Last 36 hours…


I’d quickly wrapped my meetings for the day and I was free by second half so I called few of my friends to see who is free to catch up for the new movie justice league.

Fortunately or unfortunately only one was free, she was ready to come for the movie. We both reached the mall I quickly took some munches and headed towards the multiplex. After entering in she started going in one screen, I asked her “The movie will start after 15mins why are we going in right away?” “Actually Milu, we are not going to watch Justice League, we are going to watch Qarib Qarib Singlle.” She replied and bang I lost my temper I should have realised it when she said will book the tickets I didn’t realise it was a trick which she played her. Her intention for booking the ticket was to make me watch a Bollywood movie rather than going to the Justice League. (P.S.: So guys if your female says she will book the ticket never ever trust her, it is a trick to watch some romantic Bollywood movie). She literally dragged me into the movie only in one term and condition I’m not at all paying for the movie and dinner, later on, to which she agreed.

Ok, here is the twist in the article the movie was actually good after a long time I really enjoyed a Bollywood flick. Actually, I’m in love with Parvathy Menon, a perfect South Indian lady with brilliant expression. (P.S.: Guys sometimes, I repeat sometimes let the girl decide some random Bollywood movie, you never know you may fall in love with the actress and get a new celebrity crush in your life.)

So after the movie my friend had to leave for Bengaluru to meet one of her interior designing customers, she asked me if I can join her I gave it a thought and her bribe that I will get to some real South Indian beauty on the trip made me influenced to join her. She quickly checked that is there any seats available for the same bus in which she was travelling fortunately got one slot, two different berths but the same bus. After boarding the bus did little maska pani to one double bedded passengers they agreed we move to there seats and the craziest journey of my life began. We started off around 8 o’clock from Mumbai had the food we parcel on our way and started binge watching FRIENDS. By the time bus took its first halt for refreshments around 12 in the night we had already completed season, but the fun part was the fellow passengers who had seen us laughing all this time gave us some ridiculous looks for laughing on the top of our voices in a public bus. We both controlled our laughter over the looks which we got.

After the bus started again towards Bengaluru we continued our binge-watching but this time we got complains from the passengers so we eventually we wrapped up the episode and decided to sleep. My phone started ringing at 7 o’clock next morning I disconnected initial few calls and the 5th call was from my dad I can’t disconnect this one so I answered the call, “Where are you? Why are you not answering to mom? Why was your phone not reachable from last one hour and which is the service provider replying in some South Indian language?” I was bombarded with some questions. Before I answer them dad reminded me of the Pooja was on very next day at 8 in the morning back at Nashik, and before answering to all the previous questions I realised I’m screwed royally this time. “Dad I’m headed to Bengaluru right now for some business work, I had fallen asleep so didn’t answer mum. Yeah, I’ll make sure I’ll reach tomorrow before 8.30 am.” I quickly lied to dad. But he is my father he knew my marketing region is no longer is in South so he said, “My dearest son, you no longer work in the southern region so stop making me fool and as of now do whatever you are doing but reach tomorrow quickly, you’ll tell me truth tomorrow after Pooja.” “Uh! Okay, dad.”

I panicked out and called a friend of mine, asked him to get him the fastest and cheapest way to reach to Nashik. He checked out buses, train and flight none of them was helpful for me to reach, buses had an awkward timing, one single train to Mumbai which took 24 hours to reach which would leave Bengaluru at 7 in the evening and flight tickets were expensive to make me broke for a couple of weeks. I’ll criticise this ahole some other day for now just consider it was a wrong decision to call him and seek to advise I took he simply asked me to skip the Pooja back at Nasik.

I calmed down myself, called maa and see if the pooja can be postponed at least for a couple of hours to which maa initially scolded me later said she can try to postpone at least for one hour only. That’s all I wanted at least that I thought so at the particular moment. I called up old contacts at Bengaluru, he said he will try to get me some arrangements to reach back as soon as possible.

We reach Bengaluru at 1 pm, she visited the site of the customer I started calling several people for making an arranging vehicle to reach Nasik in next 20 hours, that’s 9.30 am. Got cheapest option to take a private cab till Pune which was charging us nearly Rs. 6,000, to which we had to other option to agree as the next bus departs from Bengaluru is at 3.30 and we had to leave the city in next 30-45 mins. We agreed I took snacks and few cartons of juice while driving to the site of the customer. 2 o’clock we started off with huge traffic in front of us. A real test of patience can be seen only in such situation where every minute counts and you are stuck in traffic.

