The Most Beautiful Night...

A cold and rainy day in a hill town is scary and at the same time it is lovely. A December night, rainy and chilly, the unseasonal rain had worsen the weather. I was waiting for my college bus during a weekend, which usually departs at 8 PM from the city center to my college campus, situated in jungles outside the outskirts of the city. There were hardly six or seven of us waiting for the bus. All of them were unknown faces and mostly were workers from the neighboring village of our college campus. It was a cold day, even the known faces would have been difficult to recognize, given everyone was under the cover, masked by mufflers or monkey caps or both. 

The era of smart phone zombies was yet to arrive. Forget about smart phones, even normal mobile phones were rare those days, and hence time pass at the bus stop was a little harder. So chit chat was the best time pass. While looking for the know faces, I recognized one familiar face. It took a while to realize, that a shy & cute girl from my class, was probably waiting for the same bus. We were in the same class, but hardly had a conversation earlier. Anyway, it was good to have at least one familiar face, in the pool of unknown countenance. We were the only two students.

It was around 8:30 PM, all the shops nearby were closed, mostly due to the bad weather. Only a tea vendor with his movable stall remained. I overheard someone at the stall saying, there was some altercation in the afternoon or evening and that the bus has been cancelled for today. After few minutes, people started leaving. By 8:45 PM, the bus stop was empty. Everyone, except the girl and I, left. Although, we were not friends, but I waited, so that I can leave to my uncle's place, after she leaves, the place, which was now deserted.

She may or may not have recognized me, I don't know, but a responsible person inside me, somehow made me stay. She appeared little tense. As per her nature, which was widely perceived in the class, she may not have paid attention to the conversations happening at the tea stall. She appeared idiotically aloof to the situation. I was a bit hesitant to start the conversation, because despite she has joined our class last month, we hardly had any real conversation yet. The last thing I wanted to be was to look like a fool.

At around 9:00 PM, when she didn't moved an inch from her place and showed no signs of familiarity with the situation, I went to her and informed her about it. Her first reaction was like I have committed a crime by disturbing her eternal piece. However, within few seconds, she recognized me and the reaction turned a little friendly. I asked her, if she had any options to stay  in the city and come back next morning. She said, she will wait for the bus. Remember, this was the era of mobile phones being luxury and not yet have reached to common students. The affordable 3 Rs Per Minute plans were an year away and so was our mobile phones.

I decided to wait, thou didn't revealed that I was waiting due to her. After few more minutes, I gained some courage to ask her for a cup of tea in this chilling night. She agreed. Mostly due to the chilling and wet cold. We had tea and the ice started melting. Otherwise shy and reserved girl, which I knew, or rather didn't knew, was full of humor and sensitivity. She was definitely not the classmate I knew

By 9:30, the tea vendor, who was the last creature apart from us, at the stop, suggested us to leave the place as he was sure, the bus will not come. He also suggested to catch up some local trekkers, but we need to be lucky to get one. Trekkers are old Jeep like vehicle, wider and with extra row of bench seating between front bench and last sidewise benches. It was a common public conveyance from the town to outskirts and nearby cities.

She asked me, "what will you do?". Thou, my plan was to return back to my uncle's, I told her, I am coming to college. We immediately started walking towards the main road, to catch up a trekker. And praying that we should be lucky to get one of those last ones. We reached the main road by 9:45 PM, and were lucky enough to get one of those trekkers. We both kept quite in the trekker. It kept on halting at various places and we completed the otherwise half-an-hour journey in one hour and twenty five minutes.

11:10 PM is the time, by when most of the rikshaw-wallahs complete half of their sleeps. We were unable to get one. The weather was still cold, however the clouds started disappearing. The disappearing cloud resembled the disappearing uncomforting feelings between us.  To complete the journey to our hostels, we needed to travel another 3 kilometers towards the jungle. I had once walked this distance and there is no serious jungle or dangerous place the entire road. However, the entire stretch was secluded, not inhabited and little hilly, means walking was not that easy, especially during mid nights. 

With increasing cold and decreasing traffic, staying at the highway was unsafe, so I asked her, if she can walk down to the college campus. She agreed and we went on to an unforgettable journey of my life for another hour. It was cold, overcast but sometimes moon was peaking out. We were talking intermittently, she was slow while walking as well as in talking. We talked about our families, classmates, friends, hobbies and many important and not so important topics. She looked beautiful, charming and normal as compared to what I knew her as a classmate till day. A shy, boring and reserved silly girl. She was anything but boring. The sporadic dim light of the moon, kept on adding to the glow of her face.

I wanted the walk to be eternal, but good times don't last long. We reached the campus after a little over an hour. My hostel was near the main gate, but there was still few minutes of journey inside the campus left to her destination. She asked me to drop me till her destination. I came to know, she was not a hosteler. She lived with her parents in staff quarters. 

Our college campus was huge and 80% of the entire 800 acres of land are plantation and woods, which makes it spooky during the chilly, foggy and rainy nights. But now since I was in college campus, I was scared about something else, of my hostel mates and classmates. If anyone would notice me with a girl of my own class, my life in the hostel will become hell, it would be disastrous. But the gentleman inside me overcame the scary classmates and decided to drop her. Thanks to the gloomy night, no one could have noticed us.

Once she was home, I waited her to went in. I heard her parents, who were worried by then having shy of relief. She started telling them the story, when I left the place. Don't know yet, if I was part of that story. 

It was start of our journey, a beautiful one, a never ending friendship. I still wonder how a spooky, rainy and chilly night can be so beautiful. Thou there was nothing great about that night, It was a night, which is still dearest to me. 


Popular posts from this blog



My Golden Days ...