“Sometimes someone else’s grief gives you more pain than yours”, Rishi murmured looking distractedly at the cloud passing animatedly in the sky. It disappeared in the trees only to reappear in the small gap of the dense forest. They were in the veranda of a small cottage at the outskirts of Nimbude village.
After an eventful day of adventure followed by extremely delicious food, the friends were lying down in uncut grass watching the clear pollution-free sky dotted by the stars, their mind dabbling in the double pleasure discussing the day and relive it. They had immensely enjoyed the jungle safari and were very happy that they had consented to Rishi's suggestion to come to Nimbude.
It was a lovely night and they felt at peace like never before. The wind and abundance of nature melted all their tensions. After a long time they were together, talking their hearts out. As the night wore, their topics drifted from gratitude to complaints. They took turns to keep names and criticize their life and relations. Why couldn't they have a perfect life? What can they do to make it perfect? Rishi listened neglectfully as they discussed to make it perfect but only by trying to change everything else but themselves. “What do you think?”, somebody shook him. “What do you think Rishi?” he repeated. “Me? You really want to know?” Rishi refuted. He stood and looked up to the moon. It was a fullmoon night. Then he answered their question.
“You guys are fools. When you have faithful partners who love and care for you, why are you running around for something else? What exactly do you want?”. His answer silenced them. They were not expecting this answer, not from Rishi. They were aware he had a breakup last month but he wasn't the emotional kind. In fact he would just joke about his fleeting relationships and move ahead. But this was a different Rishi they were listening to. Where love was last word in his dictionary, here he was, filled with emotion, his words carrying a hint of sadness, not fake but urgent and convincing of some unknown reason he wanted to convey.
His face looked soft with emotion, his eyes contemplating and staring in the air. “This place brought some memories. About a girl, a friend had told me about”.
They waited and when there was no answer they said in unison, “Tell us”. They were looking at him with interest in spite of the booze. He sat down on the uncut grass and began his story.
My friend is also a hippie at heart. He likes to travel by the untraversed path. It gives him adrenaline, he tells me. It was one of his offbeat trek. The one that he will never every forget.