By: Harjeet Singh
It was an ovenlike day as sun was emitting flaming rays .Atmosphere was hemmed in by silence and peace was rife in all directions owing to intense torridness .Birds had lost their chirping and open beaks were unable to hold their functioning.They seemed to have forgotten their natural activities scilicet(namely) preening,contest for new nests and fluctuation from one place to another.All schools were shut down for the safety of children and they were not making capital out of the opportunity to play any game under the canopy that been bestowed upon though it was under some crucial circumstances.Ravi and Vishal were sitting beneath margosa tree and were discussing how to be emancipated from overflowing situation.Vishal devised a plan to go on picnic spot in hilly area to avoid close atmosphere.Ravi laughing to himself consented to his proposal as animate smile was evidence of inward delight.They planned to go at Mandi situated circa one hundred miles far off their village and the day was fixed for falling out.
In the wee hours of morning they embarked journey on shanks mare,from village to bus stand,that was nigh through indirect beaten path by crossing fields.The tourist bus already arrived and the driver(Pritam) eagerly waiting for the couple viewed the twosome from window mirror with guess that they would be passengers and starting the bus approached to them by mitigating the distance as his certitude proved true as they began to rush lest bus driver should forget to accompany them. Both subsuming among others settled themselves without a hitch since many seats were empty, maybe they were to be occupied by subsequent enlistees(newcomers).In the way many outlandish scenes usurped their soul for stay and they induced Pritam to have a stop transiently.To mollify the fatigue of his jaded body,he consented to their proposal with affirmative nod.After a short period of rest all passengers speedily occupied their seats but Vishal and Ravi remained busy with their camera capturing lively scenes of Nature.Pritam tooted horn continuously, they stretched forth their steps so lazily to wit, they had no intention to get their original destination.So slowly they entered in, it seemed to Pritam that they had unwillingly left place and were peeping rearward until the bus extracted everything from their sight.He said that Vishal’s habits had very many similarity with that of his father as Pritam and his father were childhood friends.He had to leave his study from
college time because of adverse circumstances as his father passed away and financial condition plagued, on account of that he adopted the profession of a driver to pull the cab of family’s expenses. Or else he would have been an officer in government job like his father.He also recalled that days when they both were on a trip to Nanital and his father always lagged behind as he was not immune to heavenly charm of Nature. He went into details that his father before marriage proposed that he would do his best to bring his would-be child in the field of medical science. Next station Palampur came, it was a small city on zeninth surrounded by fetching lowland shrubs. On seeing panoramic beauty Vishal evinced his desire for adopting the profession of an artist,Pritam began to laugh and himself impressed by beautiful scene stopping bus said that he would like to light his cigarette.But then Ravi urged Vishal to take their meal to appease the badgering hunger and after that they would discuss the issue of photography.Both friends pounced upon their favourite dishes in such a manner as they were hunger perturbed from many days.Some new passengers were admitted in they took up their seats, driver came and possessed his seat and asked everyone to take their water bottles ,snacks, cold drinks because bus would not stop until the destination comes. Ravi leaving his seat went rearward portion of bus and engaged himself in bountiful talks with passengers and made everyone laugh with humorous talks while Vishal kept himself busy, sitting beside Pritam,in heart to heart talks.What with single lane road,Pritam not putting aside his foot from brake gave some jerks to passengers sometimes overtaking other four wheelers on circle shape road.Some were happy with sudden shocks but Vishal was all hung-up lest it should bash against some tree, motor car or some monkey crossing the road untimely.But Pritam overtopped his angst by giving a good example of his chops. After drawn-out spell bus arrived at final destination.That ambience surmounted old projects and sometime notions.Passengers jumped from bus like an alleged prisoners.Former atmosphere was subdued as it was neither hot nor cold.Having reached there they breathed again and moved everywhere as their penchant allowed.Ravi handed over the camera to other visitant asking that they be imprisoned together in photographs.Ravi hugging him with single arm faced many photographs, Vishal also following the same pattern had good photographs.They were embracing each other in such a manner as they were going to be departed.Vishal expounded his views by telling that his heart would never allow him to leave that place.
