not a monk, he was worshiping in front was dead animal. That was weird and scary too. But the calculation was already made, if he was a tantrik , I was dead for sure. So there was no need to run. I can’t outrun him, but I surly can beat the shit out of him if he would try to hurt me.
He was busy again, busy in his prayers. I very smartly grabbed a small rock and kept it next to me. Let the motherfucker attack. My wait was getting long, my clocked beeped at six fifteen. The baba opened his eyes at that sound, he was looking irritated but was again lost in prayers within a fraction of second.
Six fifteen, yesterday at this time I was lying under the tree, ready to go back to my house, go back to my family, go back to my dog. What would they be doing right now, my absence would not be missed so much. My mom would be cooking food for the family, Siya as always, would be busy watching her cartoon show. Riya the bitch would be fucking someone and mom would be thinking that she is at Seema’s home, preparing for the upcoming B.com exams.
But Rafel? He would be missing me, he was all I had, and I was all he was having. And a tear dropped from my eyes, my childhood taught me to be stone hard when it comes to emotions, I was surprised to feel the tears rolling down my cheek, running wildly across my face and the finally dropping on the ground through my cheekbone. When I was child I use to lick my tears, today too I licked my tear. The taste was familiar, and millions of memories banged in my head.
Memories I worked my whole life to bury, all of them were coming out of grave, out of grave? And I heard a click in my head. Out of Grave! I was sitting in a graveyard. All these peak were of buried bodies. Yes I was surely in a graveyard.
I was sitting in the most haunted place and it was dark everywhere. Surely I was going to die today. I considered again about running away from this creepy man and his place.
Ok let’s make a pro vs. con list, I was nearly out of water and food and I was in a dark forest. So running out of here was a scientific suicide. And why was I running? Because I was scared of ghost and tantrik?
Ghost? My dick!
If he was a tantrik, then I was dead for sure and if run then also death would be waiting for me. So why not stay and hope for the best. I can easily kill him, if it comes to a fight.
Twenty four hours back I was living a happy life, I had everything and now here I am, on the edge of life. Clearly future is unpredictable.
My mind was in a mess, tons of thoughts, memories were hitting me. Hence I decided to take my medicine, the marijuana. I prepared the mixture, filled it in my chillum and lit it with the help of my lighter. “Bum Bhole!”
I heard an echo of my words, but that was not my voice. I gave a look towards that baba. Hmm, so he was the source of the sound. He was still muttering inaudible chants but his eyes were fixed at me. Maybe he was too judging me for consuming marijuana. After gazing in his red eyes for a few second I dropped my eyes. Minutes were longer then days but still they were passing. Ten o’clock and he was still busy in his chants.
One thing was clear that he was not evil, since he repeated Bum Bhole with me so he was a believer in god. I was in a dark forest, with nothing to eat and a lunatic baba. He was not evil, but his gestures were not so friendly either. I was feeling sleepy, but to fall asleep was an open invitation for him to kill me, what if he was a freak? I was having enough money to make him greedy. I peeked at him, he was still busy in his chants with his eyes closed. I grabbed my money from my pocket and stuffed them in my underwear. That was the safest place available to hide my money.
I used my bag as a pillow, and laid flat on the hard ground. The countless stars were visible in the sky, I tried to make images in them. I made an ice cream, a boat and finally a dog, a dog! What would be Rafel doing right now? Was he taken to the vet? Where would he be sleeping? And I closed my eyes.