This post won the Gold batom too!!
This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 40; the fortieth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "MAKE A WISH"
“Make a wish, Saanvi…” said Rishi covering Saanvi’s eyes.
“What..? She asked giggling like a school girl.
Oh! How he loved those giggles.
“I said, make a wish and blow the candles, I’m starving.”
“Hmmm… oookay….. I wish Rishi would take me on a trekking and camping trip to Mullayanagiri.”
“Whoa! I wasn’t expecting that, Saanu.” He had secretly been hoping it would be something more romantic.
“So now, I made my wish, when are we going?” She asked rubbing her hands in glee.
“Blow out these candles, I’ll plan something,” he promised, ruffling her hair lovingly.
Saanvi was a total surprise package, he could never predict what she would do or ask next. But that’s what drew him to her in the first place. He hoped he would be able to tell her how much he was in love with her at least during the trek. He wondered if she already had an inkling of his feelings and was just feigning innocence.
The five of them begun their 4 km climb, up to the Mullayanagiri peak, in the Baba Budanagiri range of the Western ghats of Chikmanglur. The fog covered mountains were breathtaking.
“Saanvi and Tanya, please stop behaving like kids, can you see how the path snakes around? You don’t want to slip and injure yourselves, do you?” chided Abhishek. He had always been scared to take risks, and now with the responsibility of these two girls, he was even more scared.
Both of them walked behind him like obedient school girls.
Saanvi suddenly let out a shrill scream, covering her mouth with her hands and looking at Abhishek.
“What…t happened…you ok?” he asked terrified that something might have gone wrong.
She continued to scream pointing to his shoulder. Abhishek glanced at his shoulder,
“aaaaaa……” he shouted, “help..snake….Rishi…..Akash……help!”
Even as Rishi and Akash rushed to him, the girls burst out laughing.
“Let me help you, Abhi,” mocked Saanvi, still giggling, as she removed the rubber snake from his shoulder and plonked it into her bag.
“Learn to take care of yourself first, ok?” She winked, happy that the revenge had been executed to perfection.
Abhi was clearly not amused. He had not even wanted to come on this trek, only if Rishi hadn’t pulled him in, he would have been happily reading his favourite book in the comforts of his home.
They had been walking steadily along the path that was aptly called “Sarpa Dhari”, snaking and winding for a good 4 kms. The steep stretch passed through bushes and low trees before it turned right leading to a ravine. The paths had become quite slippery due to the rains, and they continued climbing taking short breaks to admire the nature in all its beauty. The view of the colourful flowers and fog covered mountains were breathtaking. As they reached the top of a cliff, they felt the wind roar.
“It’s soooooooo beautiful…” screamed Saanvi as she and Tanya held hands and whirled round and round, the wind blowing their tresses all across their faces.
Rishi took out his camera, and began clicking pictures; he didn’t want to miss this look on Saanvi’s face. Everyone had been busy posing for pictures while Abhi stood aloof, still sulking.
“Oh come on Abhi,” Saanvi pulled him to where everyone was standing, “Are you still angry with me? I was just joking. Cheer up.”
“In case your thinking I’m a coward, let me tell you I’m not, I was actually bothered that there might be something wrong with you girls.” He explained, his hands making wild gestures in the air.
“Ok, then why don’t you stand at the edge of the cliff and pose for a picture, we’ll see how brave you are” she challenged.
“Big deal! Don’t you dare challenge Abhi, ” Tanya winked at Saanvi and then turning to Abhi, “You can do it, isn’t it Abhi? Go show her.” She mocked.
This Saanvi could be a real pain in all the wrong places, thought Abhi, What did Rishi find so attractive in this brainless beauty, he wondered as he walked up to the edge of the cliff, his feet trembling with fear and his heart thumping loudly. He saw the girls giving him thumbs up.
“Rishi one photo of our brave boy, Abhi, please,” she said and then she looked at Abhi, “Abhi, Titanic pose,” she screamed at him, spreading out her hands and showing him what she meant.
Rishi smiled. “Ok, Abhi, ready?”
Suddenly a strong gust of wind, blowing at high speed took them all by surprise. Rishi’s camera dropped to the ground and before they could steady themselves, they heard a piercing scream. Abhi was nowhere to be seen and all they could hear was his loud screaming. They rushed to the edge of the cliff and saw Abhi dangling over a tree branch several feet down.
