Hi guys I am Arun. I am a 20 year old boy from the southern part of the country. My mother, Ramya is 44 years old and is working as a professor in a college. My dad is working in the US and comes once in two years. Mom’s sister, Manju is 46 years old and has been a widow for 10 years. Her son, Vimal was just a year older than me.
It so happened that we had to attend my mom’s cousin’s marriage. All four of us decided to go by our car. The women were not worried to come with us as both of us were very responsible and mature boys. The place was about 250 kms away from our home town. Both Vimal and me took turns driving the car while our mothers were involved in their chit chats. It was a pleasant journey as we cracked jokes about each other and shared all the good and funny moments that we had in our lives. We were pretty close with each other.
We took part in the marriage which was a grand event. We wanted to start our return journey by 5 pm, but all our relatives wanted us to stay back and attend the evening party. We were forced to spend a few more hours there.
The women as usual were sitting in one corner boasting about the sarees and ornaments that they were wearing while men were huddled in another corner talking about politics and other day to day things. The time was already 7 and there was no sight of our mothers. We decided to go and see if they had any plans of returning home.
As we went there we saw Manju aunty holding a glass filled with beer in her hand. Mom was talking to her with her mouth filled with food. Suddenly she stopped her conversation mid way. I realized that something had gotten into her throat. She was worried. Without warning she snatched the glass from Manju aunty’s hands and drank the entire beer in one gulp. She had never drunk. It was her first time. Surely the thing choking her had gone but she showed an expression on her face which said that she disliked beer. Everybody started laughing at mom’s expression. Even I couldn’t control myself.
“Oh finally, my sister has had one glass of beer. The first one in her life,” Manju aunty chuckled filling her glass with some more beer. Mom smiled at her. Manju aunty used to drink occasionally especially when all of us were together. She would drink and talk and her conversation would go on endlessly. But it was never boring.
Finally our mothers decided to start our return journey by 7 30pm. Mom was finding it tough to stand steady, probably because it was her first time. Manju aunty was also in some what the same condition. Nobody bothered about that as these days it was quite common for women to drink. All through out our journey Manju aunty never shut her mouth. Mom would occasionally say something but the mike was with aunty for most of the time. Suddenly aunty stopped her conversation and started crying.
“You don’t know how lonely I was the past 10 years,” she said. She continued crying for some time and dozed off. Both of us never took much notice of her worries as it was quite usual for her to cry after getting drunk. Mom too dozed off.
The time was 11 30. I don’t know if I had dozed off in between because the road right in front of me was unknown to me. We had not come by this way. I stopped the car. There was no light all around except for the light from the car. Even the road wasn’t good. I wondered how I got into it. I woke up Vimal to check our position on the GPS. Vimal with sleepy eyes got his phone and then he announced the news that there was no network coverage in the area
“Great,” I said in anger.
“Come let’s go and see if there is some one,” Vimal said getting out of the car.
We walked for about 15 minutes. There was no trace of any human being. Finally we decided to get back to the car.
“You wanna drive,” I said holding the door open for Vimal.
“I am too sleepy to drive,” he said yawning.
“So am I,” I said putting on a sad face.
“Then let us take a nap. We can sleep for an hour or so and then continue our journey,” Vimal suggested.