It was my fourth semester, second year of engineering. My best friends were not always my partner-in-real-crimes. Then there was Aisha. She was a good friend and our sensibilities of having fun matched (for sometime). This story is a result of our determination & foolishness to make our one silly decision as entertaining as possible.
One fine Saturday evening, Aisha and I decided to raise the bar of our adventure. Maybe we needed a break from the oh-so-hectic-college. Sigh! So we planned an all-girls night-out. As it turned out, we were the only two participants :/
Anyhow… we went ahead with our plan. Nothing discouraged us.
The first step was to sneak-out from the hostel. I cannot elaborate on this. It won’t be intelligent to encourage the rest.
We packed our bag-sacks.
8:45pm: Outside hostel
We successfully managed to escape the vigilance of security guards and got on the other side of the hostel boundary wall. It felt so liberating! We looked at each other and giggled, “Hahah. It’s so easy to fool people…. I tell you!”.
Proud of our first achievement, we quickly walked towards the near-by auto rickshaw stand. We had our bags loaded with essential items such as a party-wear top, face wash, cream, comb, sanitizer, wallet…
However, we never made a plan of action for that evening :/ We concentrated so much on the sneaking out ceremony that we didn’t quite know what to do after the escape. Fortunately, one of us was had the daily newspaper in the bag. I opened the Pune-Times cinema section.
ME: Hey! Let’s go for this movie… charlie and chocolate factory. It stars Johny depp!! I have read the book … it’s going to be fun! It’s at 9:30pm… at E-square..
AISHA: Great! It will take us 30 mins to reach by auto… this is perfect!
So we happily left for E-square.
9:20pm : Journey to E-squareAfter having the usual argument with the auto-driver over the meter reading, we ran towards the ticket counter.
AISHA: Yaar… rady(as she calls me)…. 10 mins left! The queue is long… I hope we get the tickets.
ME: Yeah… Saturday night.. what to expect.. there is always a mad rush on weekends. Let’s see..
We finally got our tickets. Corner seats in front-row were strategically the most pathetic seating location Anyhow, we were determined to have a good time.
10:30pm : In the movie
ME: This is a terrible movie! I feel like throwing up…
AISHA: Yaar… thanks to you. We have to watch this torture! Why is everything so bloody PINK in this chocolate factory.
The movie made us diabetic and sick. The character Willi Wonka, played by Mr. Depp was unbearable. No offense! `
AISHA: Let’s go clubbing after this! The club at hotel Le’meridien is open till 2:00am. It will take us 20 mins to reach there.
ME: That sounds fun!
We both giggled at our genius plan. We paid Rs140 each for the movie…. noways we were gonna leave it in between!
11:20pm: Journey to the Club We got out of the multiplex. We spotted many young couples exiting the theater. We laughed over their PDA (public display of affection) . This was always such a fun thing to do!!
All the movie-watchers left within few minutes. It was really spooky !!! I clearly remember it was pitch dark and silent. Aisha confidently approached an auto-rickshaw.
Unaware about the next 20 mins, we both sat in the auto. The auto-driver stopped mid-way only to carry two more passengers. We argued that it was not fair. We lost the argument.
They were very shady looking men. The new seating arrangement sucked! I shifted to Aisha’s lap instead of getting sandwiched between her and the shady guy no:1.
Both of us were scared to death. We whispered in English.
ME: If anything happens…we sense something wrong… we both jump out!
The next 10 mins were the longest and the ugliest. That feeling of being unsafe was horrible. Fortunately, nothing happened and we reached our destination safely.
11:40pm: At the club
We were relaxed and wanted to have some fun after a terrible movie and a horrible travel. What could be more exciting than dancing!!
As we walked towards the club, two guys approached us. Aisha and I looked at each other.
Boy1: Hi.umm… stags are not allowed inside.
Aish: Sorry to know that.
We both continued walking towards the club entrance.
Boy2: We know it’s free entry for girls…We are not from pune. We are here on a business trip. We wanted to have fun to-nite… if you could help us to get inside the club. Please.
Fed up with their persuasive talks, we decided to help them and just close the matter. They looked decent but were way older than us.
We started dancing and joined another group of girls. The music was too good. We decided not to indulge in drinks at all. It was so much fun! Finally, something was going right.
Now, these two boys were trying to act smart. They started the sweet talks.
Boy1: Thank you so much!
Me: That’s okay.
I indicated Aisha and we both walked away to dance at some other place.
Boy2: We actually own Radio Mirchi.
Aisha: Oh that’s nice.
We continued to ignore them.
