Without telling my mum, Karthik and I sneaked out on my bike. We reached the place within five minutes. The place was crowded with a lot of people going in and out. We went inside, argued if we should have it there or take it home. We, finally, decided to take it home and get the heck out of there. Little did we know that we were in for a small adventure that night!
It was a summer evening and the IPL IV was on full swing. Karthik, Viswanath and I decided to have a slumber party at my place. After the first match of the day concluded, we decided to go out for dinner. Karthik didn't eat because he was already full from his team lunch at the Barbeque Nation in the afternoon. Anyway, Viswanath and I finished our dinner and we went back home. After watching yet another Sachin Tendulkar's century for a losing cause, we decided to watch some movies. But then, Karthik had something else on his mind just a few minutes after the stroke of midnight. He complained he was hungry. I didn't know any place that'd be open at that hour, but Karthik, on the other hand knew about this place called 'City Diamond' where we get midnight biryani. I had never heard of it and neither had Viswanath.
Back to the City Diamond now…. we took the biryani parcel and we turned around to go out. To our dismay, the café shutter was down and the manager (??) was not letting us out. He asked us to wait for a few minutes. We were surprised to say the least. When we asked him what was going on, he answered that there were police outside and that we have to wait for them to leave before we could get out. We went from a state of surprise to a state of complete shock!
What probably comforted us was the fact that the other people inside were going about their routine (eating biryani) without any fuss. Either they probably did not know what was going on or this kind of thing happens all the time. And so, we started to wait. All kind of stuff was going through my mind- Probably should call dad or a news channel or at least my friend Viswanath who chose to stay back home. But we thought against all that thinking there won’t be any trouble and that the café owner will take of it. It took a while before every customer finished eating and was waiting for someone to open the damn shutter.
We waited for about three quarters of an hour before the manager announced that he was going to open the shutter, but we had little time to get out of there because the police could be back any moment. I thought, “Finally! About time!”. But at the back of my mind, I was hoping the police were really gone and that there would be no more trouble. As the shutter opened, a policeman came rushing towards us and started swinging his stick (lathi).
The state of shock instantly transformed into a state of panic and everybody started running helter-skelter. Karthik, who was beside me, disappeared before I could completely realize what was going on (amazing what fear can instill into people). I saw the biryani parcel we had bought lying on the floor and just when the police was very close to me and was about to swing his lathi, I started to run wherever I could. It was chaotic. I jumped from one table to another. I realized I was running out of tables to jump, so I jumped onto the railing of the staircase and in that process, slightly injured my leg and lost my flip flops.
I didn’t feel the pain though, such was the situation. Anyway, I took the stairs and went onto the terrace. I don’t know why I went on to the terrace; just followed my instinct. Biryani was being cooked in huge pots on the terrace; loved the smell. A lot of people were on the terrace. People were trying to jump from one roof top to another. Looked fun, but I didn’t do it because I was worried about Karthik, who I got separated from in the melee. Just when I was about to call him, a mobile phone rang. All the people were shushing the owner of the mobile phone. As much as I was furious at him, I couldn’t help but smile. I decided against calling Karthik and rather chose to wait for police to clear. I could hear the policeman downstairs hitting his lathi on the ground. I was just hoping that my friend didn’t get caught downstairs. I ran out of patience after waiting for about twenty minutes and finally called my friend who answered the call and was talking in whispers. All I could make out was that he was hiding under the staircase and that a policeman was right before him. Everyone became absolutely still. It was so quiet that I could literally hear my heart pounding. After some twenty minutes, a man came upstairs and shouted that we had ten minutes to vacate the café. I dashed downstairs and Karthik was there waiting for me. Oh, I felt so relieved. Just when I was about to go out, I saw my flip flops from the corner of my eye. I ran towards them, wore them and sped towards my bike and raced away.
Though we were shit scared, it was a memorable adventure! Thought it was another blog moment.