Sridhar was on top of the world. He literally was, as he was standing on top of one of the highest mountain peaks in
There was snow everywhere, wind was blowing hard on his face and he could feel
the chilling numbness beneath all the layers of the clothing that he had on.
There was not a single soul nearby; in fact, he did not have anyone in the
outside world as well. He had left them all behind when he had run away from
his house two years back. He did have three dear friends whom he had missed very
much. He wondered if they still thought about him anymore. But he had not had
any other option. He had run away from all the madness at his home. Being the
only son of a real-estate tycoon, he knew he did not have to work for a living
all his life. He just had to take over his father’s business which he did not
think very highly of. He did not want that life; he was suffocated by the
frivolity of it. He knew deep down that he was born to do something different,
something adventurous. That is when he had set off on his own.
As Sridhar stood there contemplating all this, he heard it. He froze on the spot. It couldn’t be, not her and definitely not here. He heard her voice again, a bit louder this time, calling out his name. Sridhar was confused, he wasn’t supposed to hear her voice here, not just her voice but any voice for that matter would have been impossible to hear over the sound of the roaring wind. Just then, smack! Something hit him hard on this back and Sridhar awoke with a start.
His mother was standing beside his bed looking furious at him. At once she started yelling, “Even the dogs on the next street would’ve heard me, somberi kazhudhai”. Being called a lazy donkey was nothing new to Sridhar. But he was disappointed all the same. His glorious moment on top of the mountain was not real. He had overslept again and he was going to be late for his office yet again. Crap, he had to beg his father to drop him off and listen to his lecture all the way. His father, being a Government College Professor loved to give lectures to anyone who would listen. Sridhar often thought that his father’s only dream would have to be to give a lecture to a packed hall instead of empty desks and chairs.
Sridhar was a Software Engineer and was working for one of the many IT companies in Chennai. He was mostly reserved and did not like socializing at all because he sucked at it. He had always been a moderate student at school and had somehow managed to get into a decent Engineering college. Right from his childhood he had been best friends with three guys, who couldn’t have been more different than one another. One was Amit (the geek), then there was Shyam (the flirt), and the third one was Vijay (the most normal among the four). They called themselves the “Fantastic Four”, just like every other four-member group in the world. Together they were born to rule the world, or so they thought. But after fourteen years of friendship, two of them – Sridhar and Amit, ended up in IT, Shyam was in Manufacture & Logistics and Vijay was in Accounting. Obviously, they all hated their jobs, and ergo their lives.
It happened on a Friday, the last working day of the month. Failing to notice that his boss was in a lousy mood, Shyam pitched his brilliant business idea to his boss and got himself fired. That evening, the four of them gathered for drinks at Vijay’s place where his parents were out of town for the weekend. After several rounds of alcohol and swear words which were first aimed at Shyam’s boss and gradually extended to every damn thing in the world, Sridhar told his friends about this dream.
That was the push they had all been waiting for. They quickly calculated their assets. Being the beginning of the month, they all had their salaries credited and intact in their bank accounts. Together they had three bikes, two Pulsars and one Unicorn. Sridhar only had his father’s Activa which was omitted from the plan unanimously. They all had their smart phones with Google Maps. As per plan they set off for their week-long journey the next morning, after of course calling in sick with a “Madras-eye”, “Viral fever” and “Ulcer complaint” to accomplish every biker’s dream in
India – Leh Ladakh. Little did they
know that this was the journey that would change their lives forever.
To Be Continued...