I looked at my watch to check the time, forgetting that the batteries had long run out ...................again. I sighed, resigned. everything had been planned so meticulously, I just couldn't understand where things had gone wrong. Because getting lost in the middle of a forest without a map definitely hadn't been a part of the plan.
When my friend Ravi had called me up after a long time saying that all of us school friends should get together, I was immediately in. The plan that we should go trekking in the Nilgiri hills had unanimous approval. The next week was spent on the planning. And when finally everything was as good as it was going to be, we set out. We reached on time, checked into the hotel and set out for the trek.
And now we were lost in the forest. And when I was thinking that the things couldn't be worse, the rain started. It poured in torrents. drenching us and soaking us to the bones. I idly wondered if they would realize at the hotel that we hadn't reached yet. Probably not, I decided. We didn't even know anyone there properly. It drew out another long sigh. Irritated, I hit my long dead torch with my palm, and it came to life surprising everyone and most of all me. Using its feeble ray as our eye we started walking.
We walked for what seemed like an hour, or it could have been five minutes (time was hard to tell), when suddendly the rain stopped just as suddendly as it had come. There was a collective sigh of relief, we had at long last reached a dry part of the forest. It was evident that the rain hadn't touched that area, the leaves and twigs crunched and cracked beneath our feet.
I was blessing our good luck, when suddendly one of my friends screamed. We all turned to look at each other. It was my friend Lakshmi.
" Something has caught my foot...." she whispered, sounding terrified.
I trained the faint torch beam at her feet, and had to stop myself from shrieking. She was standing with her foot in a human rib cage!!!! For a moment none of us moved, as it hit us what the crunching and cracking sounds were. Then Lakshmi started whimpering and Ravi slowly stepped towards her. We watched with bated breaths as he slowly freed her foot. As soon as we knew that she was free, we ran. We didn't stop till we reached a road. Then we finally stood and caught our breaths, while trying to pretend that we weren't all periodically looking over our shoulders. When finally a truck came along, we waved like mad people. Hitching a ride, we reached back at the hotel.
At the hotel, the manager was disapproving at our late return. That set me off!
"THERE WAS A BLOODY GRAVEYARD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FOREST!!!!!!!" I screamed.
The manager looked at me like I had gone mad. Then an idea struck me.
" Why don't you come with us tomorrow? We'll show you." I offered.
" You think I have no better work to do?" he retorted, then after some thought he said, "I probably should come, I can't have you spreading stupid stories and scaring customers off!"
I was boiling!!!!
The next day we left in the morning. We took the same path that we had taken the previous day. After some walking, we reached the place that had been hit by the rain. Confident I marched ahead. After some time we reached the place which had been dry. And there was no sign of bones anywhere! We looked at each other, our eyes mirroring our terror. The bones had vanished without a trace!!