It was my first all girls fun trip to Goa! I deserved this break. I have never had a proper break in years now. Working almost everyday for the whole year and watching other people enjoying their trips to every little corner in the world, posting status and pictures on social media, becoming travel bloggers, I had it. So my plan was… I WILL LIVE THIS VACATION LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW. THIS IS IT!
A group of 5 girls landed in Goa one awesome evening. Not wanting to waste any time we went straight into the hotel, checked in and hired three scootys for our wanderlust hearts. After a lot of discussion, we decided to go to a beach, where we can enjoy food, drinks, music and the 'sunset ka nazaara'. We went to Arambol Beach from Bagha on our bikes. Enjoying the weather, clicking pictures on the way, we landed up at the beach. There was food, music, beach fun, dancing... all those attractions that we were looking for. After a few hours I noticed a group of guys were checking us out! We all were drunk and it was getting darker. We didn't want any kind of stupidity on the first day of our trip and hence decided to leave for our hotel in Bagha.
The road from Arambol to Bagha was quite secluded, narrow and had no street lights. We all were partially drunk so were riding the bikes slowly. On the pitch dark road, we noticed a small beam of light coming from behind. The beam of light became bigger and bigger till we realised that it came from a 4 wheeler which was right behind us. Music playing in it, we could hear it mildly. The music started getting louder and the beam of light getting wider. One of my friends looked behind. "It's them... the boys from the beach".
My friends who were riding the bikes twisted their wrists hard enough to get the bikes accelerated. I was sitting at the back of my friend, Gracy. She was the one who knew Goa at the back of her hands. She said, "follow me" and raced our bike ahead. The boys sped up their vehicles too and started chasing us. We could hear them screaming and howling from behind, asking us to join them. I was scared to death. This was my first trip without family, the first day of the trip and I cannot land up in such a mess. The road was so secluded we were looking for people, for light, for help. My friends were so scared they started shouting for help as they rode their bikes at full speed.
"Guys... we are lost! I lost my way. I don't know where we are?" said Gracy.
The chase went really far. We were lost now. I was so scared, I could feel my heart in my mouth. The happy high that we were was long past gone by now. My friends started screaming in fear.
"Wait wait... Let me check the map on the app, I will get us back to the hotel I promise".
I checked my phone, there was no signal. I switched my phone off, back on, still no luck. I felt like crying. The blurr screen of the app with the loading circle moving on and on kind of got me hypnotised.
"Swati... SWATI... did you get the way?" Gracy yelled at me.
My trance broke. I looked up from the phone screen and noticed a man, standing by the side of the road, who was pointing us in the direction. "Gracy... take a left from here", I said.
"Are you sure? I don't know this way", said Gracy.
"Yes, believe me. A man just showed me to go this way."
"Who? Which man? I did not see anyone?- Gracy
"We just crossed him. Please go where I am telling you please", I said with an irritation and urgency in my tone.
The boys were still chasing us, calling names and making their intentions very clear. As the bikes struggled on the narrow road, filled with potholes, I saw him again. It was the same man who pointed us to go in a direction earlier. I froze... I couldn't feel a thing... I couldn't hear a thing but just an irritating ringing noise in my ears. I was already in a state of shock when I saw HER. A pair of old wrinkled angry eyes peeping at me from the rear mirror of the scooty. Her old wrinkly hands clutched on the mirror. Her silver-grey unkept hair flowing freely on her wrinkled face, trying to cover those blood-spot wrinkled eyes. I was cold as ice. She raised her finger and moved it from left to right, signalling 'NO'.
"She is telling us not to go ahead".
"Who? Now who is she? You said an uncle right?"- Gracy
"No... I don't understand. It's a woman. She is telling us not to go ahead".
"Swati you are scaring me now. Who are these people. What do I do?"- Gracy
I looked at those eyes again. They got angrier. Her eyes were bursting with anger and mine with fear. She showed her wrinkled hands and signalled to 'STOP'.
'GRACY... STOP! STOP THE SCOOTY!'
Gracy pushed her brakes immediately. My other friends who were following us stopped too. All clueless.
"Gracy... why did you stop? What happened? The guys are right behind us," said one of my friends.
"But... where are those guys? Where are we?", Gracy asked.
I looked around to find out if I could see any of those faces again. There was no sign of that uncle or woman or the guys. I started to feel my legs again now, getting warmer to normal. My friends were firing their questions at us, cluelessly, hopelessly. I took a cigarette out of my sling bag and walked out of my group to take a drag. I started looking for my lighter in my pockets. I looked down to find it in my sling bag. In the pitch dark surroundings, suddenly my vision zeroed down on the ground. It was a huge drift, a canyon, a valley... I couldn't figure out much in the dark but it was a fall... a death fall!