A little slip
“abe, its recording. Say something.”
“Oh crap you caught me off guard. Fine I’l start! (clears his throat) LONAVALA… paradise on earth. On this historical day five brave hearts embark upon this dangerous journey to conquer the land of LONAVALA.”
Cameraman says “dude that’s lame!”
“What the hell! Hey I am in my zone dude! Let it play. I know you’ll like it! Anyways to the one’s that watch us. We five brave hearts from the land unknown come to begin our journey to the land of lonavala. This monsoon is going to be a monsoon none of us will ever forget. And hence begins our journey…okay this is sounding really lame…let‘s take it again…. LO…”
CLICK. The video pauses and the frame freezes. On screen you have a young twenty year old with a smug smile and a goofy face staring back at the room.
From a dark room watching this video comes a hoarse stern voice, “ Sir this video was found from their car. I believe it can help us.”
“isn’t this an accident? Why cant we just shut it down?” another voice shot in the dark.
The same hoarse voice responded, “ Because this is no ordinary accident. This can become a high profile case. We cant just shut it down. The anonymous call changed everything. Media coverage is our biggest worry. We are under tremendous pressure to get to the bottom of this.”
A deep voice responded, “ do we have all of them in custody?”
“yes sir, they are all waiting outside.”
“Have you covered the crime site?”
“we have sealed it off to visitors. But we couldn’t get much. The only thing we have are these video tapes and the statements of these kids.”
“hmmm… put each of them in a separate room and we will interrogate them individually! Lets see which one of them is lying!”
I remember what my old man had told me as I was about to get on the train to go to my new college. He told me, “ Son you are going on a journey that would decide your life ahead. So DON’T MESS IT UP!” and did I mess up my life. But I hade four partners in crime. My friends. My college buddies. The people I booze with, the people I loot for money and the assholes who leave me with an empty wallet, every chance they get.
Living with them through the up’s and downs taught me a lot about life. And I guess we struggled a lot to survive and had to fight to sustain our friendship. Things always get complicated when you start falling in love with your best friend. But I really thought we’d been through it all. I planned this trip to lonavala to bring them all back. Its tough work but when Roshini came up and told me all the undercurrents that nearly destroyed each of us I knew it was time to do something.
So the moment our last paper got over and my buddies started pouring out from their horrid life ending experiences ( for all except Sameera) I left each of them a text.
The text was simple:- Meet me @ 6. Nr our colg gate. Bring toothbrush, 3 pairs of clean underwear, ur own towel n cams. Be there on time. M takin u places J
I knew how each of them must’ve reacted. Roshini would’ve smiled and followed the text message to every core detail. Gunjan would be jumping up and down on his bed. He knew I’d arrange for the booze and getting drunk was the only state that kept him happy after exams. My best friend super geek Sanjay would be half asleep when he’d see the message and would give me half a smile, call me a bad word and start packing. Because he could never let me go alone. And finally Sameera, she’d be the only one who’d text me back asking where we were going, how would we go, what arrangements have been made… etc etc. its not easy to take Sameera Trivedi out on a spontaneous trip. Never in my life have I ever seen her take an adventure without planning it right down to the very last detail. Her motto in life if you plan it right you’ll end up having more fun, and what can be better than organized fun. I barf every time I hear it.
So I stood there by my Red Ferrari ( okay its an INDICA). I am no AMBANI. But me and Gunjan call it the FERRARI. Because we have gone to ‘high’ places in that indica. Its my prized possession. I had to get First class for two consecutive semesters in order to lay my hands on that sweet ride. My father is a wise trader. His conditions demanded a first class result, an economical budget of 25k per semester and no piercing in private or public parts of my body till at least my first year and then Ferrari would be mine. All mine. So I cheated shamelessly, have unpaid accounts in several places and I got nothing pierced but something tattooed. After all the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I stood by my Ferrari thinking about my old man I saw the four heroes coming through the gate. Over packed roshani, under packed Gunjan, smartly packed Sanjay and an agitated Sameera came walking towards me. Gunjan jumped right next to the driver seat and Roshini and Sanjay quietly sat in the back seat. As I was about to take my seat Sameera pulled me back and began the lecture I had heard every time we ever did something crazy. Her lips were moving and I could actually lip synch. I felt like I am her groupie and she was my rock god. And I was mouthing the words to her most popular song. It was the usual how can you be so irresponsible and such a huge prick. You cant reply. I have worrying parents I need to answer too. I don’t have money growing on trees. It’s not that easy for a girl to just jump into a car and drive off to neverland. You know you had me worried. I haven’t slept a wink since you told me this and I had been up all night. Blah blah blah.
Once her siren was off she took her seat still agitated. Poor Sanjay. He was stuck between two women who wouldn’t make his journey any easier. As soon as we hit the road. Sameera dozed off. And she is a drooler. While Roshini had this irritating habit of playing annoying car games from the usual ‘20 questions’ to ‘add the number plate numbers’ . Sanjay being the coy gentleman he is, he lent his right shoulder to a drooling Sameera and his left ear and sacrificed his peace of mind to Roshini’s incessant questions about who the celebrity was in Sanjay’s mind. Me and Gunjan spared a few thoughts for the unlucky bastard and then went back to discussing cricket, chics and booze. Those were my friends.
Despite their drama I knew they trusted me. Neither had asked where I was taking them. I loved them all. But I knew we all needed it. Though on the surface we were perfect but inside there were a lot of unresolved emotions that if suppressed any longer could turn nasty. At least that’s what Roshini told me. But she worded it so well I had to use it. Makes you sound smart. But I knew something she didn’t- to every problem we had ever had there was always one solution. A camp fire, booze and a lot of talking. Always worked wonders. And I knew Lonavala would make things all right. I really wish I had known then what I know now. Of how it all turned out. Could have spared me a lot of drama and most importantly of this mess we all were in. Oh man did life screw us!
part 2 will be out in two days.... temme if you want to read more...