After a leisurely breakfast, we were sitting around in the porch, puffing out smokes when Kulkule (the estate-pet) came up, sniffing. I started dolling out the remains from our breakfast which he was happily gulping down. As soon as he got brave enough to come closer, I petted him on his head gingerly, to gauge his reaction. With closed eyes and a smile on his mouth, he seemed to be on cloud nine, enjoying the head massage he was getting early in the morning. Lucky bastard! Just then Rakesh came up and asked our plans for the day. We had very limited option, which was good in a way, or else Doyel would have taken the whole day to decide her priorities. The topic of debate was whether to go to the river directly from trekking or to return here first, have lunch, change for swimming and then proceed to the river. I was already full, so lunch was the last thing in my mind but who could control Doyel? She opted for the second. The decision was out, we all needed to change for the river so it was more rational to come back.

I had already asked Rakesh to keep the path as short as possible, ’cause none of us present were keen on athletics……. or sports, of whatsoever kind, EVER! Neither kaku nor Doyel, and for that matter neither did her friend Makkhi looked as if they could beat the local kids’  marathon club champions. As far as I myself was concerned, I knew too well we would each have our tongues lolling our in a few minutes, so it didn’t matter who did it first…

We were just starting on the in-house trek when we met another group of almost 30 people coming down for the weekend. They were of the boisterous kind you get to see in movies. Rakesh introduced us, though we forgot their names as soon as they spelled it out.

As we started our climb, I saw doyel carrying a bottle in her hand.That was a first – coming from Doyel – the use of her common sense I mean.