He walked with slow dragged steps for as far as he could. There was no sight of a shelter or water. His lips were parched by now and it was windy and cold. Soon it would be dark and a shelter for the night was much needed. He stopped for a while to catch his breath. He had left his bag full of provisions and water at the hill. It had been a long trek and the events he had left behind made him shudder with fear.
Ambar & Bijoy could have very well been described as dare devil. They were in it together and when they had decided on a road trip to the mountains, they were not sure what they were signing for. It was not the best month for the trip. It would most certainly be snowing at the time of the year absolutely in contrast to the warm blood that rushed in their veins. They hopped on to their respective motorbikes and took off with their gear as guided to them by their local contact there.
The terrain was tough and was named as the world’s third toughest roads to travel. Obviously that had a lot to do with their resolve to complete the trip in flat 3 days. Once Bijoy suggested that they should reduce the number of days considering the weather conditions. Ambar swayed the concern with a more positive winner streak. He dropped in an additional trek to the most dangerous pass on the mountains. He suggested a sure shot adrenaline high. Bijoy gave in.
Breathless, tired, sleepy but very motivated, they climbed the full stretch of about 800 meters uphill. It was getting difficult to breathe as they were already at a high of about 17000 ft. Altitude sickness started playing with Bijoy’s breath. Ambar instantly passed on his oxygen mask to him while they rested for a while. Another 300 meters and they would reach their destination. Ambar checked with Bijoy to see if he was fine. On a nod from both they started walking again towards the windy track. Suddenly something flew past Ambar’s face and he turned to give a glance when he lost his balance and was thrown by the wind down a cliff. Bijoy screamed his name out but in vain. He ran towards the cliff to check. Ambar’s backpack was caught on a tree hanging him like a little baby on a baby carrier. His hands supported the tip of the cliff.
He called out, ‘Bijoy, help me!’
Bijoy contemplated for a while. Took out a rope from his bag and tied it to the bark of a tree. He threw the other end towards Ambar but it fell short.
Ambar, if I step any further I will fall of the cliff
Try coming from the other end, Bijoy, I can’t hold on any longer
Bijoy turned around to check if he could help Ambar in some way.
‘Pass me the rope, Bijoy, we don’t have time.’ Amber screamed in anguish.
Something crossed his mind then and Bijoy turned around and ran as fast as he could down the hill, tears flowing his cheeks as he cried like a little child. He ran till the time he could no more and crashed on the ground. Far on one of the ghats he could see an Army truck pass by. He hoped to get some help and ran towards the ghats. Panting and sobbing, his mind numb and his heart racing like the wings of a humming bird.
Slowly the pace of his feet was dying and so was his hope. It was almost dark now and as soon as he looked ahead from his tired, misty eyes he saw a flame far away. It was like a lightening had struck his feet that he picked up his speed to reach the light. He could see a frame of a person in the dark as he approached and landed on his knees to catch his breath when he heard the voice:
Can you pass me the rope, Bijoy?
This post is a part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, July 2013
Disclaimer : This a work of fiction and resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.