Book 1: Page 38

The protracted journey of the jeep had come to an end. I knew my best friend Akshay had fought a bear to rescue me. Surviving the night with all the bleeding and unattended wounds on the contours of my rib cage was a subject of petite discussion. More confident than ever on my decision I opened my eyes. Akshay, who was sitting next to me, looked back at me. He was tired by the night’s misadventures. He pressed my hand against his and winked his eyes reassuringly.

Kalsh: Akshay I must tell you. Probably you are the only man I can trust my sister with. (These were my last words before they asked me to go back to sleep.)

He must have been very happy. That day in the forest we laid together the foundation of a very special bond. The bear was as much responsible for my decision as Akshay’s courage. However, not to my surprise though, Akshay never used my indebted life as an excuse to date my sister. His was a much purer form of love. He is still dating my sister. The couple is happy and soon they will tie the holy knot.

Book 1: Page 27, Para 1

I wasn’t shocked. It was an invitation to the abode of Mother Nature. The only thing that raised the hair on my legs was the fact that we were going to be in a forest all by ourselves; that too in the thickest jungle in the whole of Uttaranchal without any guardian or forest guide. They had packed bundles of eatables lest Akshay would miss his spaghetti balls or French omelette. I had been to several bonfire events before it, but this was much more special. It was not planned (at least not by me). The drinks (I take only soft ones) the songs by the fire, the eerie stories and ancient legends of the jungle. It was …THWART! My entire dream sequence was brought to a halt by this monster of a bolder. We departed from the freeway towards the patchy segment which was not straight, not unidirectional and definitely not frequented.

Book 1: Page 26

Sahib: What did you think Kalsh? Wouldn’t I drive my own gypsy?

Kalsh: I… don’t… (I wasn’t allowed to complete)

Keshav: Wait till I give you a real stunner. We aren’t going to Missouri either.

Kalsh: Then? (I felt like a fool)

Keshav: Guys should I tell him? (He waited for the approval of the remaining four eye balls)

Sahib: Oh definitely. Who knows he might want to back out?

Kalsh: “BACK OUT!!” excuse me gentlemen. You are talking to the one and only “Kalsh Abhilash Sharma”. I am the single most daring “Man” in our school, actually in all the schools of Dehradoon. No matter what you say or do to intimidate me, I will be the first one to say yes and the last one to retreat.

Akshay: See Kalsh I will tell you. (And he moved closer to me.)

Kalsh: Come on. Give it your best shot.

Akshay: This is going to be a real off road thing, which means at the next diversion we are going to take a hidden road that will take us deep inside the forest!!! (He paused to see my expressions change)

Sahib: Don’t make a big deal out of it. I have got us booked in a deluxe tent just thirteen kilometres off the main Dehradoon-Missouri highway.

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