-by Mregank Soni
Today was the day of their departure. My parents were unwilling to leave me solitary in the hostel and go back. It is very far away from here and there was almost no one to care for me.
In my neighborhood, the room next to me, there was Piyush whom I knew very well. He also agreed to see off my parents. We got a taxi and went to railway station which was about 16 kilometers from there. Everything seem to be too far in Kota, popularly known as the coaching hub of India. There was too much traffic on the road and we were almost exhausted during our journey to railway station. Finally we reached the station and the train had arrived as well.
After seeing off my parents, we both left the railway station and so did the train.
My parents gave both of us 200₹ for our daily expenses. It was around 12:00 in the night and all the local taxi services in the city ceased after 10 O’clock. So we agreed to pay almost the double amount that was charged during normal time and finally got a taxi which seemed to be very fine from outside but from inside it was like an old graveyard. The taxi driver was also an interesting figure. He was fat, bald headed and short in height, who seemed to be a thief by his physical appearance.
The taxi finally got into motion. Thinking that everything was fine, Piyush asked me to narrate the embarrassing, but rather humorous event which occurred during the annual function of my school. While telling him the story, both of us completely forgot the way we have come and the taxi driver took an unknown turn. In response we paid almost no attention to where he was going and the road he took, as we were busy laughing at each other’s faces.
It was a lonely road and nothing was visible outside taxi except infinite darkness. No streetlights, no shops and no houses. It was actually the suburban area around of the city and all, which was there was, a silent road.
We thought of asking the taxi driver. But what ?? We didn’t even knew the road we were traveling. Finally there was a halt, but it was not our destination. The taxi driver told us that he was going to carry a sack of grain which he has to deliver somewhere. He requested us to wait and now we were scared as hell inside the taxi.
Piyush said that he had never visited that area before. He told me to run and escape if something unexpected happens. I had no clue what to do, since it was my first time in that place.
I was very much afraid and was lamenting on my foolishness that I had done while travelling and not observing the road. Five minutes had passed and there was no sign of the taxi driver. We were afraid and could not think of what next to do. Piyush suggested to run away and I, as we had no better choice, appreciated his plan. We started moving slowly but then we heard some noise from our left. We stopped and pretended like we were simply standing. But ‘phew!’, it was just a small kitten. Now we started discussing about the road we would choose for running away.
‘The taxi driver would anyway catch us with his taxi !’, he said, and this sent shivers down my spine.
Meanwhile the driver arrived with a sack of wheat on his back and kept inside the taxi. We were more afraid as he was looking even more dangerous than before. He started the engine and once again we sat inside that terrifying taxi. This time there was no sound except that of engine, the silent road and the infinite darkness. We forgot all the chatting and were simply sitting, silently inside the moving taxi.
The only visible thing, that too merely, was the road in the front. Beside the road, was a deep narrow ditch. We felt too helpless as we couldn’t even jump from the graveyard and escape from the ghost – the taxi and its driver. Piyush whispered that the best method to escape was to kill the taxi driver and run away from there but I said It should be our last option unless we think of something else.
…..and the silent road continued, also our mobile phones were also in silent mode. Everything was too silent.
We were going and going and now Piyush realised that it was the same road he came across one day, hence we gained some confidence and a ray of hope lightened up our hearts. Slowly markets started appearing and now, although closed, different shops were visible, and neon lights of different advertisements, were were glowing, fancy stuff in the educational hub. Now we were in the city where there were people, lights, markets and the taxi was still moving but it no longer seemed to be a scary graveyard. Soon we realized that we were going to reach our hostel where our parents left us for our studies.
Finally the taxi stopped in front of the hostel and we walked. I called my father and informed that we had reached safely and were no longer terrified.
But to our disappointment the chain of problems did not ended here. We saw a drunk man holding stone in his one hand coming towards us and smiling. He was about to throw the stone at us. Piyush said that he was a mad man and could harm us and we decided to run from there. Suddenly there was power cut in that area. There was only one street light and that too very far away from us.
There was once again a silent road and a lonely environment and a ghost holding a stone was coming towards us. The ghost shouted and threw the stone and our hearts stopped beating. When the stone was finally in the air, we turned our faces to see where it was actually going. We again started running as fast as we could, but after running some distance we realized it was not a ghost, but a man who was trying to hit a dog which was troubling him.
We finally entered our hostel, got into the room, switched off lights and slept !!
This event became a matter of laughter for me and Piyush in the following journeys. Although we were both were scared as hell, but this proved to be a lesson for us as well.
‘What a terrifying ordeal it was, i am glad its over!’, said Piyush, while we returned back to our homes after our studies ended.