It has been three years since it happened. But it changed us.
It was February 20 2014. There were five of us. Yash, Shashank, Madhul, Helix and Me.
Yash was the leader of the pack. He had a fair complexion, rough hair, his eyes were brown( not he exactly the color you could call brown but somewhere between the shade of black and brown …tending towards the latter). He had an athletic physique ( for which i always envied him ). He was quick witted, smart ( not the nerdy kinda smart but smart enough to be called cool ). He had a thing or two about cameras and lenses. Crazy thing that he would fancy himself as a photographer. He was a good student. But he nevertheless Hated the system.
The great Indian Education System.
Shashank kinda hated this too but he was not the vocal type. He would not tell you things clearly. He would keep it in his heart, make serious expressions, pretend as if he does not give a damn, but in his heart,all he wanted was to be understood. He liked those who would comprehend his thoughts without him uttering a word. Maybe that was why we became friends in the first place. Decoding him was not tough though because normally he was too damn predictable. And he fancied this girl – Medha. Good thing that things never got off the ground though. But anyway he was my best buddy. He was my go-to guy.
Madhul. He was the wingman of the group. He was a little out of shape ( which has obvious implications that he was obese). His Father was a big shot Businessman. He hated his father. And he had a cute sister who was like two years younger than us. He hated her too. We hated him for that. But nevertheless, he was a good guy. He used to be the walk-n-talk ATM of the group. And he talked much. When i say “much” here i am being modest.Believe me. Chatter box.
Helix or as others knew him Ankit. HE was the new guy in our group. The constant butt of all our jokes. He was simply put- naive. But he was a good guy. You know, you need guys like him to be in the gang. Never a light moment with him in. Actually, he was an IDEAL guy. He was studious, combed his hair particularly well, and made sure people around him were thoroughly entertained by his antics (involuntarily).
And then there was Me. I was the Batman of the gang ( at least i fancy myself to be). I was the De-facto leader in Yash’s absence. Well a year ago me and Yash were not even in talking terms. Courtesy? Natasha.
Well you’ve heard this thing about girls, haven’t you? The cause and solution of all th problems of the world.
Well i am an introvert, Or as i like to put it. A Silent Observer. I could sit and watch. Continuously. I could tell the color of your shoes you wore the day before or what kind of attitude you possess just by seeing your walking style.
All of us studied in the same school.
Rajendra Vidyalaya. (or RV as we liked it). We had known each other for almost a decade.
So when the announcement came for a Batch Excursion to Darjeeling, Gangtok, and Kolkata. We knew that our moment had come. We jumped upon this opportunity ( by we i mean Me, Shashank and Madhul). Yash was trying his best to act indifferent because he somehow thought it was un-cool to go out with your gang( or even to call it a gang).
So we had to convince him. It didn’t take much to push him off the ledge though. Some weed, YOU ARE GOING TO MISS IT LATER catchphrases. And he was convinced. (I suspect maybe it had something to do with Natasha coming on-board too.)
Helix. What do i say ? He wanted to study. Because he has convinced that these twelve days were going to affect his preparation for JEE. Agreed. So we began without him.
It was on the last moment that his self-consciousness strikes. But it was already too late for him to register as all seats were booked. Sad, as he was. But then Another guy backed off, ( cause his father just had an accident). And Helix was the obvious replacement for his seat.
Enough of the JEE coaching. Enough of this boring town of Jamshedpur. Enough of our mundane lives. Enough of our families.
So this is how the journey starts. It was not what we had expected.
It will be nothing that you will expect.
This… is my solemn promise.