Too tiered to handle anymore situations, we devised a plan to get rid off them.
Aisha: Lets tell them that our boyfriends are waiting outside.
Me: Wow! This would sound so realistic!!… And what are we doing without our bf’s in a club??
(NOTE: I didn’t have a bf . Aisha’s status was ambiguous to me.)
ME: Okay..railway station is a minute away from here. So let’s tell that your boyfriend is arriving from Delhi. His would be reaching at 2:00am. We came to receive him.
AISHA: Yeah. And we can add that I wanted to surprise my boyfriend. Since, we had nothing to do till 2:00 am and the club was near by…. We decided to spend sometime here before heading to the railway station.
ME: Perfect. Tell them convincingly.
So Aisha made a fake call and pretended to talk to her boyfriend in front the two boys. She explained that we both need to leave for the railway station.
Boy1: Let us escort you till there. You have been helpful to us.
Boy2: Also, it won’t be safe to walk by yourself.
ME: No no. It’s not that far away. Besides if you step out of the club…you cannot enter back
AISHA: Yaaa. And this area is safe. The station is just across the road.
We didn’t wait for their response and sprinted out from there.
2:00 am: Railway station
ME: What we do now? What if they are following us?
AISHA: You are right. We cannot sit in the Comesum-Cafe at the station. They can spot us easily there. Let’s go to any platform instead.
By this time both our phones were completely discharged. After a 30 mins search, we spotted some decent looking people and asked for a nokia mobile charger. We promised to return it in the next 30 mins. The problem was that the railway station didn’t have any charging points. So, we randomly entered the TC office…it was empty. We happily sat their while my phone was getting charged.
Aisha: Now, what do we do?
Me: Hmmm… you know what.. I have heard my friends talking about visitng Lonavala early in the morning.. (Wicked smile)
Aisha: OOh! Nice… I get it.
After returning the charger, we went to the ticket counter and got two tickets to Lonavala. Departure time 4:30am. (A big bad mistake!)
The train had even more shady looking people. Fortunately, we spotted a group of missionary sisters and sat close to them. We tried not to sleep. The next 1.5 hours were terrible. We wanted to stretch out and take a nap. My eyelids felt so heavy. I think I slept on Aisha’s shoulder.
Aisha would transform to this motherly-kind-of- friend when needed. She was vigilant while I took a nap. (At least that’s what I think)
6:20 am : Lonavala.
It was an empty eerie looking station.It was pitch dark. Fortunately, the sun rose in few minutes. We went outside the station to the near by auto-stand.
If you are a visitor without a vehicle in Lonavala, extortion is what you will experience. The auto-wala asked us for Rs 250 per kilometer. We refused and decided to walk instead. It was such a pleasant weather and so scenic. We crossed many beautiful farm houses. We talked about our recent crushes, guys, life… marriage. We even selected farm-houses for our respective wedding location
Basically, we chatted all the way. We spoke about the same things that we talk about in hostel. But c’mon we were in Lonavala..on our own…fearless, excited and full of stories.
I must also mention about a street dog, ’Doggie’. Doggie followed us from the station. We really felt he was our protector. As we strolled along, we managed to find ourselves right in the middle of an action sequence. It was a ‘Dog-war’ between the two doggie groups i.e. Good dogs vs Bad dogs. Each one tried to protect its territory. I had never witnessed 20 dogs barking at the same time until then. It was a live horror show! Our protector doggie helped us to cross that juncture. I think God sent doggie to us
We came across a beautiful lake! Guess what we spotted in water? It was a miniture shivling !! (a representation of Lord Shiva’s idol) Looking at it, I prayed and also shared my secret wishlist with Lord Shiva
It was 7:45am. We couldn’t find our way back to the station. We were lost! So we climbed few hills and spotted a bus stand.
8:30am: At the bus stand
We had our break fast at a small tapri near the bus-stand.We contemplated whether to catch the bus back to Pune or visit Khandala
Finally, we decided to go back to our beloved hostel. We were very tiered and sleepy.
9:00pm: In the bus
It was not even a volvo bus!! It was a local rickety bus.
I don’t remember the bus journey. I slept during the entire travel. I don’t even remember taking an auto back to the hostel. Aisha took care of it.
Next day: Hostel
When we came back to our senses, we thanked God. We were simply lucky that night.
Our whole trip was a mistake. 101 things could have gone wrong that night. Our innocence and unstoppable silliness could have landed us into a lot of uninvited trouble. God took care of us.
I am sorry!
I have never repeated this mistake again.
Disclaimer: Aisha is a fictitious name. Identity of the actual person remains confidential.