Spotting the mini-bus parked in the street some way off, we made a beeline to it, and clambered into it wearily; it had been a long day, and everyone was tired, most of all children. The chatter was muted, and niceties, or inconsequential talk was kept to a minimum.
Once more the vehicle chugged along the now-getting-more-familiar-by-the-minute streets. The vehicle’s growl, and the rhythmic sway and roll as the driver navigated the streets, served to lull the children to sleep, and soon the cabin was quiet. Half and hour along these roads, and we were at our destination, our hotel. Slowly, everyone got down from the bus, and made their way to the hotels’ reception, and then up to their room.
‘Goodbye’. ‘Goodnight’. ‘See you tomorrow’. Greeting were exchanged and then, just like that, the day had ended – or had it??
As we were walking down the lobby to our room someone called from behind.
‘Boss. Come to room 311,’ this was KG, along with a couple of other boys – Vidyarthi, Vikas, Abhishek, and others. This was obviously an invitation for the after party….
Dropping Vaishali and the girls at our room, I turned back and made my way to the ‘party room’. Even from outside the door, I could hear the loud voices, and the unrestrained laughter from inside. I smiled involuntarily, and rang the bell.
‘Boss,’ exclaimed Vidhyarthi, as the door opened. He stood in the doorway, framed by the lights from the room, exuding happiness, some of which was, no doubt, due to the amount of liquor he had already ingested. A gust of cigarette smoke greeted me as I entered a room full of boys from Vaishali’s batch. Some of them got up to make space for me, offer me a chair, and then a drink……
The next few hours were spent in well meaning banter, and drunken chatter before someone remembered that tomorrow was an important day and we all had to get up on time to attend the main, the formal reunion function at the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banara Hindu University. The party broke up quickly, and I made my way back to my room, looking forward to our visit to the campus tomorrow.
To be continued…..
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