The place where they were standing like a piece of land in majestic ocean but in reality it was exceedingly swell portion of land situated on pinnacle beset by beautiful valleys fraught with shadowy trees.Though it was noon but in coolness it was like an evening time.They lunched in the restaurant made of woods and after that, on the either side of open lawn there was a small open sale of some branded items useful in daily routine that do not clash when someone visits one or two shops for general purposes.Vishal purchased some gifts for fair-haired ones,especially ring and glitering necklace for his girl friend and lockets and bracelets for others. And they moved further to see swarm as they were readying for swimming race competition Ravi being a good swimmer joined them and stood second while Vishal lagged behind among others as his no leaning towards that game.After that singing competition was held,albeit Ravi was not a good singer but banking upon his previous success he entertained other visitants with regional songs full of pleasure but then Vishal was content with single old bollywood song.
Last game of the day was horse riding competition,but both of them had no capability as it was for them a new thing they had to stand among others as spectators. And clapped on their successes encouraging them and gifted their own delight in participants’ pleasure.Evening was coming on and sun was going down as darkness was overpowering the daylight inchmeal.Tables were brought out by waiters to open lawn and they were positioning them systematically.Everyone stopped his physical exertions and came to tables for night meal.Pritam joined them and asked what about the trip, swell beyond the limit; answer came in unison.Some were discussing that they would move further picnic spot tomorrow,that was few miles ahead from that place.Ravi and Vishal insisted Pritam to proceed ahead with others as it would not make much difference,though that was their final destination.Pritam proposed that he would think about it tomorrow,it seemed to them that he would not curtail their joy.They took their food with other friends and shared all activities of trip from beginning to end.After that the couple scampered off into bedroom that was already booked in the hotel when they entered in.Jaded bodies betrayed them to talk with each other and bedded down losing consciousness.Before sleeping vishal soliloquised that heart had evidenced to dwell there permanently.
Next day when they awoke minor clouds gave a mistakable hint of sudden rainfall with some pieces of ice.Bent for next off trip ended in mist. After short spell descending came to halt.Cold wind was blowing and climate was changing into winter season.Both friends never asked themselves that they would face such dilemma on the trip as they were wearing half sleeves t-shirts.After sometime, weather showed up its natural color.Sun began to peep through clouds and tourists set out on open lawn.Swarm present there discussed the issue of football match. Ground was begirded with beautiful valleys.Interested figures participated forming two pools.Ravi and Vishal in the match were on either side.Match began and a few figures took interest as spectators.Somewhen(at times)with long hits football arrived into bushes and successfully achieved. Yet match was in interesting state that in between long hit sent it in the wrong direction.After general search it was guessed that with tips and rolling it ran into downward direction as it was invisible to eyesight.The path was topsy turvey to reach desired place.Vishal yessed that it was quite easy for him as in village he was adroit in ascending sky-high trees.Others said they would be eagerly waiting for his arrival.The place where he was to barge in was not visible from that point.He was making progress inchmeal. At last Vishal approached there with some supports without facing much obstruction.Having arrived there, at first he saw here and there and his sight stationed on dark black thing under shadowy trees at some distance.It looked like a blanket, he thought perhaps someone left it with remissness.With care free mind, he moved further and in nearby bush he began to comb for the lost thing.When he was searching, out of a clear sky a bear attacked him from behind as he was not sentient of the fact that dark black thing that was lying there like a blanket was a bear in actuality.His shrill cries sounded beyond the horizon saying, blanket didn’t leave him as he judged in contest.When bodies harked his painful voices, they said loudly , what happened, “are you o.k”? But no reply came.Ravi off the bat approached Pritam and told the entire matter.He rushed towards unforseen place.Tourists present there ran to incidental place from where they felt accessibility.Constables present there with their guns stepped towards vertical line and other wights accompanied .After reaching there they made a search for a missing man.But they found him nowhere.A large group was probing here and there for gone man. When they moved further they saw the stamps of wild animal’s feet and it became plain as day that wild animal attacked when he got downward direction .They found fresh fragments of human body and Ravi found his shoe and bracelet wet with blood.Ravi burst into tears kneeling on the ground.Canine loyalty and prolonged stalwartness towards each other ended forever. Pritam’s eyes drooled like a running brook what face he could show to his father who had seen high dreams for his son before his marriage.Mirthful trip finished up in misadventure.Pritam and Ravi were not daring to return without Vishal.His words were echoing yet-‘Heart would never allow to leave that place.