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Adventures of Lonavla Part III

Links to Earlier Parts:
Part I : http://abhishek-nandgaonkar-blogs.blogspot.in/2012/08/journey-to-lonavla.html
Part II : http://abhishek-nandgaonkar-blogs.blogspot.in/2012/08/journey-to-lonavla-part-ii.html

                                                             PART III



                I opened my eyes. A sharp ray of light struck right into my eye. I covered my eyes and looked to my left; there was pitch darkness. I was confused of the day it was; place I was in. I tried to get up and could sense a lot of pain in my back. I fell back and fell unconscious again.

                A wet feeling on my face got me disturbed. I slightly tried opening my eyes to find out a dog standing on my face. I was taken back and got up instantly. Looked around to find out nothing but dust and stones all around me. I was lying on a large piece of flat rock which was as I said then ‘Placed there for me by God.’ I checked my right hand for it had something smooth in it tickling my palm. It was that silky golden flower that had got me down there. I placed it in my left pocket. I went to the edge of the rock and it was a well sloped entrance to a very deep valley with the contrast setting of the surrounding set to the maximum. I could not see beyond five rows of trees; it was that dark.

                Tried recollecting how I reached there and could recollect that my knee slipped at the edge I rolled downwards. I could distinctly recollect my attempts to grab onto something; anything and my failure in doing so. And while on a rolling spree, I must have gone unconscious. It was nothing less than a miracle that I had no fractured bones; just scratches and skin ripped off near my right knee; I was fine otherwise. I took out my handkerchief from my right back pocket and wrapped my injured right knee.
                That dog was staring at me with his tongue out. I was surprised at that; rarely do dogs do that to strangers. He came and sat next to me. I started patting him; the very first time I was doing that. I wondered how many days I was out and what must my friends and parents be thinking. Probably they must have assumed me dead for someone needs a miracle to survive a fall like that. I luckily was on the receiving end.

                I tried standing up; there was an evident pain in my knees. It was evening; the sun was setting. I was lying on a small piece of mountain which had naturally formed a flat surface where I could land and survive. If nature; rain and soil in particular had not once upon a time in history created that surface; I would have been somewhere up there wondering if there was one. There was greenery all around me. Trees and trees all where I could see. There were very high trees right above the cave; probably the reason why no one could see that rock from above; and nobody was crazy enough to decline down to discover it.

                I immediately went for my phone in my right pocket; it wasn’t there. I was shocked. Somehow the sorrow of losing my phone was more than the fact that I was stuck at some place I actually had no idea of. There was no way to climb back to the top and I was not yet insane enough to climb down. I have seen enough movies of people stuck in forests and other random places all by themselves; I still had this unknown canine to accompany me. I had to look for a way to get out of there but darkness was slowly overpowering all the light all around me.

                I was starving and thirsty. God bless that Daksh for spilling water on my jeans in the morning of my incident; reason why I decided to wear my cargos. I checked my pockets. There was a half-eaten packet of Hide-n-Seek and some Chewing gums. I also had the keys of our hotel room in my left pocket, two handkerchiefs, my wallet with some cash, a debit card, some stupid papers; most of them bills and receipts of some or the other product and a picture of my girlfriend. Gladly I found a few toffees which I thought could somehow be of help. I popped one in.

                Standing at the edge of a small extension of the rock if I could call it so, I was staring right at the sunset. No Instagram could have ever captured a scene like that. It was so blissful; I just couldn’t take my eyes off it. I was somehow enjoying the breeze but soon realized that I had to find a place secure enough of anything wild in the jungle.

                I looked behind and found that dog vanished. He was not there. I started wondering where he could have gone. I started searching for him for he might know the water source or any human living there; although the chances were rare. I could see wet sand with dog paw-prints on them. I decided on following it. I started following and soon I was in a semi-dark place with trees all around me. I decided on not going further and that I would try following it the next morning.

I went back near a tree by my rock; it was somehow my spot now. Sat in a corner with my back to a rock hoping that some animal won’t attack me whether I am asleep or not. I was seriously missing that dog now. His disappearance had left me disturbed. I took out Ananya’s photo from my wallet and was staring at it when I again fell asleep.

**********************************************************
                I do not remember the last time I got up at sunrise; no alarm in this world was capable of doing that. But the sweet music of nature got me up; birds singing leaves rustling, I felt like I was on a vacation. Hurriedly got up and waited for brightness to increase on this beautiful canvas.             I had nothing to do but to sit; no phone-calls to make, no messages to answer, no music to hear and no movies to watch. Being there without people and my phone was a completely different experience. I took a look at my injured knee; took out the handkerchief; it looked in a pretty bad shape. I wrapped my knee again and sat quietly with my stream of thoughts all flashing at once.

                I was out of my consciousness for at least a day for I had seen a new morning; I expected my friends must have made a police complaint, there must have been attempts to find me, my parents must have been informed, Ananya must have been informed and everyone must be so worried. I had to go to them. It then struck me, I had Ananya’s picture in my hand when I slept the last night and now it was nowhere around me. I started searching for it frantically but could not find it anywhere. I lost hope for I wanted that picture with me, looking at that picture, talking to it gave me strength and power to overcome any problem. Just in the matter of a few minutes I realized how important that girl had become in my life, I wanted her with me. The last thing I had with her was this passport sized picture of hers but now that was gone too.

                Sun started shining bright in some time and it was time for me to set off on the journey to find the dog, my only hope of survival. I popped in a biscuit and a toffee and got up. My right knee was making me limp. There were many trees around me; the next task for me was to find a weak branch which I can break and carry for protection. I started looking for one as I started walking into the jungle. I was cautious as I walked; avoiding any kind of noise on my part. I found a small tree branch lying around; I picked it up, dusted it with my hand and decided to use it as my stick.

                The dog’s footprints were right in front of me and were going to lead me deep into the jungle. I was a little scared but I had to do it; so I braced myself and started walking.

... TO BE CONTINUED

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