Four Shadows

Today is Saturday, the weekend is here. It’s 2:10 P.M right now and to this world’s surprise, there is no sun outside today. A day without the blazing hot sunlight is a relief. Otherwise, we are burning. A shady and windy day. Perfect for roaming around the ghats. The pages of a book on the table are fluttering, the wind from the window is responsible.
Since last Sunday, I am playing CS:GO every day, not much but a match everyday. Pedd and Lay request everyone to play. It’s like our daily ritual.
“Let’s play it now before dinner because if we played after dining, it will be morning and we will be playing it all night” I stated to the bunch of gamers.
“Okay, there is one hour in 8, go and connect, I am sending the IP address of the server.” Pedd turns his laptop on.
We play. Lay is a seasoned player and his favorite is the AUG Rifle and Sniper. Once he gets holds of the Sniper, he kills half of the enemy team. The rifles and the SMGs recoil a lot and are not my cup of tea. I buy the Dual Berettas in every game and use them only. They are cheap and don’t damage a lot. People suggest me to buy some good guns but I stick to them. My player name is also Gunslinger. Now, I am used to the two silver guns and I play well with them. We played a game an hour ago and I have declared that we will not play now till our exams get over. I will stick to the decision, now.
—FLASHBACK_LAST_SATURDAY—

Nian, Carlos, Pedd and I were having dinner in the restaurant Capsicum on Lanka. After that, we decided to walk to the hostel from the university’s main gate. It’s about 2.8 Kms. We didn’t take the usual taxi route and instead walked straight and explored new roads. There was a road, dark and silent. we started talking about how the place is similar to the ones showed in horror TV shows and movies.
“Yeah, look at that tree, it’s shadow is similar to a man with one leg” I said pointing towards a tree on the roadside.
“And look through the shrubs, there is some noise of leaves crumbling, someone’s there” I continued.
“There is nothing” Nian replied.
“The university is a 100 years old, there must have been people who died here and some of them maybe ghosts roaming around” I was trying not to laugh and act normal. “There can be spirits. There are many types of ghouls like spirits, devils, jinns and other supernatural powers.”
“What are jinns?” Pedd inquired.
I told him what I knew.
“There can be shadow people following us. A Shadow being or a shadow figure is a type of ghost seen during the night, generally, flee when detected by humans.” Nian and Pedd were listening closely while Carlos was trying to be cool and didn’t say anything. After a while, there was a building- Indoor stadium. I pointed my hand towards its gate and screamed “Who’s that?” and ran ahead. Pedd and Nian followed me, Pedd held my hand and ran with me. He looked horrified.
-GHOST-ROAD
“It’s real, shadow people are common, you can experience it.” It was stupid but they were actually frightened, so I kept it on. ” If there is any spirit who has some last wish, please talk to us. If there is anyone out there, we want to see you.” I stood in the middle and shouted like an ouija does. Nian sticks to my arm with both hands like a kid. I couldn’t control my laughter and was laughing out loud in the dead silence. They are terrified with just words. After a few moments, there was thud on my back I turned around and….

Medicines and Terrorists !

As evening came I was feeling unwell. My head was like I am banging it on concrete. It was the feeling before you get a fever, I knew it. Everybody knows it. Also, my belly gave up and I had stomach ache too. In my sleep, I was just moving my hands and arms as I could feel the fever. My body was warm. It was 8 P.M only and I was trying to sleep.
“Let’s go and see a doctor” Jordan said. I agreed as I have to go to the service center for my phone too on the next day. The warranty was going to be void in 3 days.

I explained everything to the doctor about my condition since the morning. He wrote down some tablets. We walked to Lanka to get money and buy the medicines. I was tired. With every step, my head shook like it is in a loose cover and is hitting the walls of the container. But I had to walk. We bought the medicines and came back to the hostel. I took the prescribed drugs and slept. Next morning, it was fine but not well. Still, I had a low fever and my head was not a bit okay. And the night…
I was unable to sleep in the night. I had slept at 10 to woke up at 12 due to the stomachache. Fever was accompanying it. Again laid on the bed and my eyes opened at 1:30. I started walking in the corridor, unable to go to bed anymore. Many people were awake at that time, hostelers do not sleep early anyway. I went to the loo. Came back and fell on the bed and tried to sleep. 3 A.M and I ran to the washroom, I threw up. Nobody was up then, my roommates were sleeping and the room lights were off, I could see the windows. After that, all was well, I drank some water and slept again. It was 5 A.M when I woke up again and repeated the same. The night was a real bad night, of these years.
I was awake and waiting for morning so that I could go to the health centre. It was 7:30 A.M and people were getting ready for the classes. I was waiting for the clock to strike 8. It did and I reached the center at 8:15 A.M. I told the doctor the whole story, how I slept after taking the pill and still it turned out bad. She told me to get two injections and sent me to Room 9. There were two nurses. One of them told me to lie down on the bed. They were very kind. Their old faces were kind, they must have been mothers. Mothers are caring.

