We drove along the moist road as the sun kept peeping from behind the mighty clouds. We had decided to come to a trip to Sikkim in the vacations. The fact that made it memorable was that we three friends had come to a trip all alone. Our train had got cancelled so Soumi suggested to take the bus. It is so like Soumi. She always is the most matured and dependable one. And also the realistic one. Whenever Aditi and I am busy building imaginary castles she pulls us to the ground. That makes her the most wanted. About Aditi, she is almost like my bodyguard. I am a negative person so whenever I am negative she shows me the positive side of life. You cannot practically be sad with her. She would somehow cheer you up, Maybe by talking nonsense or maybe by cracking jokes but at the end you thank her with a beautiful smile.
We had skipped the lunch. Money had almost exhausted. We should not have shopped that much. Soumi stopped us but we continued. Though we regretted it now but it was too late. Our bus was supposed to take 14 hours and it was justified. So putting my headphones on, I bid adieu to the paradise and started humming a Rihanna song under my breath. Our next stop was at 9pm so I decided to doze off. I woke up with a sudden bang.
“What was that?”
“Umm.. I guess a speed breaker overlooked.”
“What is the time?”
“You were supposed to wake me up.”
“Our bus didn’t stop for dinner. And you would keep complaining about food so I let you sleep.”
“Such a complain box” Aditi said.
“Thank you Aditi, for the valuable addition. Oh I am tired and starving. Soumi, wake me up when we reach a decent place.”
Next time I woke up was about dawn.
“Hey you guys never wake me up” I said. Aditi was asleep and Soumi was engrossed in a book.
“We haven’t yet reached a decent place.” Soumi said peeking out of her book
“What??? Oh I guess I saw the same hut before I slept yesterday.”
“It is not a coincidence. We are at the same place since yesterday 10pm.”
“What our bus hasn’t moved an inch?”
“What are we going to do?”
Aditi woke up hearing us shouting.
“I have got such friends who don’t even let me sleep”
“Adi, we are at the same place since last seven hours. What would we do?”
“Since we cannot do anything, let us sleep.”
This line could have been said only by Aditi. She never gets tensed. I am so eager to know how she always keeps calm and is responsible to calm me down. When I see them I realize my imperfections and think whether I should change, but I think maybe they like me for the way I am. You cannot be perfect so why try being?
I got down the bus and looked for something edible but bad luck. The conductor later told me that there had been an oil spill, which is delaying the bus. I got up to see them engaged in a serious conversation. Without being interested in joining them, I just returned faithfully to my headphones. Taylor Swift had replaced Rihanna. Our bus stopped there for like three more hours. Eventually we got bored and we decided to talk about things. Topics exhausted but our bus refused to move any further. It was about 7 in the morning and we hadn’t eaten anything since last 20 hours. I joked that I could have eaten anything edible. Finally, we stopped at a place to have our breakfast where we were supposed to stop for dinner.
Don’t think we had an amazing breakfast. On a normal day if I would have been served pickle and rice, I would have thrown it but that day I considered doing otherwise.
“I will not eat it.” Aditi announced.
“I am eating.” Soumi said. That is like my twin sister I thought. We boarded our bus again.
“We were supposed to have reached by now.” I said.
“Think about it, we are getting more time to spend with others.”
“Soumi, I prefer this spending time at a comfortable place.”
She could not disagree. It was evident that we were tired of this journey, which seems unending. I fell asleep again and they got engaged in another conversation. When I woke up, I saw our bus stagnant again.
“What is wrong?”
I was restless. I badly wanted to change my clothes. My phone had minimal charge so I switched it off. I borrowed a book from Soumi and began reading it. Nicolas Sparks, I like his writing. Though I am not yet a die hard fan but he does a pretty good job. After reading a few pages I got bored. I nudged aditi.
“Adi, I am bored.”
“Think about something.”
When I am in maths class, I have millions of topics to think about but when you are trying to think, no topic comes in mind. I tried to think. When I was in class 7, my friends used to tease me that the shapes of my eyes are different. My favorite band may break someday. Once I got 13/20 in my favourite subject. No! I was not able to think something good. How I wanted to go back.. the warm bed and that hot chocolate and a headphone could cheer me up. I was sick and tired of staying in cold. I looked at Aditi, she was asleep. I do not understand how someone can sleep at this moment.
“You start crying. There will be a flood and the temperature will increase.” Soumi said. Her sarcasm cheered me up and made me angry at the same time.
It was around 3 pm and we were miles away from our destination. We were hungry and uncomfortable. Our bus broke down.
“What is wrong?” Soumi asked.
“Bus broke down.” Aditi replied.
“Look we are just near the station, so why not get down and take a train back home.”
“We donot have that much money”
“True. Get something to eat.”
I got down and saw a barren patch of land. The roads were flooded due to the never- ending rain and shops were all closed. I do not blame them. It was mid afternoon. I got up and took my seat.
“Any one has charge in their phone?”
“I have to call my parents. Why does this bus have no chargers?”
“It is a bus, not your customized Mercedes or Lamborghini.”
“I would prefer a beetle.”
“If I die out of hunger or pain then tell my mom that I love her endlessly. I missed her a lot before my death.”
“Your melodrama.” Soumi sighed
“Is good for you.” Aditi said singing an Ed Sheeran song.
After half of the people left the bus and we spent a good half an hour repairing, we started moving again. I was feeling that in our bus we had created an isolated system unharmed by the conditions outside. We kept on moving irrespective of every hurdle. Our journey was never destined to end.
Finally after spending a good 26 hours in a bus, we reached home 12 hours late. We got down at the bus stop.
“Pinch me Aditi.”
“I can’t believe I am home.”I said
Aditi pinched me.
“Ouch. Not so hard Adi. I am home” I screamed.
“We never came across spilt oil or an oil tanker” Aditi said.
“Because No oil had spilt at all.” Soumi said.
“So the traffic jam?”
“The police officials were taking bribe and our bus refused to pay it. Without bribe they weren’t letting people go.”
“My India. Where money is more important that humanity.” I sighed.
“So here ends the unending and unforgettable journey. Cheers to 26 hours @ NH 34.” I said.