Chapter 4: The Adventure

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Chapter 4: The Adventure

A few hours later, Rohit woke up and found that his dad had left for work. He set on to prepare some breakfast. He too missed his mom terribly; after all, it was him who she was trying to save when the gush of water washed her off into the floods. The last memory of his mother was he failing to hold on to his mother’s arms, as she was slipping away from his fingers. He can never forget that terrible night. But Rohit was a strong boy, and he never showed his sorrows; at least not in front of his father. He knew he was the only one who could help his father to move on with his life.

In the kitchen, when Rohit opened one of the drawers, he found an old picture of his mother. The picture was in black and white, and the print was ruined by moisture on the right side. He remembered he was in the picture standing beside his mother, but now he had completely disappeared. Only his mom was clearly visible. She had been wearing a silver chain around her neck in the picture. He remembered the day he had gifted the chain to his mother; it was her birthday. He had been planning for several months to collect some money to buy his mom a perfect gift. He had overheard her when she expressed her desire for the silver chain to his father, but he could never make the cash to buy it. Rohit took it on himself and made up his mind to get her the chain. He worked at a local restaurant for extra money, sold his old books, used the coracle in his father’s absence to transport people and goods and worked at the general stores. He did this without the knowledge of his parents. By the end of the year, he had enough money to buy the chain and also to throw a small birthday party for his mother.

On the day of the floods, the silver chain was washed off in the water, and his futile attempts to save it lost him his mother. Guilt-ridden, he had cursed and blamed himself for what had happened.

He put back the picture in the drawer and wiped off the tears from his face. Today was not the day to be sad. Today was the day of adventure. He had been planning for this day for a very long time with his brother and his friend, Vikas. It was the summer vacation, and Rohit had a craving for adventure. They had planned to row to the far side of the lake in his father’s coracle after his father had left for work. He knew his father wouldn’t be back for several days, and the coracle was lying in the back yard. He had to do this without the knowledge of his father or anyone who knew him. His father would serve him the worst form of punishment if he found out. But Rohit somehow did not worry about the punishment. His heart longed for the adventure.

Quickly he got Jeevan ready. Breakfast was served, and both eat it as fast as their stomachs allowed. Vikas would be joining them any minute. Jeevan was not very keen on going on the coracle after what happened to his mother, but both Rohit and Vikas had somehow convinced him about it, and he had agreed.

Vikas was there in some time, and soon they had cleaned the dusty coracle and made ready the oars. The coracle was heavy but could be dragged easily by 3 kids. Rohit and Vikas were very good rowers. Rohit had learnt the skills from his father when he used to accompany him on the coracle years before the storm had hit. After the tragedy, Vinod never wanted Rohit to be near the coracle. But he would sneak out and study the coracle with utmost curiosity. He had hatched this plan many days ago with his friend.

Soon the coracle was on the shallow waters of the lake and Jeevan was already safely seated in it. Vikas was pushing the coracle into deeper water with his oar while trying to stay away from the murky dirt. Rohit joined in, and soon the coracle was afloat in deep enough water. Both Rohit and Vikas jumped into the water and swam to the coracle and climbed into it. There was an adventure in their minds, although Jeevan was still a little apprehensive about the whole thing.

They had selected a quiet place to start their journey not to attract any unwanted attention. With a few strokes with their oars, they were moving in the right direction. Jeevan was seated safely in the middle holding the fishing net with Rohit and Vikas rowing on either side. They planned to row to the other side of the lake and on the way try their luck at fishing. Though none of them had any experiencing of fishing, they would give it a try and see if they were lucky.

Some time had passed; both boys were now rowing nonstop bubbling with excitement. Jeevan could see that he was getting far and far away from the familiar banks of the lake. By now, he was feeling brave and wanted to try his luck at fishing. But Rohit would not allow him to get near the water. Moreover, he suggested that they reach the center of the lake and then try where the water was deeper.

“Let’s take a break Rohit,” Vikas said, putting down his oar on his lap. “I am feeling hungry” he rubbed his belly.

“Ok, we will take a break and have something to eat,” Rohit said and removed the lunch box from his bag. They had packed some breakfast for the journey.

After they had their stomach full, they resumed the adventure.

Their arms were getting tired and were starting to ache, and soon they realized that it was not a wise idea to row to the other side. Instead, they would stop and throw the fishing nets and catch some fish.

They threw the net several times, but without any luck. Several times Jeevan got clumsy and got entangled in the net while trying to throw it. They all had a hearty laugh over it. But Rohit was worried about Jeevan and did not allow him to throw the net anymore.

Rohit was a little worried when he saw familiar faces pass their coracle in a motorboat. But the boat just whizzed past them, and whoever was on the boat could not see them at that speed. From then on, Rohit was more cautious and tried to avoid the paths of other fishermen.

After the storm had wreaked havoc on the lake and the surrounding areas, extra care was given to the safety aspect. Better evacuation procedures were in place. Houses were reconstructed with stronger materials, and old houses were demolished. A permanent rescue team was also constituted for any emergencies. The temple on the left side of the lake was badly destroyed in the storm; it was reconstructed on higher grounds.

The afternoon sun was merciless, and the heat was unbearable. The boys decided to head back to their homes. Jeevan was unhappy because they had not caught any fish. Rohit consoled him that they would try again on their way back.

Sydney Billford Monteiro

Sydney Billford Monteiro was born and brought up in Mangalore, Karnataka. An HR by profession, he has a Masters in Social Work and is working for the Hospitality Industry in Bangalore. He is an avid reader of Crime Thrillers, Mystery novels, and Science books. Creative writing and poetry is his passion.

He loves exploring the world of stories. His favourite pastime is experimenting with real-life events, creating characters, and turning them into engaging storylines. 

Apart from reading and writing the author loves football; his favourite game and watching movies that depict unusual concepts and real-life events. 

He also loves to have a healthy debate over a scientific idea.

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