It was fine after the injecctions. I continued the medicines for three days. And the day before yesterday, I was perfectly fine.

I played Counter Strike online for the first time on LAN with friends. CS:Go is famous among college students but I never did try. And I enjoyed it. Oliver, Lay, Nian, Pedd, Geodude and I played it. And it was 5 hours straight in the night. We left the tables at 5 in the morning. It’s a great multiplayer game, I must say.
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“No, I will not play today, I said it yesterday that it is our last game” I tried convincing Lay. We have exams approaching and I don’t want to play video games.
“Please, it’s a gamer’s request to another gamer” he requests in the lowest voice possible.
“No, man No.”
“One game only, Please, please”
And we play 2 games in a go.

I took a dive…but with my phone!!!

The fun continued for two hours, then lunch break was announced and the water slides were stopped. We drank some sprite and ate patiez. There was nothing else to eat and we couldn’t go out. The park closes at 4, it was 2 by then. We had two more hours and we wanted them to be fun. So after 15 minutes, the show started again. We went for Family boomerango ride in which two people sit in a raft and the raft goes up and down a hill slide, it comes to rest at the bottom at last. I and Kevin sat in one. When it descend and ascended in the other side, my heart was really pounding like it is going to get outta the chest. But it was fun. We then headed to wave pool again. Everybody showed their amateur swimming skills. I jumped in the water with three body spins, on my back, dived and any other pose that would be considered cool. Then we came back to the slides. It was time make some memories that we enjoyed a lot on this Saturday. So, we brought out our phones from the locker. Torrence was taking selfies and photos. I walked towards the pool to take some picture too. Descending into the pool, I was not wearing my spectacles and the apparent depth deceived me or that’s my excuse now, but I put my right leg forward but it didn’t touch the pool floor, water just got deeper. I had lifted my left leg and there was no ground under my right one. I was horizontal in the pool with my arms and legs spread. $#%^@$^! This was my state of mind. My phone was still in my hand. I stood up lightning fast. Looked at my palm-sized gadget,  it was still working. There were 2 missed calls from Mom. I ran out of the limitless sea of water. The time slowed for me. Got hold of somebody’s shirt hanging in the changing room and rubbed it hastily on the golden back of my smart phone. Opened it and kept it in the sunlight near the Ladies Room. There were kids running behind their mothers and asking them to change their clothes. I was guarding my phone and telling them to keep away…I joined again after half an hour. The phone was switched off and was sleeping in the locker.
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We left the place for the hostel at 4:30.
“Let’s eat on the way, I am hungry” Kevin said when we were waiting for a taxi.
We all were hungry. But half people agreed and others headed back to the hostel. I came back to the hostel. I was hungry but didn’t want to eat because accidentally I was filled with the pool water. Diving and jumping, bit by bit my belly felt abnormal with the chlorine water inside it. So, I chose not to eat. I reached the hostel at 5:30. I was very much exhausted. I can now make clear that chlorinated pool water can make you nauseated. I was dizzy and slept to deep sleep.
“Dylan, Dylan” I heard Nian’s voice stomping on my head.
“Where are you going to dine today?” he asked as it was a Saturday and mess is off on Saturdays.
“I don’t know, perhaps nowhere, I am a little uneasy”
“Okay, we can go later..around 8:30?” he sought approval.
“Yes, it’s fine” I was lying in the bed all this time and again buried my face in the pillow and slept.
“Dylan, Dylan wake up” Torrence was standing at the door.
I woke up.
“Where are you dining tonight?” I asked him.
“HG, maybe”
Carlos and Nian were ready by then.
“Come with us, we are heading to Tit Bit restaurant” I introduced him with Nian and Carlos. By the way, the restaurant’s name is a little strange.

“The food is good, though there is some crowd here.” I said when we were using the tissues sitting in the restaurant. When we came out I wanted to have the Pehelwan Lassi. It is irresistible. After the lassi, I had an Ice-cream named Pataka. Pink, Yellow and Green colored strips from top to bottom. A great name for a great Ice-cream. 😛
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Next Day
My body was aching and there were numerous cramps in the arms and legs. You are this much exhausted when you have done mountain-climbing for two days straight. And with time till evening, I was….

