Inquiry Counter (a story by Nishant Gadhavi)
“This was the last jeep to Dharamsala”, said the driver. Gave him the money and I started walking towards the bus depot praying to get a bus. It was 11:45 PM and I was standing at an empty Bus Dept. There is a thing about otherwise overcrowded places. They look haunted without the crowd. Little scared about my prized possessions, I put my hands on the section where I had kept my cameras and started walking towards the only taxi visible at the far corner. “Hellooooooo”, I shouted. “Come here”, replied a voice. I went a little close to a table set just behind the taxi. “When is the next bus towards Pathankot”?, I asked. “At 4:00 AM”, said the guy. “You can sit here and wait, where are you from”? he added. “Gujarat”, I replied and kept my rucksack at the table and set on an empty chair. Seeing my hesitation, he added, “It’s ok, I am here only, do you drink”? I saw he was holding two beer bottles!!! “Drinking with a stranger”?, I thought. “I have little rum left in my bottle and took out a quarter bottle of Old Monk,” I replied with a smile. Two glasses clinked and “cheers” echoed!!!
4 hours, endless Himachali folk music, and the long conversation ended with a bus noise coming from a distance. I hopped on the bus and a voice came from behind “Jay Ramji Ki Pardesi, Fir Milenge Kabhi”!!! (someday, we will meet again)”
That night I felt, the traveler himself became the journey!!!
Nishant has been traveling & riding (Royal Enfield Bullet) for more than 14 years. A popular voice in Gujarat, Nishant is the creator and voice behind the two most popular and award-winning radio characters, i.e. Nishant Ni Chotli and Radio City par N.R.G (Non-Resident Gujarati). Nishant is also a book lover and in his leisure time, he loves to read, write, travel & click.
Being a mountain lover, Nishant dreams to retire in Himachal. Nishant also writes stories on his insta profile and also shares them his recently started blog (www.wordpacker.blogspot.com), where he writes stories accompanied by clicks from his solo trips.