Chapter I - On the way home
I don’t know when I fell asleep. The screeching brakes of the car woke me up. My left arm felt numb. I don’t know how long I had held on to the handle right up there on the left side of the car hood. I had held I quite tightly, blame the roads – the zig-zags and the death traps…
As I opened my eyes all I could see was dense fog. The driver was maneuvering the curves slowly and for the first time we spoke.
I looked into him and asked, “Where are we”?
“About to reach Umium Lake”, he replied.
I sat up straight, stretched my arms, rotated my head in clock and anti-clock wise direction and looked at the watch. It was close to 01:45 hours. The Baul music was still ear-piercing. Not that I am saying this with disregard. I was wondering how could I have dozed off with such loud music blaring from the car stereo and my earphones glued to my ears still playing rock classics!
I had been travelling close to twenty hours now. I’d home in another three hours. The nearer I was reaching home the urge to get out of this travel schedule, to cozy up in my own bed in my ultra faded and over worn tees soared… and I knew I’d not move an inch for the next day. I’d hibernate for a day.
My mind is always full of thoughts. I did not hear what the driver was telling me. Its only when he nudged me I looked at him and asked, “What”?
“”Why don’t you go back to sleep”? , he said.
I looked behind me. The two women with an acutely irksome nasal voice were finally asleep. The two men travelling with them were asleep too snoring away. They were my co-travellers since 18:00 hours. And I must tell you they made my journey quite horrifying. Firstly they reached the taxi stand late; secondly they spent about forty five minutes in the railway station trying to get a refund for a missed train; thirdly they had nauseating body odor and fourthly in that terrible nasal tone of theirs they were singing songs!
I looked at the driver and said, “They all are finally shut” and we both laughed cheekily!
“No, I am not sleeping. It gets quite monotonous for the driver to keep steering when everyone shuts eye, especially the one sitting in front. This is what I do when I drive. So let me be awake”, as I told him checking my phone for yet one more time if there were any notifications.
And we got talking, about his life and mine, until one point I felt I almost hallucinated… sleep was coming back and my eye lids felt heavy.