I still remember it as if it were yesterday. Little did I know that a wonderful night was about to turn ugly. It was 29th May 2011, the day before Shyam’s birthday. My friend Karan and I were planning a surprise birthday party for Shyam, who is a very dear friend of ours. He is a multitalented guy and a perfect example for the saying “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. So, we were planning something crazy for his birthday. We planned to make him dance to some Bollywood tunes, irritate him by asking him to swim in a water less pool, give some birthday bumps and many more activities to make it a memorable day. It was 11:30 P.M. and as a part of our plan, Karan took Shyam for a bike ride so that I could make necessary arrangements for the party while they were away. I asked the rest of our friends to assemble at the venue within 20 minutes for the birthday celebrations.
Once everything was ready, I set out to take a puff in the cold night. I stepped onto the soft lawn, and started smoking while staring at the sky. The sky was too beautiful that day and the stunning scene triggered my fantasies. While I was busy fantasizing, I heard a pleasant song from the movie Roja. After a while, I realized that my phone was ringing and that pleasant song was none other than my ringtone. That call was from Karan and I asked him where they were. As a response to my query, he asked me to check my messages with a trembling voice and cut the call. I was not able to comprehend or guess what just happened. I immediately checked my inbox. My inbox was flooded with messages from Karan and Shyam and the content of all the messages was the same. To my horror, every text read “DANGER!! DANGER!! COME TO GAYATHRI HOSPITAL WITH A GANG!!”
I was shocked to read such a message at that point of time. My beautiful sky fantasy vanished in a snap second bringing me back to reality. I understood that Shyam and Karan were in great trouble and they desperately needed my help. I started calling rest of my friends fanatically. While I was calling them, I tried to figure out what could have had happened. I was recalling the message and analyzing it deeply. As they asked me to reach the hospital, I thought the most probable cause would have been an accident. I made calls to all our friends nearby and they reached my place within five minutes. The hospital was about 15 KM away from my place. 20 friends reached my place on 13 bikes. I thought that this strength alone would give strong moral support to my friends. We started our bikes and rode towards the hospital reaching there within 20 minutes.
I found Karan’s bike outside the hospital with lot of dents and a broken headlight.There was a four wheeler parked next to Karan’s bike. I started to panic fearing the worst. I figured that Karan and Shyam could be in completely bad shape. We entered the hospital and found them surrounded by a group of five men who were stout and fierce in appearance. We could make out that Karan and Shyam were being threatened by these men. We rushed towards Karan and Shyam and asked them what had happened? People who surrounded Karan and Shyam stopped them from responding and started yelling at us saying that my friends had hit a woman with their bike and that she was very badly hurt.
After hearing them out, we wanted to hear our friends’ side of the story. As we went as a group to the hospital, the men backed off a bit seeing our gang. We yelled at these men and were able to calm them down. I then asked my friends to give us a detailed explanation about the accident. They said that they were riding the bike at a speed of around 40 KMPH and suddenly out of nowhere, a woman came before them. They also said that they stopped the bike immediately and the accident was not their fault.
Karan gestured that he was sure the accident was not serious. We enquired further to know what happened after they stopped the bike. They said that as soon as they stopped the bike, that woman fell down and started shouting. Within a minute those group of men surrounded them and snatched their bike keys. They rushed the woman to hospital along with my friends. Then a doctor who examined that woman told that she was severely hurt and it would cost four lakh to treat her. Then they started demanding that huge amount from my friends. After hearing both sides of the story, I started to doubt if that woman was really hurt in the first place. I asked the rest of my friends to take care of the situation and I demanded one of those five people to take me to the woman. But he immediately refused.
It was starting to make sense. These people were trying to cheat us and make easy money. I made up my mind, started searching for the doctor, and finally found her in one room. That doctor’s name was Hema, an MBBS degree holder according to her nameplate. I doubted if she was actually a doctor or even if she too was part of the con group. I approached her and enquired about the health condition of the woman who was admitted just then on the case of a bike accident. She responded saying that the woman had lost a lot of blood and needed two months of bed rest. But according to my friend’s explanation she was not hurt at all.
I had to be sure that this woman Hema was a genuine doctor. So, I asked one of my friends who is a doctor to pose as an out-patient and confirm whether she is a doctor or not. My doctor friend went to her and after talking to her, he confirmed that she had only first-aid knowledge and she could never be a doctor. Then I concluded that these people were definitely playing a drama and are trying to cheat us to get some easy money by wrong means.
Meanwhile, I started pretending before them as if I were calling my friends and asking them to come as a gang to the hospital with some cricket wickets. I acted so well that they believed me and came towards me. They asked if I was planning to have a quarrel with them. I softly said to them that I did not have any such intention and that I called my friends to bring a cricket kit so that we could play cricket with them then. I also hinted that around 40 people were coming to play cricket. Their feeling of fright was clear on their faces.
They tried to revert by shouting at us. As it was clear to me that they were acting, we started shouting back and posed as if we were ready to beat them up. The heated war of words continued for 20 more minutes and I finally told them that I had just called the police and told them that we were ready to take the case to the police station. It was then that they completely surrendered and asked us not to take the case to the police.
We asked them to return our bike keys. We asked them money for the bike repairs and they gave us 2000 bucks for the repair. We finally warned them not to repeat such acts and told them that we would complain to police if they were found repeating such acts. Finally, we took Karan and Shyam out of that hospital and reached our rooms. We thought that those people and particularly Hema who acted as if she were a doctor ought to be punished.
We called the police and narrated the chain of events that night. We came to know that the Police took them under custody subsequently. It was nine in the morning by then. Thanks to these series of events, we almost forgot that it was Shyam’s birthday. We asked him to cut the cake and refrained ourselves from troubling him on that birthday.We were all tired and each of us had a piece of the tasty cake and dozed off. From that day onwards, my perception towards beautiful nights changed completely. The next day, I narrated our story to the rest of my friends and till date we remember that day as a MIDNIGHT ADVENTURE.