Well I made an attempt to write a short story and here I am with one. Don’t ask me how I got a thought about this story. The characters involved in the story are Neha, a fine arts student, her good friend Smitha (her classmate), Swamy, a guy from their class and Niramala, their college Lecturer.
Hi, I am Neha, a student of Venkatswamy College of Arts stands amidst the beautiful concrete buildings of Bangalore and I am proud to be the student of one of the best Arts college in INDIA. My daily routine involves coming to college, listening to the graceful and cheerful sounds of the vehicles on my way. I travel by BMTC daily and on my way back home I’ve this habit of choosing busy streets since the crime rate has shot up in Bangalore. I can also say that the people in this city inhale the healthiest air. Well, there is no need to tell you that I was sarcastic.
One day during one of our regular classes, Nirmala Ma’m entered the class and made an announcement that there is a national level art mela happening at Bayalupura Art Institute and we were selected for making the campus look great with our work. These are one of those opportunities for art students to flaunt their creations. The exciting part was the place where the event was going to happen. Bayalupura(It means open air town), as the name says its a place where you can listen to the whistles of the nature, where you can not only feel but also look at the winds blowing, where you can run for stretches without even worrying about accidents, where you can see huge trees around you, vast fields on either side. This is how one of my friend Swamy explained me about this place. He’s one of those guys who exaggerates each and everything, So we dint give a damn about it. The event was just one week from now resulting in extra classes from our professors and sometimes it would get extended up to 12 in the night.
Finally the day arrived and all of us were ready to leave. It was 2pm, our group had 5 people, and others had already departed. Suddenly our Ma’m calls one my friend’s cell and asks Smitha and me to come back to attend some important lecture by an eminent artist. The other three guys in the group left to Bayalupura and we went back to college with great frustration and disappointment. Here the boring lecture goes on till 4.30pm in the evening and so we are advised by this teacher not to go to that place alone because it’s too late, but were determined to go there. Smitha suddenly tells that we are being accompanied by her uncle who is a journalist and he would be covering the entire event. I was wondering all the while when she was telling so damn confidently about her non-existent uncle. What a good LIAR.
At 5.30pm in the evening we boarded a direct bus to Bayalupura and after a long, bumpy, strenuous ride we reached the place by 9 in the evening, rather night. Thanks to the Party meet arranged that day in the grounds. It delayed our bus by almost 2hrs.The first thing we did as we descended the bus was to eat some junk food on the street without even looking around the town. After stuffing ourselves with some food, we observed that the place was just out of the world and the only light we could see was the light from the food cart that we were eating. In this light I couldn’t even see Smitha’s face clearly.
So at 9 in the evening and almost no light, two girls from the city were standing in a deserted place. This thought was enough to creep fear inside us. All we knew was that we had to walk for a stretch of around 5kms and then we must find an arch. At the arch take a left and go on, on that path until we reach the institute. There were no street lights. The same holds good even for the people. We could only see some two or three men walking. With the help Smitha’s mobile light we quickly grabbed two big stones and started walking in our own path assuming it to be the one that leads to the arch. At this point of time I thought what the hell we were doing there and we couldn’t even call anyone as we were supposedly riding safe in our uncle’s car. It was a muddy path I guess, with huge trees beside the path. The trees were bowing down due to the wind as if we were the king of the town and they were greeting us. I prayed to god and looked at the sky and to my shock I managed to see only clouds. Switching off the mobile light to save its battery we walked down the lane with great amount of fear in us. I dint even dare to look back once. We slowly picked up pace listening to the dogs mimicking the wolves, scaring us even more. I could feel the lub-dub of my heart. The stones were slipping out of our hands due to the sweat. As we were walking I suddenly tripped and almost fell down. We turned back to see what the hell it was and I witnessed the most frightening visual of my life. We saw a man lying on the path with a big moustache and his clothes were torn. My hands rather my entire body was shivering. Thank god the man was unconscious. Our hearts were beating at the max.At this point of time i.e. 10pm we saw a lone auto in the street and thought of asking the guy to drop us. The face of the driver scared us even more. He had a long beard and a black mole on his left cheek, his smile was like a grin, evil looking pair of eyes. The moment we saw him we just walked down the lane. Smitha and I were just praying to god. The worst part amongst all these was that people there didnt even know that there was an institute. This made us unsure whether we were heading the right path or not. After a long walk, we could see the arch and without much bothering we took a left, still managing to hold those big stones.
The sight here got us some relief. A number of auto rickshaws were lined up beside the streets but only few drivers were awake. We approached a guy and told him about this institute and he said that he has heard about it but not seen, he assured us that he’ll drop us there. We had no other choice but call Swamy to ask for the route. We lied again that the car had a flat tire and we were coming by a rickshaw. He gave us some directions started shouting for getting so late. It was 10.30pm by then. After all this we had to argue with the driver regarding the fare, we told him we’ll go by walk if he does not reduce the rate. He laughed at our face listening to our stupid statements. At that time for us the laugh looked evil. Without any other choice we sat in the auto and just as we were leaving one more guy hops onto the driver seat along with the driver. We go on that so called road for fifteen minutes. It was pitch dark and vast fields on either side made it even scarier. We noticed the peculiar sign on the front windscreen of the rickshaw. It was a sign which had an abstract symbol, very weird. Finally we got to know that it was the picture of Lord Ganesh in Jeans. We noted down the vehicle number and Smitha stored in the drafts section of her cell so that we could send it to someone in case the mishap happens. I held the stones out clearly so that they can see it and Smitha is on the edge of the seat so that she can jump off holding the cell in her hand. Amidst all these planning of ours suddenly the auto stops and the other guy gets down goes somewhere and comes back with a handbag. This was too much to handle for us.
After another ten minute ride and many more frantic calls to Swamy we reached the gates of the institute at 11pm. The guards were told that 2 girls would be coming with a man (Smitha’s uncle). We had thought of which car and its color and all in case we were questioned. The guards assumed the other auto guy was the man accompanying us and let us in. The auto fellows went back. Out of nowhere Swamy appeared in front of us and questioned us like a CBI officer. We somehow managed to answer him with some stories. We soon began our work on the campus, we had planned to make a huge fountain like structure near the entrance and certain stuff like that. The director of the institute who was busy in a meeting came out and ordered us to assemble in the open air theatre. He was very friendly and greeted us and then told “Enjoy your short stay in the campus; I will be responsible for you when you are inside, but once outside the campus you are not my responsibility. The notorious Dandupalya gang operates here during the night hours”. The minute we heard the director we were like WAT WERE WE THINKING???!! We were just lucky that day that we reached the place safely.
It was time for the mega event and I had forgotten everything that had happened yesterday. All of us had a great time and we were appreciated for our artwork. The entire event was covered by the journalists from a reputed magazine. After the event got over that is by 11am in the morning and we, the students of Venkatswamy College of Arts left the institute to come back to Bangalore. We were walking down the street to the nearest bus stop, and we saw a big crowd gathered on the way. Without even bothering to look what it was Smitha and I walked away. Some friends went and peeped into the crowd, saw what it was and came back. I asked a guy what it was and he said that an auto had rolled down, I mean tumbled down. Suddenly from behind I hear a voice saying.” Hey, did u notice the Ganesha with jeans on that auto?”.