Troubled Waters

8th April 2017 | 9:40 A.M

Riko came to the room, woke me up and asked me to get ready.
“We are going to the Water Park.”
That’s how it is. We have now reached that level when we don’t have to plan a trip or ask someone for their consent, just go to them and order them to get ready.
In an hour we were ready and left the hostel at 11. There are two water parks in Varanasi, we were going to one but I didn’t know which one. We reached the place in an hour. Honestly, you don’t expect a huge 300 hectares la la land in Varanasi, no one can. But we didn’t expect what we found either. It was a small farm-sized plot with a metal gate. A man with a clear vision cannot tell from the outside that this is the place where he will spend his next 4-6 hours swimming, sliding down slides, jumping and all other fun things. In a state of doubt I called some of my friends and confirmed the location. After assurance, we went in. Okay, a sigh of relief, there was a pool and some slides too. That meant we were not doomed completely. We changed clothes, kept our wallets and mobiles in the allotted locker and without wasting a part of a second, jumped in. The water was cold, good for the summers. The more time we spent in there, the better it felt. After a while, we climbed up the stairs to take the water rides. First, we went for the highest Aqualoop, the closed twisted slide which plunges you directly into the pool from a height of 32 feet. You are thrilled once, then you enjoy it. Following that, we went to the open flume. A great body slide with your head on the front end and laying on your stomach. Gio was terrified after that experience. We were not going to leave any stone unturned, I was determined to try every slide and thing in the park. We headed to the bowl next. It was not that much frightening or I had already practiced, I didn’t know. Then there was a wave pool which got deeper on moving further into it and occasionally waves were produced. We swam, jumped and hung onto each other to make the other person dive deeper. All of us held our breath and shook hands underwater, punched each other and tried everything that was possible.

Right now I’m a little short on time.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Tofu Hakka Noodles and Guns

The fourth month of this year started with a Saturday. The hostel mess is off on Saturdays.
“Let’s go somewhere tonight to dine” Connor said to me.
“Where?” I was a little reluctant on going out that night.
“That will be decided in the auto, like always” he replied and left the room.
We reached the university’s main gate and started discussing the restaurant. We had already tasted many of them. We zeroed upon Ming’s Garden-a Chinese cuisine veg restaurant.

The restaurant is on the main straight road which leads to IP Vijaya. A see-through structure with dim yellowish lighting. There were abstract designs carved out of wood on the walls. It was moderately full and families and youngsters both were dining at the tables. We were six- Bozo, Gio, Connor, Torrence, Kevin and me. Riko was not found in his room when we left and nor did he took the call.
On the table, below the plate, there were papers which described the Chinese New Years with their respective animals.
“What to order?” Kevin passed the menu to our side.
Connor scanned the menu and chose two things after Kevin and Bozo’s consent.  The chose the ones they knew were good and had eaten before.
“I will order something that is new to me and has a cool name” I took the menu.
Most of the things were normal with just a word added to make them Chinese.
I relied upon the Tofu Hakka Noodles. The only reason was Tofu.
After a while, the waiter came with the bowls full of noodles and Manchurian. The bowls were pretty large and it justified the high price of the restaurant. 😛 We ate the food. There were several cheese-like pieces in my noodles. ‘So, that’s tofu but the noodles are just the normal noodles with paneer pieces’ I said in my mind.
ChiliTofuHakkaNoodles3_lr
“How is your tofu?” Kevin asked me.
“Looks like cheese and also similar in taste but drier.”

After leaving the restaurant, we walked to the Assi Ghat. There was something happening there. A musical performance just ended before we reached, the banners told us so. There were people sitting on the benches, talking and having fun. We did the same.

Last night, Lay came to the room at 12:18 A.M and “Let’s play”. It was about the gaming nights we hold, we play a game and see who has progressed more in the given three or four hour time. Oliver, Nian, Lay and I started at 12:21. Call of Juarez Gunslinger is an awesome game to play. It follows the life of a gunslinger of the true wild west. Nice storyline with an amazing gameplay which gives the true cowboy feeling.
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The game is all about gunpowder and dynamite. Limitless shooting and killing. The sound of filled with the sound of gunshots blaring out of the four gaming machines we had. 😛
Nian as lagging behind very much and eventually gave up. We were three. Oliver;s laptop gave up and the bluescreen of death showed up. We were two now. Oliver and Nian left the place and went back to their rooms. It was 3 A.M then. I was leading and Lay was trying cope up. We both reached the last stage of the game. It was really tough with all the bosses of the game came back together in form of ghosts. I died there a dozen times. And Lay did it before me, just 3 seconds early. And with a difference of 3 seconds, the game credits floated on our screens. The game was completed.
“We are the real gamers” I smiled at Lay. He reciprocated. I left my seat and went out of the room. IT WAS BRIGHT OUTSIDE.
“Man, It’s morning, it was all dark when we started playing under the tube light and now it’s the sun out there.” I exclaimed.
I had never played a video the whole night before. It was time to rest. I slept at 6 A.M.
Woke up at 11 and I went to vote for the Student Parliament elections. Yes, I already knew that.

The time is 6:07 P.M right now. A summer evening before an unpredictable night ahead.