They say going through the grind of an engineering course does, if not anything else, hone inquisitive thinking. You question the way things work, move yada yada yada. Mind you the inquisitive thinking takes an experiential form when slightly inebriated.OK, that is just a technical way of saying you get stubborn and stupid when you drink your self silly.
This was the final year of engineering for some of us. The last few months of any course often witness an increased level of bonding (read alcohol consumption) between friends.
Our institution was located in Tumkur a fair way away from the city of Bangalore, a town devoid of any night life. This particular incident is about one of our nights out in the city.
About 8 of us joined up for dinner and a session of beers. Post the sizzlers and multiple rounds of beers it was time to say our goodbyes and go crash at the pre-assigned pads of the friends who were from the city.Being from the city meant all of the following possession of a bike or a “Kiney”, knowledge of liquor vends that would oblige and a list of must do drives.
As we stood around in the parking lot over the mandatory parting smoke
“Awesome weather man, would be great to get some wind on your face…” said the Adventurous Guy (AG)
“Dunno about the wind but I wouldn’t mind another beer” said Silly Guy (SG)
I did mention that there is a cast of characters, so you will have to bear with all the names (which obviously have been carefully coined)
The Teetotaler Guy (TG) said “You guys have had enough..lets just get back home” to which the Profound Bong (PB) started to nod. He was not even half-way through the nod that the Tam Dude with his face beaming came up with
“Machan lets drive to Nandi Hills that way AG gets his wind on the face and SG his beers, God knows I can use a few too. If we start now we can catch the sunrise”
The normally Reclusive Prof did some mental stuff and said
“Yeah! You know guys, this probably will be the last time all of us can be out together… the semester end exams start 3 weeks from now”
I guess none of us questioned the finality of the what had just been said, not even the Overbearing Guy (OG).
We all set off in the direction of Nandi Hills a 65 km drive from where we were.
True to the promise the drive was laced with a lot of wind on the face for the riders and more beers for those on the pillion.
We had stopped for a bio break, we were now on the ghat section and barely a kilometer or two from the top.
Suddenly Silly Guy said “Hey! I want to ride the bike too..”
“Shut Up and sit behind AG” said Overbearing Guy
“Its just a kilometre to the top…Come On!!” said SG refusing to listen.
“Is it OK with you if I take your Kiney?” he turned to the Matter of Fact Guy (MfG).
Tam Dude butted in and said “Guys we are going to miss the Sunrise if you keep arguing”
Overbearing Guy continued ” No Da..this bugger can’t ride the ghats here are steep”
“Let him do it OG…” the Adventurous Guy said “I will sit behind him do not worry”
“Yeah..its just a Kiney…all he’s gotta do is balance it” opined the Prof which was met by yet another nod of approval by the Profound Bong.
That said the group set of OG and PB zipping out first in anger and protest with Teetotaler Guy and Prof taking wing side to OG-PB duo.
Murphy’s law “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”
Spotlight on the Silly Guy. Bolstered by all the support and mildly irritated with the OG, SG set off with AG riding pillion and having achieved the initial momentum started to negotiate the bend.
SG realised he was almost off the road, saw a small rock jutting out, tried to avoid it, swerved and ended up sprawled on the road. AG somehow sensed the impending disaster and managed to jump off.
Meanwhile, Tam Dude and MfG riding the other bike took the bend only to find SG sprawled on the road with AG laughing away.
MfG ran towards them saying “Shit! Shit!! Shit!!!”
Seeing him run one would have almost thought it was his love for his roomie of 4 years who lay sprawled. Well as I said almost.
MfG ran and picked up his Kinetic and his cry of angst was because the sides were scratched and the rear view mirror broken.
SG for the life of him could not understand why AG was laughing away to glory and the fact that the Kine got more attention than him from MfG had not escaped his notice.
Adrenalin rushing in his stream and blood oozing from his eyebrow SG declared “I am feeling very hot”, suddenly unbuttoned his torn shirt, pulled down his jeans and plonked himself on the embankment.
Tam Dude came around and said “Machan you want me to light a cigarette? You’ll feel better.”
The other four had made it to the top in the meanwhile and were getting restive wondering what was taking the rest of us so much time. After a few minutes decided to turn back and check.
They reached the spot to find SG on the embankment with Tam Dude, MfG and AG standing around him.
“Damn you SG….I told you its not your cup of tea you stubborn prick!!!” shouted OG “You’ve spoilt it all..now lets head the hell back”
Adventurous Guy continued his devilish laughter, while MfG rued the broken rear view mirror.
Teetotaler Guy the only compassionate soul took a look at SG’s bruise and said “Guys this ones deep..this guy needs some medical attention”
In this entire melee someone, I guess the Reclusive Prof said
“You know guys..in the beam of the headlights of our bikes..with SG lying half naked and you guys standing around smoking..it looks almost like a highway gang-rape”
Even SG managed a smile on that one.
The rest of the story…
• The guys did make it in time for the sunrise (must admit it was a sight to behold)
• SG got 4 stitches across his eye-brow albeit four hours later that too without an anesthetic at some shady nursing home in the village nearby
• SG never ever rode a bike again