WOULD YOU CALL IT AN ADVENTURE?

It is now five years back...It was the first time we were away from home for so long. We were studying in India. Our excitement subsided and we started missing home soon the same day as night fell. We were shown to our rooms, but there were no beddings ready. We slept the first night with our seniors but the second night we had fallen asleep on the barren steel bed...

We often remarked on it as being independent. I think we didn't want to trouble the seniors...You don't expect us to have been so comfortable with them the first time we met, do you? This nature of independence lurked in us more like a crowning princess. (When I say 'we', I mean my friend 'L' and I)

After a half day orientation, the classes started. We went to a canteen with Indian friends to have fruit juice and we were surprised to see that the bills should be paid individually. It wasn't so in the schools in Bhutan. Bill was paid by whoever had money...Not that we thought it was bad. We found it a little peculiarly uncomfortable. There were many rules that we thought were irrelevant and unreasonable, like having to write an application to the warden when you went out for outing. But these were abided and followed. More often it is easier to accept the things as they are than to explain why it should be like that.

Soon we got fifteen days holidays...We had nowhere to go. We were like, what should we do? Rot in the room? And there it came up...she met a friend online who was in Karnataka. So we decided to go there. We had never traveled by ourselves...not in a place alien to us. When we had changed four busses, we finally reached our destination. Changing buses wasn't only tiresome, it took a lot of nerve...asking people which was the bus. When we finally reached the destination, we were tired, sick and almost slumping... And luckily our friend was waiting for us at the bus stand like a good host. And of course for the one week we were with him, he treated us so good.

Then after a week we started off to Calicut in Kerala. We took the night bus and unluckily two of us were the only ladies in the bus. Won't you call it unlucky? We were scared to sleep...we spotted a giant man looking at us; the man was too Indian. He slipped off a paper in my friend's hand when we got down at Calicut-in it was written his name and his phone number. We were naive to guess his purpose. We put up in a hotel. Her cousin had made everything ready.

What could have been more scary to us? Naive as we were, we couldn't really fear the unseen. We got a call from the guy in our hotel room. We could not fathom how he located us...it was almost like we were hooked in the web of mafia, except that he didn't bother us again...

We had nice time there-sitting on the beach in the evening made us forget that we were very far from home. It gave us a tranquility which healed our heart.

We finally set off back to college after staying four days there. And guess what? We fell asleep and when we woke up, we were in another station. Our station was passed around 3:00 a.m. We looked for a way to go back to college, and there were these people with private buses who were looking for passengers. There we were again, nerve wrecked...Finally we got the train ticket for general compartment and we squeezed in between the crowd of people. I felt sick, and sitting at the door I had fallen asleep. Had I fallen down in the sleep...I shiver now to think of it.

We eventually reached our hostel, tired, and yet energized. We grew more in experience. We had no trouble again after that...traveling by ourselves meant just a piece of cake.

But tell me won't you call it an adventure?

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