It is getting late. The bus leaves in one hours time. I guess, I truly live up to the belief of my forefathers, the so called disciples of St. Thomas, we believe in things only after touching and learning it for ourselves. I made true of my ability to stand up the same way. I scrambled on to my feet from the couch and I proved to myself, I could stand. The rickety ride to the 'Majestic' in an old auto-rickshaw did me no good but the fighter inside never takes a defeat. When all caution and common-sense advised me to get a good nights sleep and party again the next night, I couldn't. I walked an imaginary straight line to the bus, climbed the steps, as if it was the first step of human kind on Mars; I managed to dump my bag underneath my seat and settle down in slumber, all in a matter of minutes.
Bangalore, the beer capital didn't fancy me anymore. I wanted ocean. I wanted to spend the weekend basking in the tropical sun and not rubbing my perspiration on a stranger on the dimly lit dance floor. I couldn't stand the odor of the intoxicating mixture, sweat and cologne for one more day. I wanted a week-end out at the beach, cleansing myself of that nauseating smell of Bangalore. My mean of making it happen, very simple, get the next bus to Mangalore. But, then I hadn't ever thought I will be making this journey drunk, in a semi conscious state, trying with all my might to remember the name of the place I was supposed to get down. The dizziness of vodka mixed with the long day that was coming to an end, made sure that my fellow passengers had an occasional snore to keep them company.
The throbbing pain in my bladder, it is the thing that got me awake from the blissful slumber. The bus was moving fast, sketching shades of orange, on the long serpent adorning the western ghats. Nature was enjoying, the pain I was in, my necessity to take a leak and the big barrier called Kannada, which I never tried learning. I phrased the words I wanted to say to the driver, rehearsing it, I walked to the front and out of no-where came another person right behind me, holding a bottle of water. This good Samaritan, said something in an outburst, which I recognized as Kannada and in no time, the driver slammed on the break pedal. Wow.. Mission accomplished even without opening my mouth.
I got down, walked to a little dark bush nearby, unzipped my pant and I hear the growl of the new volvo engine. Good thing to do! I thought to myself, got to admit the driver is sensible. It is a mountain road through the jungle and badly lit, wanting to park the vehicle where the road is a bit more wide, is being responsible. But, then the driver had other plans, he didn't start it to park it at a safer place, but to continue the journey, following the serpent. I ran behind, struggling to close my zipper, but he never heard. The good Samaritan had already taken an off beat path down the hill, I ran up to him and asked him the reason why he got down. He pointed to the top of a hill, a single yellow dot marked his house and he continued his walk without even bothering to invite me over.
I am stranded, with 10 rupees in my back pocket on a mountain road. My wallet is in my bag and so is everything else, safe and secure in the bus. Fear welled up inside me, I ran for some time, waving at all passing cars for a lift. But then, a stranger in the middle of a night, with a drizzle settling in, on a mountain road, is the last one, any straight headed man would want to offer a lift. I couldn't breath, I shouldn't have run. It did me no help other than making me tired and struggle for breath. I am wet, with sweat and rain. I feel cold, I feel alone. I would have exchanged all the treasures I compiled, for a mug of coffee. The cold wind dampening not just the body, but also the spirit. I am willing to face the other demons in the morning, in daylight. I want shelter, I want some place to sit down, away from the rain and the cold wind, but shelter proved elusive. Stranded in the middle of no-where, a night spend wondering about the luck of my stars which made me get down from the bus to take a leak.