Curves inspire! Jay felt extremely inspired and excited as the train traversed through the curvy tracks of
Train No# 5625 Bangalore-Guwahati Express was not among the fastest of the trains. Two nights had passed since they started from
Old fashioned railways station, horse driven stagecoaches, over crowded buses, mud roads, chai dukkans, men and women in traditional desi attires… it was a feast for the Bangalore based friends all along from Guwahati to Cherrapunji. It was too late when the gang reached Cherrapunji and almost mid-night when they reached the lodge where Jay had made arrangements for their night stay. Jay’s house is just few meters away from that lodge. But he knew his home is not the right place for his friends. The orthodox family scene may not be a comfortable environment for his friends. Hence he had made separate lodging arrangements. But he chose to stay home, he was aware his family would expect him to be home. Back in the room, Tara Meena and Arnold were too tired to be awake. They all fell asleep each in one direction. Two days of continuous travel had sucked out all their energy. They felt deadbeat.
Meena’s ears sensed the room phone ringing. She slowly picked it and heard Jay shouting, “Come on guys wake up...you got to be ready in 30 mins, the pooja starts at 9.00 AM”. Meena quickly grabbed her senses and assured Jay that she would take care of pulling up others on time. She then kicked Tara and Arnold to get ready. The trio rushed up to meet the 30 min deadline so that they don’t disappoint Jay. Disappointment was avoided but not the SHOCK!
Jay was startled to see his friends in Traditional wear. Tara and Meena were in Saree and Arnold in dhoti. But the element of shock was not the dress but the way they had dressed up. No one knew how to wrap the Saree or the dhoti. Jay could not stop laughing. He wanted to give them another chance to try the dress again. But he knew the pooja rituals at his home won’t wait for them. Hence the friends decided to go ahead. The streets were all decorated for the season. Tara wanted to gaze through all the decoratives, but all that she could manage was to hold and take care of her slipping Saree. Meena was feeling far better and Arnold decided to stop worrying about his dhoti. Their moods were festive, spirits high, atmosphere joyous; a dream vacation had just taken good shape. The young friends were all happy shouting and playing around at Jay’s house. Their cheerful movement around the house was not welcome by the oldies at jay’s house.
The orthodox family of Jay started grudging slowly. There was whispering, then at a point Jay’s eldest sister shouted out at Jay. The entire crowd watched her shouting at Jay at the hallway. She was spurting out anger at the unconventional behavior of Jay’s friends in her native language. She commanded Jay to take away his friends and not to bring them back home again. Jay’s friends were there too. They did not understand why Jay was getting this ugly treatment in front of the crowd. All they could make out was that their friend was being put to embarrassment in front of everyone. They did not even realize that he was being screwed up for their acts. But all they had in mind was that Jay is being let down. The moment Jay’s sister moved out of that place, the three friends ran together to Jay and hugged him tight. Three friends hugging their friend together!!! The crowd watched that with awful eyes. Jay did not know what to tell his friends. He was speechless. Actually was almost in tears due to his sister’s awkward behavior. But when his friends hugged him he indeed broke down with tears. But this time it was tears of strength. The loving hug dismissed all embarrassment and filled his mind with peace and strength. The purity of friendship stood tall amidst all odds.