A trip with a stranger by Prachi Desai

A Trip With A Stranger

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4.4/5Overall Score


Panchi and Hriday embark on an unplanned adventure, discovering hidden beauty and forming a deep connection amidst picturesque landscapes. Their spontaneous journey unfolds with shared laughter, serene moments by a waterfall, and a surprise lotus-root tasting. As the day ends with a mesmerizing sunset, their bond and love for nature grow stronger, promising more adventures together.

Panchi as her name shouts out loud was a free bird. One day she was just going through her social media account. She came to a feed posted by one of her social media friends. That post was so striking for Panchi that she buzzed him inquiring about that location where those photos were apprehended. Hriday replied in a bit saying that it is just a few km away from the town. She asked him ample questions related to that place and Hriday kept replying to all of them so patiently and calmly. Finally, when Panchi asked him the route to that place, he said it isn’t too sensible for a girl to wander there unaccompanied. He further proposed her an excursion to that place, she accepted without a second thought as the photos of that place mesmerised her entirely. 

Panchi (delighted and eager): When can we go there?

Hriday: Tomorrow?

Panchi: Okay.

It was the next day, she felt the sun rose brighter than every day, she was prepared for the trip waiting for Hiriday. Her phone beeped…

Hriday: Good Morning.

Panchi: When will we leave?

Hriday: At 7:30 AM. 

Panchi agreed and waited desperately, she felt as if the watch had stopped and time was not moving. Again her phone beeped at 7:15 AM. 

Hriday: Reach HomeMade Cafe in 15mins. 

She agreed and reached there before time. 

Hriday picked her up and they began their ride. They finally initiated talking after a while. They talked about how much they both love adventure and mother nature. Travelling was like the therapy to both of them. Their mutual interests didn’t let them feel like they were meeting for the first time. In a few minutes, they were out of the city and quite near to the place Panchi wanted to visit. The route was so beautiful and untouched that Panchi was amazed that such a beautiful place exists too close to their town. On both the sides, there were farms and the crops were saying them hello. The breeze was so cool that Panchi couldn’t resist and opened her arms to feel the morning breeze. She felt like never before. 

Hriday stopped by a small cataract which was playing a melody. Panchi was so delighted that she clicked bundles of photos. They dipped their legs in the freshwater of the falls and sat there chattering about their travelling and adventurous affairs till now. It started raining lightly and the climate became soothing and romantic. A peacock appeared dancing in front of them, which made it more perfect. They had some hot Kahwa and yummy Maggie which they found at a nearby stall. They started stepping ahead towards the lavender farms. They came across an elegant lake which had so many lotus and birds. They spotted a kingfisher in that lack as well. Panchi felt glad that she was in a great company after this.

Hriday: Come, let’s wander the fields. 

Panchi stood up with a smile and they started walking. They enter the fields and Hriday slowly slides his hand in Panchi’s palm. Panchi didn’t resist and allowed him to hold her hand as they walked ahead. Soon, they reached the lavender farms. Panchi started taking deep breaths leaving Hriday confused. 

Hriday (giggled): What happened, are you planning to do some yoga here?

Panchi (chuckled): Lavenders are my favourite.

Hriday picked up a few lavenders for her. She got so happy that she hugged him to say thank you.

Then they started walking back to the waterfall and came across the lake again. 

Panchi: Have you ever tasted Kamal kakri?

Hriday (confused): What’s that? 

Panchi: It is the root of the lotus which is edible and tastes crunchy and sweet. 

Hriday: Are you sure?

Panchi: If you can get a lotus…

Hriday went to the lake and requested a fisherman to get him a lotus. The fisherman plucked a few loti and handed it to Rishi. Rishi brought them and was about to put the stem in his mouth.

Panchi (snatching away the lotus from him): ”Wait, this isn’t how you eat it silly.” 

Hriday looked at her puzzled. Panchi peeled the petals and removed the root of the lotus from the flower. She removed tiny seeds like things from it and tasted one first and then gave some to Rishi.

Rishi: Yum! They are tasty, how did you know about this? 

Panchi: I know it since I was a child, I used to eat it when I visited my granny in the village.

Soon, it was a beautiful evening and the sun was setting. They enjoyed the sunset and headed back towards their home. As they rode, they started feeling as if the air and nature were talking to them. They enjoyed the melodious music of mother nature. It was a late evening when they reached the town. As they reached, Hriday offered Panchi for dinner but she gave him a tight hug saying, ”It was a memorable day of my life, thank you for making me feel comfortable.” She further promised him for many more trips together and started walking towards her home with a smile.

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