The alarm sounded at 6.30 AM, and I had to get up and get ready for college. My college bus was at 7.30 AM and it was a fifteen minutes walk from my home to the bus stop. If I did not get up now, it is missing college and fine for that as well. Inspite of knowing all this I hit the snooze button and dozed off.

When I got up it was 7.10 AM and I had exactly 5 minutes to start. To top it all, I just remembered that I had lab that day, and my lab coat was still wet.!!

What came as a start of the surprise, was when my sister volunteered to run to the next street to my friend’s house and borrow her lab coat for me. “Thank you!”, I managed to say as she disappeared at the doorway. “Poor girl, you should have been so tired yesterday, you overslept. Go into the bathroom, I will get your change of clothes ready”, my Grandma said. As I was combing my hair after the shower, my mom came and fed me with bits of dosa, saying, “continue dressing up, this way you won’t miss the bus”. “Don’t worry my girl, I will drop you at the bus stop”, – that was Dad, who had already started his bike.

Overwhelmed by this shower of love from my family members, shall I say, soaked in love, I boarded the college bus. (I didn’t miss it, yay!!) After the usual “Hi”s to my friends, I settled in my favourite window seat. My college had a ban on cell phones, but nobody minded it. So like everyone else in the bus, I had my ears plugged with my headphones and it was musical bliss from then on.

When you have a playlist of all your favorite songs and turn on the shuffle button, you are entitled to that alternating feel of unexpected guessing of the next song and the unbound happiness when you get the same song or even some other one (mind you, it is a list of all favorites, probability of you cribbing is minimal). That is what I would like to call, soaked in music.

The bus was half way through to college. It stopped at this junction to pick up more students and teachers waiting there. Untold code is, if you want to bunk college, this is your last point of escape. Some of the last seat boys got up, walked upto the front door to get down. “Duh, show-offs” – my mind voice.

When the last guy was about to get down, I peeped through the window. I saw a bunch of guys who looked totally off place in terms of dressing. Amidst teens in their trendy clothes, these guys looked like goons! Oh my!! They were goons… One of them pulled the last fellow off the bus steps and dragged him away. Another brought out from his back, what looked like a wooden log… Hockey sticks… And the bus started to move.

Instinct made me wave to the driver and get down the bus in last minute. Some good Samaritan instinct, maybe. Or a curiosity, more say. As the bus moved ahead, I walked back to this tiny street, wondering where this group went…. and what happened to my college-mate.

And there he was, lying unconscious near a sewer pipe in a pool of blood. Literally soaked in blood. The goons were nowhere to be seen. A crowd was starting to gather. As was Indian tradition, all of them around were only whispering, gossiping, and not doing anything to help. I ran to the main road and hooted for an auto-rickshaw. Seeing me in action a couple others volunteered to help.

We went to the hospital and admitted the injured guy. I sat in the visitor’s bay for nearly 2 hours. I was sipping a cup of machine-made coffee, when a khakhi clad policeman approached me.

“Are you the one who admitted the beaten guy this morning?”

“Yes, sir”, I said. A bead of sweat broke at my forehead.

“Were you at the scene of crime?”

“If you mean when he was beaten up, no sir. I saw him when he got down the bus, then on the road unconscious.” I felt like I was on stage with all the stage lights on me.

“Do you know the people who beat him?”

I gave a quizzical look, sweating profusely. Where is the policeman getting at?!

“Did you, by any chance inform the goons that your college-mate was getting down at the junction and not going to college?”

I was soaked in sweat. “I am innocent! Why else should I take pains to admit this guy in the hospital, even if I don’t know his name!?”

“OK. I was just following standard protocol. Relax. But you will be needed for more questioning.”

I felt my whole body go cold. And that was because I was suddenly drenched!!! – with a bucket full of water, as Mom woke me up! “Stop mumbling in your sleep and get up… Get ready for college”, said Mom. “Soak no more“, I got up saying thus.

An imaginative story written after seeing the Surf Excel Matic challenge. “What do you think of when you hear the words – Soak No More! “ Well, I thought of all this!

– a post written for “Soak No More” contest by Surf Excel Matic and Indiblogger.

Until next,

Vid 🙂