Book 1: Page 46


Our journey mutated in to a misadventure and nurtured our friendship in to a lifelong bond. I understood whom I could trust and whom I should have not cared for.

I was all patched up but something was just not right. I could feel a lot of pain in my abdomen, a little to the right, the exact place where that bear had punctured. It was necessary to visit a doctor, a sense of discomfort lingered in my walk. Being a small town my uncle knew almost all the good doctors. A visit would have proved terminal for our covenant. So I decided to bear the pain and apply the ointment instead.

Book 1: Page 41, Para 1


I pushed an iron rod into the bear’s mouth. The beast couldn’t withstand my power and backtracked. The jeep jolted to a start and these two were probably going to run away (he gave Keshav and Sahib a disenchanted glance) without you. It could have been unintentional also. Perhaps, Keshav pressed the gas incidentally with his trembling foot. I was going to pounce at him from the trunk itself but somehow you managed to hold on to the hind bar of the boot and he (Akshay pointed at Keshav) dragged you along for some distance. In fact he dragged you till you actually became unconscious and let go off the jeep. He stopped only when I screamed at him from the last bunk.

Book 1: Page 40


I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. It was probably several hours later that I woke up. We were going back to Dehradoon. The misadventure had killed our enthusiasm. Sahib was driving. Keshav was sitting next to him and Akshay had fallen asleep by my side.

I tried in vain to get up from my quiescent position on the back seat. My effort ended up interrupting Akshay’s dream.

Akshay: Is it still paining?

Kalsh: Nah… in fact I am enjoying it now.

Akshay: Very funny. Now see, this is important. Take this ointment and apply it on the wounds. (He gave me a tube.)

Kalsh: Great (I snatched it from his hand). Now tell me everything that happened since I fainted.

Akshay: Rest for now. It’s not time yet. You have been through a lot.

Keshav: Tell him about the covenant. (He jumped out of his seat.)

Kalsh: About the what? I didn’t know we had a covenant in place, especially when Sahib stepped on me. (I got up.)

Akshay: Hey calm down you two. It’s not that simple.

Kalsh: Then tell me how complicated it is? I am all ears.

Akshay: Should we? (He asked Sahib and Keshav)

Sahib: We have to tell him eventually. Better sooner than later.

Keshav: Everything suits me as long as I am not the one narrating.

Akshay: Alright then, gentlemen brace yourselves.

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 37, Para 2


Though it seemed to be a simple cast iron rod but it had the strength of true friendship. Both of its ends were fixed. The one nearer to my face was thrusting into the bear’s jaw, while the other was held into place by a knight. A knight with his broad shoulders and tensed brows stood upright between me and my decease. Akshay hadn’t given up on me. He looked me in the eyes and then again at the bear. With all the force that he could summon he pushed towards the bear and jumped out of the jeep. As the bear moved back, its claws withdrew from my abdomen

.bearattackAaahh…!”  I bled like a slaughtered bore. The exit of those paws was even more painful than their entry. If you ask me whether it was bear’s right hand that came out first or the left, I would not be able to recall. But I do remember that a pound of flesh from below my right lung was in its grip. Not only did he move away with an iron rod in his mouth but also a part of me. A muscle that I think ended up as a fertilizer for the forest or food for the ants or a memento for the bear. Akshay’s face was red and then it turned maroon and then an even darker shade of… till it finally became a black spot. My senses could make out a metal piece a handle perhaps. And I gripped my hand around it, although my arms were too eager to break off from the rest of the body. This was my last conscious decision before I fainted.

Book 1: Page 37, Para 1


Ah…hmmm… Err…” the pain was in my arms. I don’t know what part of its body pierced mine. Each drop of blood that leaked from my wounds anguished my entire circulatory system. “Ahh… God…!” my face had become wet by then. It smelt like the bear, tasted like tears and dripped like sweat. It was an awful time to realize the origin of the term ‘Bear hug’. An expression of love and affection had turned into slow poison. The affliction should have shunned my senses by then but it lasted a minute too long and a view of the beast from the inside was on offer. Before my last breaths were to leave my body I thought I might as well see what God had to offer in the name of death? So I paid attention to what was in front of my eyes. The bear was not enormous. He was just mad. And there was something in his mouth.

Book 1: Page 27, Para 2


My heart wanted to write about the immense beauty of the greens, but my hands were trembling with anxiety at the sight of the equally daunting woods. The jeep was covered from the top, but open in the back. We were comfortable with our luggage under the seat. A smile was noticeable on Sahib’s face. He was signalling something to Keshav, with the his squinting eyes. I had never seen him give such a smile since the fifth grade. I was clueless as to what would be coming my way. I turned towards Akshay who appeared very restless. It appeared as if he was framing sentences, probably to disclose something to me. Presumably he would soon make the announcement.

Into the Jungle
Into the Jungle

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.

Book 1: Page 25, Para 2


Akshay arrived at my uncle’s house with his luggage safely dumped in the hostel. Soon we were joined by Sahib and Keshav. I would love to describe them for you, but that would require a whole new book. So instead let me elaborate upon the bond that enjoined us. Coming from effluent families; residing in different parts of the country; having varied interests; speaking no less than 7 languages- we were an ambush to reckon with. Each one of us had a special talent and the entire school fraternity of Dehradoon had acknowledged the same by bestowing us with numerous accolades in the past. I actually believed that within our wolf pack we might have been four individuals but for everyone else we were one. As if we were knotted by an unspoken unseen thread of emotions, a thread that emboldened me to entrust even my life in their hands. Their wretched slippery hands.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: