I was standing in the main street of Vashisht, all alone, trying to figure out how the hell I was going to get back to Manali without any sort of transportation in sight. It was getting dark and foggy, and it looked like it was going to rain again. That’s the price I pay for being fearless and coming to India all by myself - nobody gives a damn. They just leave me here to get wet, catch a cold, and die. Good thing I had bargained for that umbrella.
I heard some shouts in the distance, so I turned around to see what all the fuss was about, and also to try and focus on something else. It’s always better to focus on other people's problems than your own.
A person was standing on a high balcony, calling and waving his hands, trying to catch someone's attention.
‘Oh, it’s so nice when people care about you enough to signal you from a balcony and let you know that they're there,’ I pondered to myself.
I couldn't help but admire that person; he was relentless. He kept calling and waving again and again. At some point it even started to sound like he was calling my name. If there is one thing I’m endowed with, it is a highly developed imagination, so it was pretty obvious to me that no one was calling me and that I needed to find a way to get back to Manali instead of just standing around daydreaming.
But the more I tried to ignore the shouting person, the louder he seemed to be. And the more I tried to convince myself that he was not calling my name, the more clearly I could hear the word, ‘Jane.’
Imagine it the other way around.
I took a few steps closer to get a better look. ‘That’s not even a he, it’s a she,’ I realized. I squinted my eyes in an attempt to magically see through the fog. ‘Could that be Orlin going crazy up there in a desperate attempt to make the spaceship I call my head notice her?’
‘Well, it might as well be. I’ll go and check it out.’
I went up the stairs to the balcony to find one worn out and weary Orlin. She didn’t have to say a word, it was written all over her face, but she said it anyway: “Really? You really thought we’d leave you here?”
All I had to offer was a goofy smile.
From there we went up to the roof of one of the shops. I felt safe and relaxed once more, and promised myself that it would be the last time I’d panic like that for no evident reason (good luck with that…).
Even though the sky was cloudy and gray, the view was breathtaking and I thought it was the perfect moment to send small prayer or a blessing or a spiritual email (however you want to call it…) to the mighty universe, the good lord, the powerful force, or whatever kind of god may or may not be out there - that for the sake of that paragraph, let’s say that that those exist - who still have the strength to bear with me.