December 28, 2010

The Lonely Night


It is a dark stormy night as I make my way down the muddy slippery dirt-track towards my destination. I do not want to stop because it is not safe.
Wild animals are rumored to roam these path at night, and especially at a night like this, even unearthly beings might be out on stroll. I check the path in the headlights of my motorcycle… I can see only a few feet in front of me. The rest of the path is swallowed by the mist. That’s why I do not see the huge chasm created by the recent mudslide.
One moment I am peering in the rain, the next …I am laying on the mud. Raindrops pelt my eyes. My motorcycle makes a loud sputter and dies. Shit! Shit! Shit!
I heave it upright and try to kick life into the engines but I can’t. Shit!
Leaving it I look around…can’t see a thing. I reach inside my backpack and grope for the new torch I had bought that morning. It doesn’t work. Damn! I had forgotten the batteries.
I use the meager light of the cell phone. I try to get my bearings but I barely recognize the stretch in front of me. Where am I? I try my cell phone. There is no network. Perfect! Not only am I alone in the middle of the night, in the middle of some unrecognizable stretch of road, I am also ‘not reachable’. I curse my luck. J___a!
Why did I have to stop at that roadside bar? Why did I have to forget my destination and indulge in some beer? Now that the beer has been washed by the wet cold rain, I crave company.
What should I do? I must decide something. Survival tactics flash across my mind. Episodes of ‘Man vs. Nature’ flashes across. I crosscheck the contents of my backpack mentally. Do I have anything that might be useful this dark night? I have 2 packets of wai wai, a half pet bottle of coke, my cell phone charger, my purse, diary, doma, spare pants, the useless torch, and my knife. I am prepared.
I take the knife in my right hand and the cell phone in my left. Securing the bag, and leaving the motorcycle I start my journey. I plan to keep my helmet on because not only is it keeping the rains off, it will protect my head in event of any mishaps. My eyes are fixed on the path but my mind is very vigilant to any sound. The slightest snap of a twig sounds like gunfire.
Soon the rains subside… it is only drizzling. But I am tired. For how long have I walked?
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