“Abhi, don’t panic, we’ll get you,” shouted Akash as he unhooked the bundle of rope fastened to his waist and threw it down at Abhi. It was just the right length.
Abhi wasn’t even listening to them; he looked at the deep gorge below and screamed even louder.
“Don’t look down, Abhi.” Akash shouted.
“He isn’t listening to us,” said Rishi, “I’ll go down and get him; he will never hold onto this rope and climb up by himself.”
“No, Rishi, this could be risky, don’t go” Saanvi held his arm, pulling him back.
“I must help him my dear; don’t you see how scared he is? He might not be able to hold on to that tree any longer. Moreover, he didn’t want to come with us, I was the one who forced him to. How can I leave him like this? Nothing will happen to me. Let me go.”
Rishi secured one end of the rope to his waist and the other end to a tree nearby and rappelled down to Abhi.
Rishi reached him and untied his rope, securing it to Abhi’s waist. Abhi was shivering with fright and perspiring even in the nippy climate outside. Rishi patted his back, “all will be fine, be bold”. Then he signaled to the gang to hoist Abhi up.
“I’m going to die, I’m going to die, someone save me…..” he kept screaming with every pull of the rope.
When he was finally back to safety, Akash threw the rope to Rishi, so that he could climb back.
It had begun to rain and a boulder rolled down the slopes hitting Rishi. Rishi lost hold of the tree branch and he rolled several feet down the hill slopes.
“Rishi……..” screamed Saanvi as she saw Rishi slide.
Luckily he found another branch and held on to it in the nick of time.
“Thank god…..” they cried in unison. Akask threw the rope to him but it was way too short.
“I’m going down,” declared Saanvi, securing the rope to her waist.
“How will that help? The rope is too short for that” reasoned Akash.
“I’ll reach the tree where Abhi was stuck and throw the rope down to Rishi securing the end to that tree. Once he reaches there, we’ll find a way to climb up.”
“That is madness, Saanvi, this is not possible.”
But she refused to listen and began rappelling down to the tree where Abhi had been stuck, even before they could stop her. Rishi saw her coming down and screamed at her, “What do you think you are doing, Saanvi?”
She had reached the tree and was struggling to find a foothold.
“Saanvi, go back, it’s an order, go back, please.”
“I’m not going back without you.”
Even as she struggled, the tree branch broke making it impossible for her to land on it.
“Saanvi, don’t do this, there’s no way you will be able to reach me.”
They looked into each other eyes as she realized the futileness of her effort and he realized how impossible it was for him to get back.
Tears streamed down her eyes as she looked around for support. There was none. Rishi was dangling precariously and there were tears in his eyes too. Rishi shouted for Aakash to pull her back to safety.
“No, Rishi, I’ll untie myself if you don’t let me rescue you.” She threatened.
‘Saanvi……,” he closed his eyes, and bit his lip; “I want to tell you something” he paused again, he did not want it to happen like this, but he had to tell her. “I love you.”
“Is this how you propose to a girl, you idiot?” she was crying softly now.
He laughed. “I’m sorry. But this is the best I can do now. I want you to know that I have always loved you with all my heart and you mean the world to me.”
“You can do better than that. Wait till we get back to safety. Then I want a full filmy style proposal.” She choked as she spoke the last sentence.
“No, Saanvi, we both know, that will not happen.” He heard the branch starting to creek under his weight.
“I love you too. I have been waiting for this day forever. I did not wish it to be like this.” She was crying bitterly now.
“You must promise me that you will let yourself be pulled up now.”
“No, I’m trying to pull myself down to reach you. I know we’ll make it.”
She was trying to gain foothold by making a clearing in the place where the tree had been. Rishi knew it was useless as she would have no support to pull him up. Then he saw another boulder about to break loose just above Saanvi.
He realized what he must do. “Saanvi, if you really love me, you must go back. We will meet in some other life.” And then he let go of the branch he had been holding on to, hurtling down several feet in to the ravine below.
She looked at him with shock in her eyes, her arms outstretched in vain. Their eyes remained locked till she saw the last of him.
This was one wish, she would have been happy, left unfulfilled.