New experiences are always exciting and thrilling at the same time. I had one such experience when we were night camping at the base of Jivdhan Fort, situated near Junnar, Maharashtra. The journey on the road from Junnar village to the base camp of Jivdhan fort was the first-of-its-kind I had in my lifetime. We were a group of 12. Eight were in a car, we two on one bike, and another two on another bike. There was a lack of mobile network and coordination, due to which, we did not know where our friends in the car and another bike were. We found ourselves alone on the road. It was 9’o’clock at night, there was only a small road that finds its way through the jungle, and the roadside lighting was not the concept that road knew. Small houses were residing at a small distance from the road. They had lights and those were the only lights visible from the road. We were allowed to see up to the distance our bike’s headlights allowed us. We saw every kind of person who put our hearts in our throats. Each person, from a drunkard walking in a wavy motion to a big-mustache guy with self-assuring gait, face covered with a cloth, and a penetrating gaze, made us think that all we have to do was empty our pockets if we want to reach in a single piece. The only conciliation was the starry sky. It was a sheer treat to eyes in the terrifying journey. The sky defined magnificence. Fortunately, we reached the base in a single piece at 10 pm, without the need to empty our pockets. The car and another bike reached at 10:30.
I thought it was the only nerve-wracking excitement I was going to experience that night. At 1 am, I was recording whatever came to my mind and my friend’s car rushed toward me. There were four of my friends in the car. They planned to roam around in the jungle and asked if I wanted to tag along. I nodded and slipped into the car. All the heartbreaking songs were played as we bantered each other about heartbreaks and took random turns. Then we decided we would park the car on the side of the road and enjoy the atmosphere. As decided, we parked and came out. The lights were visible at a small distance from the road in various directions. A temple was visible at a far distance and devotional songs were playing there. The scintillating stars were the sight to sore eyes. The sky was jam-packed with them. The breeze was rushing our bodies and giving the delectation of lifetime. Everything seemed exquisite in the summer night.
One of the friends began telling a horror story he heard from his friends. There was a haunted house in Chandani Chowk area of Pune. Five families have committed suicide there. No one lives there and no one dares to go around the house after nine in the night. Then another friend recited his experience about the encounter with a ghost. They were traveling from Chandani Chowk to Lavasa at nine in the night in a car. They asked the route to a person walking on the roadside, wearing a white cap. He guided them with the route. Once they reached the destination, they saw the same person there, walking on the roadside. They were frightened to death, took a U-turn, and darted to the home. We were laughing and inquisitive at the same time. Then another friend began reciting his horror experience when something unexpected happened. The lights went off and scared the daylights out of everyone. Everybody screamed and rushed to get in a car. One of my friends, who did not have keys and didn’t know how to drive, tried to open the driver’s door. The one who had keys patted on his shoulder and instructed him to take the door on another side. Everyone screamed to unlock the doors. He unlocked the doors, everyone jumped out of their skins, and skidded in the car. Fortunately, the windows were closed already. We heard the crisp sound of a key turning and engines roaring. As we inched forward, the friend on the wheel turned off the headlights out of panic and everybody squealed. He turned them on and we decided to hit the base camp. We merely traveled 50 meters and the lights sprung up to life. Everybody gave a sigh of relief.
Then we were arguing over whether we should stop somewhere again or not. Finally, we decided not to. As everyone was scared out of wits for a few seconds, we began letting the emotions flow by making fun of ourselves and running imaginations. We teased the friend who was trying to open the driver’s door. Two guys on a bike overtook us and the friend at the wheel said, “Do you all see two people on the bike? If you see one, tell me. I’ll crash the other.” The other said, “Check the backseat if the person with the white cap is with us.” With mocking each other and laughing at what happened, we reached the base camp and glided in our tents for sleep. As I slid inside my tent, I thought, the stars must also be laughing at what they witnessed a few minutes ago.