Yellow Jacket – Part 1

Sitting by our bedroom window, looking outside into the mountains, filled with pine trees lined one beneath the other in such a proper order, it made me wonder, is it just us who design and plan or the nature is far ahead of us. Isn’t it strange that we observe these minute details about nature when we are quiet and undisturbed. It is so tough to observe these things when we are constantly on the move and involved in ourselves. But it was time to get back to reality.

While I was busy marveling the design of nature, out of nowhere I saw a yellow light flash from a distance. I thought maybe it’s someone camping out there. These mountains had become popular camping sites in recent times. With the amount of tourists traveling to for the sake of social media and to compete with each other, somehow nature was no longer to be enjoyed, every place had become a destination.

The yellow light flashed again. It wasn’t a light, actually. It was someone wearing a yellow jacket of some sort and waving at me.
How can the person see me? Am I hallucinating?
I tried to ignore the wave but they kept waving at me.
It’s better to go and check what’s wrong.
But I stopped.
No, Rumi what if it’s some person who wants to murder you?
Nah it can’t be that. Looks like someone is in trouble. I should go help.

It looked like it would rain any moment now. I put on my black jacket and took out my umbrella and started walking towards the mountains. As I kept going towards the person waving, I kind of could figure out who it was. It was Lalita. What was she doing there at this time? And why is she waving at me?
As soon as I was few feet away she came running towards me.
“Thank god you came out for me. I was so worried. I just couldn’t understand whom to call and then I saw you looking out your window.”

“But what happened? What are you doing here and why are you wearing such a shiny jacket?” I asked, as if that was the only thing that mattered in that moment.7

“So listen, this might sound unreal or even scary but just bear with me. Someone in the village told me that they saw a big guy with a strange kind of beard roaming naked in the jungle, I wanted to come and check it out myself, if that’s true.”

“What? Are you out of your mind? Why would you want to do that? First of all there is no one like that here and even if there is, that person might be dangerous. Why would you want to risk your life?”

“But Rumi there is so much thrill and adrenaline rush in doing this. It’s just that I forgot to check my torch batteries and it died on me, also it looks like it’s going to rain. I was waving at you so that you could come and help me out. I knew you would get a torch and an umbrella. Did you?”

I was quite taken aback by the stupidity of Lalita. She is an adult and she should have known better.

“Just come back with me. This is outrageous. You have lost your mind, Lalita. In a few hours it will be dark and things will not be visible. Just walk back and we can figure out about the crazy man later.”,

“Rumi, you are telling me to come back. You remember how you chased away a bear few months back, all alone. I want to be like you bold, brave and adventurous. I want to live a life without any kind of fear. Let me do this.”

It’s true that I had chased away a bear few months back but that was out of fear of losing my children. I have already lost someone very close to me. I could not bear the burden of losing them too. Loss is a very personal emotion. Some people lose money, some lose homes and some relationships. What we gain at the end of these loses is a lesson of what attachments are and how they change our lives. We don’t lose ourselves but in fact we lose our ability to get attached to something again. It took me almost two years to get over the fact that I had lost Sam and all I had left were my children and this house in the middle of a jungle. Now, I was brave to chase that bear away because of this fear of loss. Your mind does wonders when you go through a certain experience in life. Loss teaches you to be fearless and attachment makes you weak.

“Hey Rumi, are you alright? You just zoned out completely. Do you get what I am saying?
“Lalita, I cannot wait here any longer. My children are waiting for me back home and this is not some game we are playing here. We are mature adults and you have to go back to your kids as well. Let’s just go back.”
“Rumi, why are you being such a spoil sport. Let’s just go check out for another mile or so and if we cannot find anything we will return back.”
“No, I am not coming along with you on this stupid expedition of yours. I am going back now. Just come back with me or I will leave alone.”
Lalita seemed disappointed and sad. I could see how badly she wanted to go on this adventure but I seemed to have ruined her plans.
“Okay Rumi, you go ahead and I will just manage on my own. I will just check the next mile or so and come back if I am not able to find anything. But please make sure you don’t tell anyone about where I am and that you saw me here. You can go back to your kids.”
She just turned around in utter disappointment and started walking.
“Lalita, hey I am sorry. I didn’t mean to ruin your plans. But this is foolish. Look at the time, sun is setting and you will be out of light, food and stuck here if you miss your route or cannot find your way back. I cannot let you do this. Please come back with me and I promise we will go back tomorrow morning on this expedition. I promise you.”

Lalita just didn’t care anymore. She kept walking and then after 10 minutes of me standing there in silence, I could no longer see her. Human minds they work in strange ways. When you tell them not to do something they get the urge to do that even more. I tried to convince her as much as I could but she didn’t budge. I was furious, I didn’t understand what I should do at that moment, I cannot leave her alone here in these conditions. And then I did what was so unexpected of me.

I ran towards her. I thought to myself to just screw this, I should go and help her out or if need be I will drag her back to the village if she still refuses to come back with me.


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