11:22 PM. 8 minutes to go before the cabbie arrived at the gate. I quickly gulped down the sticky Maggie, put some clothes, checked my purse for money, grabbed my phone.
11:28 PM 2 minutes to go before the cabbie arrived at the gate. I sprinted down, tucking my shirt in, hoping to be there at the gate, before the cabbie. I couldn’t bear his accusatory tone, if I was late.
11:30 PM Paradise regained. Rupa was in the cab and so was Sonali. In 30 minutes, it was Rupa’s birthday. I was hoping to get her nod tonight. I had spent a packet on a ring to gift Rupa and seal the bond.
Rupa smiled warmly. A good omen! Sonali smirked. Nothing unusual. The cabbie revved up. He was in a hurry. As he sped on the bustling roads, braking at will and barely managing to avoid colliding into vehicles.
Rupa became nervous. She slipped her fingers into mine and held onto them. Smirking Sonali, let go at the cabbie, who slowed down momentarily and stuck to his original speed. As we turned into a lane, BAMM! The cabbie managed to bang into a pizza delivery guy, who flew into air on impact. To avoid hurting him further, the cabbie swerved and crashed into a tree.
1:00 AM Rupa wokeup, to see the mayhem around. Air-bags had saved the cabbie. But he was unconscious. Sonali sat rubbing her head. mumbling something incoherently in Marathi. Her man, seemed to have passed out too, though fingers were still entwined. There is this persistent mooing sound. They were in a no-network patch.
1:30 AM Rupa shookher man and Sonali. The man was stirring. So he wasn’t dead. They both comforted each other and came out slowly to check the mayhem. They flashed their mobiles to see the extent of damage. The pizza delivery guy was no where to be found. They searched under the vehicle, over the cab. No sign of the guy. But the mooing was now loud and clear. To their utter horror, they saw one horn of a buffalo sandwiched between the bumper and the tree. The Buffalo wasn’t hurt but shocked.
2:00 AM Sonali shook the driver, who slowly resurfaced. He got down to see the bonnet smashed up. And they all heard some feeble sounds coming from the tree. As they all craned their necks to see, they could make out the outline of the pizza delivery boy. The impact had landed him on the top branches and he was moaning. Except the cabbie no one knew how climb trees except the driver, who wasn’t exactly in shape to do so. The mooing was getting stronger. The buffalo was now petrified. They all gathered and somehow managed to push the cab away from the tree, enough for the buffalo to move away. The moment it wriggled, one horn that was sandwiched broke into half and the buffalo ran away.
3:00 AM The ladies, the cabbie and the man were now petrified. What if a crowd gathered and beat them to pulp. But they couldn’t leave the pizza delivery guy, up the wall. How about shaking the tree? The pizza guy continued to moan.
3:15 AM the cabbie somehow dragged himself up and helped the pizza delivery guy down. As they all gathered, firstly they wolfed down an entire pizza and then started walking ahead. Till they found help.
As the day broke, both the cab and the scooter were towed away. Everyone got a day to recover.
And as the day ended a one horned buffalo was trending. Nobody knew what happened.