Read chapter 1 HERE
As soon as he got down from the train and out to the station, the auto driver started suggesting him cheap hotels. 'Wait do I look that poor?'. He thought.
'Is it the worn out sandals or the fact that I haven't taken a bath for the last 3 days'
'No. Must be the sandals.'
His trip to home was rather educational than festive. Back home, he wasn't the lion of the jungle.
'A tiger maybe? Second best. Lion must my father'
'No. Second best must be your younger brother. And you know it. A giraffe maybe?'
'Yea, why not? Giraffes are cool.'
Three days of over thinking in the train was enough to mess his mind.
'Lets go somewhere'
'First lets go to our hostel, rest, change and then go'
'Orr, lets go somewhere'
'Orrr at least lets go to hostel and change?'
He never cared about appropriate dressing. It was India, People can wear full sleeve shirts, skin tight jeans, and sport shoes to a beach or just a random shorts with the same font as PUMA but spelled as UPMA can be used in a swimming pool.
'Lets go to the beach'
'Or, go have masala poori in that stall near the signal'
'I only have a 10 Rupee note'
'Orrr, lets go to the beach'
Beach was very peaceful by the shore. Apart from a few sundal vendors and people claiming to know your weeks schedule by Tarot cards, there was no disturbance. The couples would usually resort back to the shades of unopened shops for some privacy, and the other shops wouldn't open till late in the evening.
It was then he realized he was alone, and tried hard not to think. Well, Over-think.
'OK. What do we do now'
'Let's eat!' came a blissful solution.
But reality stings and it struck. He was a hosteler. A hosteler with a financial range from, 'One idli per day would do' to 'Lets quit this material world and beg.' But he could take anything that came his way. He just saved a few minutes by not going back and changing. Time was gold, and he had to do the same with money.
'But to save money, you should have some in the first place'
'You should try dying you know. Very peaceful'
The money trouble was turning out to be a bigger trouble than he expected. And with the various part-time and freelancing ventures already rejecting him, he hit a dead end. Glad he wasn't dating anymore. It was like an investment without any returns. He almost choked on his imaginary cheese burger when a foul smell distracted him from his over-thinking.
'Indian beaches and its many uses!!'
'Let us do it here too, they charge 3 rupees in the public washroom over there'
He checked his phone. It was 6. His friend was back from his hometown by now. And imagining all the snacks he could eat back at the hostel, he left. Using the saved 3 rupees, he took a bus back to the hostel. Standing on the foot-board he felt a sense of calm as the gush of fresh air hit him.
'Life wasn't that bad' He thought.