3.30 we reached Nelamangala By-Pass 15 mins delayed than the usual time that what the driver informed us. My phone rang, Incoming call… Maa… “Hello beta! so are you coming tomorrow or we should complete the pooja without you?” “No, I’m already on my way back home. No need to worry I will surely reach Nasik by 9.30” I replied her back. “That sounds interesting if you by then. I surely have to distribute sweets throughout Nasik” she said in a sarcastic manner, “Not so funny Maa.” I replied.  “Son you have created this mess for yourselves I’ll simply enjoy the whole show as of now. Bye!” “Bye.” the call got disconnected. I felt like maa is playing “Khatam Kahani” from Qarib Qarib Singlle in the background.

The driver was a professional one just a right Angel for us at this right moment. He drove a perfect speed with proper safely switching the lanes. In all this, we both were now helpless just wait and reach Pune safely and calmly. The E.T.A. to reach Pune was 4 o’clock in the morning, and then catch another cab or bus till Nasik. Whichever was first available for us to reach.

We started playing the songs of the iconic movie, Dil Chahta Hai. No matter what the situation is songs from this particular movie perfectly blends in the car journey. We started sharing different stories of the several trips which we had been individual or with someone. The driver also joined in telling stories of his several journeys where his customers have travelled. Laughed our hearts out on the several incidences which we came across in last 24 hours and what more is in line for us to experience.

We decided to take a halt for 15 mins at the very next restaurant. We came across few restaurant before deciding the decent one, we quickly took our refreshments. Now, this the important part, the bill amount was 536₹ and when the cashier swiped the card he made a transaction of 356₹ I realised this as soon as he handed me over the customer slip, the first thing I asked the driver and the friend is to leave the restaurant as soon as possible. Agreed, a difference of 180₹ is not that huge or we can’t pay that sum, but getting a free discount in any form will always be joyful if you know how it really feels. The driver and my friend didn’t realise what exactly happened at that particular moment but after we rushed out of the place I told them the discount benefit we got making us a shoplifter without actually wanted to be one, at this moment. It has the same feeling like the irritating the local shopkeeper outside your college where you have shoplifted few chocolates just to tease him and having fun in getting free chocolates will always be joyful.

I somehow convinced to the driver to let me driver for certain stretch, I really can’t skip the idea of not driving a car when I am on the highway and grabbing this opportunity was simply great. The Mumbai-Bengaluru highway has been a great road which I have seen many times but driving on it was simply more fun. My friend started to play Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill”

But I can’t wait to go home
I’m on my way
Driving at 90 down those country lanes
Singing to “Tiny Dancer”
And I miss the way
You make me feel
And it’s real

These lines were the perfect catalyst to make us high on the trip, even though we both visit Nasik regularly.

As night comes closer and we both were tired as hell from this long journey we eventually dozed off around 9 o’clock which was way earlier than we expected. Around 3 in the morning I woke up with a jerk that I missed out the early bus to Nasik. The driver assured me we are on right track and but kinda late like 30 mins or so. I came up the front seat and let my friend occupy the last seats completely. We reached Pune, Nashik Phatta around, 5 o’clock which was nearly 45 mins delayed from the E.T.A. which we had initially. We got fresh up at one of the local restaurant, adieu the driver who was the Angel for us (surely have to be in contact with him) and took the very next bus direct to Nasik.

7.30 am my phone starts ringing, Incoming Call… Maa… and my heart skipped a beat. “Good Morning Maa…” I said as I answered the phone call, “Good Morning so are you attending the Pooja or not?” Maa quickly questioned me. “Of course Maa, I’m about to reach by 9.30. I have left Pune a long time ago.” I replied to her question. “Wah! That’s great see you soon beta. Bye.” “Bye Maa.” It was the tiniest achievement which I was going to achieve in next couple of hours.

9.30 got a call from Dad, asking the same question that is I am attending the Pooja or not. Running late due to useless halts of the bus delayed me to reach me on time to Nasik, I said I’ll be home by 10 o’clock maximum, to which he replied “Let’s see, we are starting the Pooja hope you reach on time.” and disconnected the call.

And finally, I reached home by 10.05 am I think so because this paragraph is being written a day later after all the things being handled. Even though the Dark Side was strong making sure I don’t reach Nasik on time I somehow managed to reach home nearly on time because the force was with me. Really sorry for that Star Wars Puns, but this trip was the craziest one which I ever did. Period. Even my friend has reached home safely and called up the driver to know about his whereabouts he got another customer back till Bengaluru but he didn’t have the fun while going back like he did with us.

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road. – Jack Kerouac

Peace! ~ αm