You wake up on a quiet Sunday morning, unsure of being fully awake, sit up on your bed, rub your eyes to get a sense of where and who you are and put on your glasses to check your phone sitting on the side-table filled with a string of notifications.
You swiftly scan through all the “good morning” forwards from family WhatsApp groups and one-side lovers, junk mail, a few Instagram notifications, updates from an app you downloaded this week to monitor your water intake and so on. Suddenly among all these messages you notice a WhatsApp group titled “Road Trip”, sub-consciously but conveniently relegated to the near bottom of your chats by its members: including you. You’re pleasantly surprised, and tap on it.
Richa, the one friend from your college group who always did everything from planning surprise birthdays parties and selecting gifts according to everyone’s specific tastes has made a group with eight of you across different cities in the country to finally do what was dreamt of collectively as a gang: a road trip.
In the coming days, it quickly escalates into people complaining about bosses, not being able to
take off from work or a receding bank balance, to contemplate even going on this trip. But Richa does what she does best and plays an emotional card by reminding everyone on the group that this is something you guys had promised yourselves as a gang and that in a few years, you would all be further away than you already are, and therefore should do this against all odds, natural calamities and life’s daily obstacles.
You finally decide to make this happen, to see yourselves sitting in the car together, only to smile at each other like idiots and shout out a crazy hoot to let the designated driver for this trip stomp the pedal. As the scenery begins to change, you talk about funny people you met at work, how the neighbour in your new apartment are one in a million, or about someone you met in the new city.
You also trace back to old memories from college, how much things have changed or are going to change and that it’s funny how life has its ways of doing things you’ve never really planned. But you notice how Richa still paints her nails the only colour she likes in this world: cherry red; how Rahul dozes off anywhere he gets an opportunity to like he did in college; Shreya still eats the same brand of chips ever since you’ve known her. You realise no matter how fast life goes by, or the sea of changes it throws at you, there are always these little things that remind you that some things remain the same and makes you feel like home is where your people are.
And as the car passes by lush green paddy fields, playlists of familiar music echo through the speakers and the wind gushes onto your face through the rolled-down windows, it feels like as if time has stopped while everything else is in motion.
So pick up your phone and do what Richa would: make your next road trip happen before life tangles you back into it. And while you’re on the wheel, don’t forget to capture these memories, to send them as picture postcards to your other friends across the world and share the joy you’ve experienced on their behalf. I promise you that it’s going to live with them for a lifetime.