Education has a high price, in not just monetary terms but also in terms of the energy it drains out of you. To that add fear and you have a perfect nightmare!!!
My CAT (like) coaching class for impending MBA doom ends at 8:15 p.m. And on this particular evening, I had to go home by myself. All seemed ordinary.
I hailed a bus and asked the conductor if the bus was headed to sector 17-bus stand. He said it was and I boarded it, thanking my stars that I had found one so quickly, little did I know what a creepy evening fate had in store.
I was tired, had had a long day, so I closed my eyes for a bit. My alarm was set to wake me up, if I were to fall asleep, after ten minutes.
And ten minutes later I did indeed open my eyes but to a very unfamiliar surrounding whizzing past me as the bus speeded on to some unknown destination.
I looked around for the conductor. I did not see him immediately but what I did notice was that I was surrounded by ill dressed, bad looking men who were unashamedly feasting their eyes.
My heart started galloping as the anxiety and fear sunk it.
The tips of my fingers were cold.
We reached some bus stand at 8:45 pm, one that I did not recognize.
To top it off, it was empty, except for a few scary looking men.
I looked for that damned conductor again and asked him where the hell he had got me. I was half dreading that this was what he had planned all along.
I had reached Panchkula, when my final destination was Mohali. These are at opposite ends, much like Noida and Gurgaon for Delhites. It was a distance of fifty kilometers from each other, maybe more.
So when I confronted the conductor, he looked perplexed!
He said that he thought that I wanted to come to Panchkula.
I would have shouted at him, I suppose, had I not been so tired, exasperated and scared. I got off the bus, being the last passenger to do so, and stood beneath the only lighted area near the entrance of the bus stand. The conductor told me that the last bus to Chandigarh might come.
MIGHT. It’s funny how a single word could bring down hope so drastically.
It was now nine at night, but looking at the lack of human life around me, it could have been 2 am.
A dog barked somewhere, and I literally jumped out of my skin.