Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Trek

My first attempt at story-writing. Didn't quite work out.




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Sonia and Meera just couldn't stop smiling! They were setting off for their first trek in few hours time. They giggled at the thought of the fun they were going to have – new friends, trekking and playing in the snow and singing and dancing around the bonfire.
What the girls didn't admit to each other was the fact that they were hoping to meet their Prince Charming! That was their secret!
At 5 pm, they were at the Pune Railway Station, shepherded by Sonia's father. They spotted the group of trekkers and went over to meet Avadhoot, the group leader. The girls were the youngest member of the group going to Pubbar Valley near Shimla.
There were quick introductions and Sonia found herself half in love already.
Meera noticed her friend blushing. And guessed the reason behind it.
She quickly tugged Sonia's hand when they were boarding the train.
“What's up?” Meera whispered into her ears.
“Sssh...In some time,” said Sonia with a smile.
As the train chugged away out of the station, Avadhoot ensured that all the team members were comfortable.
Then he and Aniruddh started going over the itinerary with other members of the team.
The girls were huddled together.
“Who is HE?” Meera looked around the group.
“They all look older...” Meera thought. “Fossils!” she smiled.
She tried to catch Sonia's eye, but Sonia was staring at Aniruddh. Now Meera knew.
Later the girls excused themselves to the loo.
In a quick whisper, Meera asked, “Aniruddh, isn't it?”.
Sonia nodded.
“He is old. Must be in late 20s...”
“So what?” Sonia readied herself for a fight.
In her mind, Sonia was already confronting and bringing her parents around for her marriage with Aniruddh.
“So what if he is older than me? Who says that we can't stay together?” Sonia questioned Meera.
Meera gaped.
“No one,” she mumbled. Good Luck!
She walked past Sonia to their compartment.
Sonia followed her with a swing in her steps and smile on her lips.
She felt she was Simran – Kajol of DDLJ.
The setting was so right. Train journey, snow, songs and dance. Sonia was already dreaming.
Anirudh and Avadhoot were huddled together, making innumerable calls for their transport and food during the trek.
After the last call, Aniruddh stretched out his legs, and noticed the girls.
“So, which school you are in?” he asked Meera.
Sonia quickly answered. “We are college students.”
“Oh! Grad students?” Great!,” smiled Aniruddh.
“Junior College students,” informed Meera ignoring Sonia's dirty look.
“Ummm. Good! And, good night. Rest all you can. Trekking can be difficult,” he smiled and left to check on other team mates.
Sonia turned to glare at Meera. But Meera had wisely snuggled into her mattress.
Sonia then opened her bag and pulled out a sheet. She settled in to dream of Aniruddh – Aniruddh helping her when she twists her ankle, covering her with a bed spread when she feels cold, consoling her when she misses her parents, getting her water when she accidentally bites into a mirchi...
“Wake up... you”.
Sonia opens her eyes slowly to see Aniruddh towering over her.
“What's your name? You sleep like a log...Hurry up now. The breakfast is here. We need to go over the itinerary again,” Aniruddh spoke rapidly and then left.
The rest of the train journey passed away in a dream for Sonia. Meera knew that she had not even noticed that Aniruddh, who was an old fossil, was treating them like kids.
“For a 20 something guy we are kids... Best to leave the girl alone,” she shrugged.

Aniruddh was right. The trek was not all that easy. In fact NOT easy at all.
“I wonder where we got the idea of playing in snow and having swinging bonfire nights,” Meera thought aloud.
“You are such a SPOIL SPORT Meera. It's so beautiful out here,” Sonia pointed out.
“Yea..yea. A perfect romantic setting,” Meera thought it was the right time to give Sonia a piece of her mind. “See Sonia...Aniruddh is way older than us. Stop, Let me finish,” she told Sonia, who opened her mouth to speak.
“I know how you feel about him. But its very silly. He treats us like kids. You better get out the idea that he is in love with you or whatever,” Meera finished.
Sonia had tears in her eyes.
“He does. You will see,” she said and left to catch up with the others.
At night, Aniruddh saw the girl shivering in sleep.
“Looks like she hasn't got extra bedding. Better cover her up. Else she will catch a cold,” Aniruddh quickly covered her up with a quilt.
Next morning Sonia awoke to find herself covered in a maroon quilt.
“Whose is this?” she turned to ask Meera.
“Hey sleepy head. Morning,” Aniruddh smiled at her.
“You really sleep like a log. Last night you were shivering and yet you didn't wake up to get the extra mattress. I covered you up in that quilt. You didn't even stir...” Aniruddh smiled some more. “Come, have hot cocoa or it will grow cold.”
Sonia turned to Meera as soon as he left. “See,” was all that she said.

Sonia was dressed in tight jeans and a nice pink coloured kurti, which set off her complexion. She was going to meet Aniruddh today!
It was a very noisy evening at the reunion. All the trekkers were meeting at Vaishali for coffee.
Sonia found herself looking at Aniruddh ever so often. But, he was always laughing and chatting with someone else. He had only once smiled her way and remarked, 'Hey sleepyhead!'
Meera, who was sitting next to her, was persuaded by her friend to talk to Aniruddh.
At the end of the reunion, Meera was pushed by Sonia into Aniruddh's path.
“Hey! See you then,” Aniruddh smiled.
Meera was conscious of Sonia looking their way.
“Hi....errr I wanted to speak to you about something,” she croaked.
“Well...go on then..” he said.
“It's about Sonia,” Meera hesitated.
“Sonia? Oh, your friend? What about her?” Aniruddh looked at Sonia.
Sonia melted.
“She...she likes you. So,” she was cut short by Aniruddh.
“She LIKES me?” guffawed Aniruddh. “I am sorry. I know it sounds cruel. Do you know how old I am? I am 29! And, you must be 15-16, right?”
He then strode towards Sonia.
“Girl...grow up. I am sorry. You will outgrow this fancy. It's not LOVE. It's an infatuation. It's a beautiful feeling but its wasted in this case. Take care and don't be foolish,” he held her hands.
Sonia looked down to find her hands held tightly by Aniruddh.
“He is holding my hands! BUT...
Sonia learnt to grow up the hard way.

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