Five Years Ago

    I was on my way to my grandmother’s house. It had been mid-way during our monsoon vacations in Cherrapunji. The Rain God had been showering his blessings over us since the time my trip had begun.

  Nothing outside was visible. My bus trip was an overnight one. Just six ‘o’ clock and even with the sun in the sky, the dark clouds and the thunderous rain had taken control of the environment. I was sitting on one of the last last seats, listening to music. Tea was about to be served. A flash of thunder, and a tree came crashing down on the bus, injuring the driver and leaving us driverless. Due to less visibility, no one could see what was going on outside. Five minuted passed and suddenly we heard a gunshot. And a gunshot was all to get people up on their feet and panicking. Five armed men entered the bus, and I sensed it. Our bus was being hijacked.

Toddlers started crying, kids were petrified and mothers were just trying to put their kids to sleep. The sight of the guns caused butterflies in my stomach too. There was no way that we could ask for help as no service or any sought of connection was available. Everyone was asked to take their seats and remain quiet. Guns being punishment, everyone listened. All our cellphones were taken away. One of the men got inside the driver’s cabin and off we went. After a journey of about half an hour, we came to a standstill. The rain had no reason to stop, and so it didn’t. We were pushed out of the bus and driven into a dark cave. Suddenly, a man tried running away onto the road. One shot, and he lay dead with his son crying next to him.

Before,the hijacker tried to shoot the little boy,I went and picked him up in my arms. As we entered the cave,my hands brushed past the rocks. The hijackers lit up the cave with oil torches,and then it hit me. My memory rewinded and I was reminded of the familiarity of this place. Ofcourse,my parents used to bring me here as a kid,for picnic and outings. I had adored this place and now,I was being pushed in as a prisoner. As we turned a corner,I noticed a ‘x’ carved on the stone. Something I had carved to remember the place,as it had been a secret door. Being only ten,I knew my absence wouldn’t be spotted. Along with the Sam, I moved towards the ‘x’. Creaking and squeaking noises were thankfully drowned by the lashing rain. I entered the passage. After going a few meters, I thought of giving up. But then I heard rain and some cars. On crawling further,I realized where I had ended up on the main road. I was overjoyed. But we had to get everyone out. I couldn’t take Sam back with me,he was only five. I couldn’t leave him either. So,I decided to take the risk and we went back in. The hijackers didn’t know about the secret passage. They had left all the passengers in the cave,blocked the cave and gone out somewhere. Everyone was crying and praying to God.

I found an elderly man and told him about my plan of getting everyone out. He announced out my plan and everyone was overjoyed and excited. I decided to lead the way. I picked up Sam again and we all made our way towards the ‘x’ marked place. We had only minutes before the hijackers returned. I along with Sam crawled through the passage along with an army of people. IN about twenty minutes,everyone was out on the main road. We started our walk towards the nearest police station. Soon the policemen were all around the cave,hijackers caught,our belongings returned and all well was well. But not for Sam,who watched his father’s dead body being carried away. I went and hugged him and felt his tears on my palm. And with parents myself,I decided to adopt Sam. Surprisingly,he agreed.

It had been five years since that hijack that changed mine and Sam’s life. Today I’m fifteen and I live with my one only friend and brother,the ten year-old Sam.