That night... (part 1)
"Thursday... another day and then as they say TGIF... followed by the best part - the weekends", I thought to myself, as I entered the office premises. But little I knew that it was going to be a long working day and a horrific experience of my life.
As soon as I opened my mailbox there were loads of issues reported and we had to deliver them all before Friday EOD. Thus began one of the longest working days I could ever think of. The day progressed testing several builds, retesting defects that went back and forth, lengthy calls with managers & clients and with many.. many cups of coffee. It felt as if the day wasn't going to end and I was stuck to my laptop all the time. The only time I got up was to refill my water bottle and to empty the fluid-one within. Even the lunch, snacks, dinner were ordered to our desks!! And finally, it was 2.30AM - friday early morning actually, when we decided to take a break. We had worked for 17 hrs straight and it wasn't over yet. We had two options either stay in office overnight and start afresh in the morning in which case the only fresh thing would be the coffee we were going to get. Or, go home get some sleep, freshen up for real and come back by 9.30 AM as usual. I decided for the later and started packing my bags.
It was early morning or late mid-night shall I say, but one thing about Banglore is we can be sure of getting cabs at any time. But I was stupid not to as I went down towards my bike. Half of my senses were asleep and dead-tired, as I stroll towards the basement parking which was empty and looked scary like in those horror movies. Within no time, I was on road, a half an hour journey to the max due to the early hours which otherwise would have taken an hour or even more.
You should always take the main road at night. Not because of the scarcity of getting robbed but most importantly because of the Dogs! Now, as I said, my senses were not working as expected and I believe the muscle-memory forced me to take the usual route which is shorter in distance but deserted in patches. Anyway, I was half-way through, where this road passes by a village or an empty landscape which I believe used to be an agriculture land before but now abandoned or in dispute. This stretch, about 2 KM long, even during broad day light was so empty, you would only see the vehicles on road but absolutely nothing on the sides in other words it wasn't in habitual. The abandoned land had given life to wild plants and shelter for stray dogs. A quick peak on my wrist watch revealed - 2.45 AM.
Then a strange thing happened. Power cuts are not something very rare in Banglore. But considering the location I was travelling in - it suddenly became so dark when the streetlights went-off, the only light source was the headlights of my bike. This location isn't remote and definitely not unknown but given the circumstances I had to say I became a little uncomfortable going through my usual road. So I raised the speed to cover this dark land soon... Oddly, it wasn't getting over!!
I was going through the same route I have been taking all this while for almost an year - I knew every single potholes on the road - but.. this stretch... for some reason wasn't getting over! After a while, I felt I have been going through the same road like endless times or as if going around a circle, I realized something wasn't right. I stopped my vehicle, took a deep breath, rubbed my eyes.. looked around to make sure I wasn't going in the wrong direction. This time I made sure I wasn't hallucinating (even though I was pretty sure that I wasn't hallucinating the first time) - I started again.
This thought of not being able to get thorough a usual-stretch-of-road, even though, riding my bike for what I believed to be quite some time - sent alarming signals to my brains. I was pretty much awake by now even though my tiring eyes were desperate to get some sleep.
And then I saw something... which sent chills down my spine!!
To be contd...
|image courtesy: google image (motorcyclecrucier.com)|