Life sometimes can take a series of wrong turn. Are wrong turns important as right turns? Do wrong turns and strangers open a new door or close the existing one? Does turning in the wrong direction be devastating? Well, we did not have answers to these questions until we took a wrong turn, and our lives changed forever. How?
It was late evening, precisely 10 p.m. The majority of guests had left the wedding venue. Only a small group of close pals stayed back till the end. Twin brothers Krish and Theo were among them.
The ball of fire had descended and gone to its abode, giving way to sparkling Stars and the beautiful Moon. The avians returned to their nest.
Theo and Krish took leave from the newlywed couple and started their journey back home. Even though they had to travel through the night, they continued their journey in order to get home in the morning and avoid the city’s gridlock. Besides, they had to join their respective duties.
An hour and a half into the drive, Krish spotted a Log of wood lying in the middle of the road, obstructing their path. Theo was behind the steering wheel. He applied a sudden break and peeped out of the window. Some 3-4 big logs were lying unattended.
Krish got down from the car to clear them. The logs were heavy, and he could lift only one at a time. Upon seeing him struggle, Theo stepped out to help. When they got to their seats, the backpack kept on the rear seat was missing. They looked for the bag under the seat but could not find it. They rolled their eyes to their left and right, but it was pitch dark, and no one was around.
They suddenly recalled seeing two road maintenance employees dressed in orange reflective jackets. Those workers were standing there when they crossed the path. They turned around and walked back about 50 metres but did not find a single soul.
“Hey, Theo, I am certain I saw them. I even wondered, how come they are working at this hour of the night,” Krish said.
“I concur with you. Yes, I, too, spotted. Our bags are gone anyway.” Theo replied and sighed.
But they were not upset as the bag contained only a few used clothes and some cookie packets. Luckily, they had their wallet in their trouser pocket.
They continued without any obstacles for a few more kilometres. But when they touched the main junction, they found the road ahead congested with big, heavy trucks. These truck convoys typically travel during late hours of the night, when fewer small vehicles come out on the road, and there is a lower risk of accidents.
Collaboratively they decided to change the route with the help of signboards as in those days, neither mobile phones nor Google existed to direct them. Krish carefully studied the sign boards to assist Theo as they took a left turn.
However, within a couple of minutes, Krish dozed off to sleep. Theo attempted to wake him up but failed. Even though he was, worn out, he kept driving the car because it did not seem like a safe place. So he hit the accelerator to speed up.
Theo gazed at Krish again. He was in deep slumber like a child. “Krish, Common, get up and talk to me. I am also feeling sleepy. You are not supposed to sleep when the driver is driving the car. Don’t you know that?” Theo raised his voice.
But Krish did not budge.
He continued to drive. Suddenly it started to rain heavily, and droplets lashed the windshield of his car. It was pitch black outside, with only the moon’s faint light and the small square orange lights lining the road. The windshield wipers whipped back and forth over the window, attempting to clear away the large droplets clinging to the glass.
Theo kept moving until he reached the dead end. He applied a sudden break, and his car screeched to a halt. Krish was not wearing his seat belt. He fell forward and got up with a jolt.
“What happened, Theo?” He worriedly inquired, rubbing his eyes.
“Dead end Bro,” Theo sighed and said.
“How come? Did you not read the sign board?” Krish asked surprisingly
Theo’s face turned red. “How rude, is that Krish? You conveniently dozed off, leaving me to drive for hours. How can you expect me not to make errors, though I was carefully moving in the direction written on the signboards?” Theo replied.
“Moreover, how was I to know this was a wrong turn? W-W-Wait! I guess instead of taking a left, I took the right turn. But not my fault. I tried to wake you up, but you were fast asleep, and I was feeling sleepy too.” Said Theo.
“Now what next? This place looks deserted. I am scared.” Expressed Krish.
Theo also felt a tingle tiptoe down his spine. But he didn’t allow the fear to appear on his face.
“Let’s take a reverse first and then decide which way to go,” Theo replied.
“Ok. I am sorry, Theo. It’s my mistake. Trust me, my eyes started burning, and I couldn’t control but to sleep. I am feeling better now. You shift to the passenger seat, and I will take your seat.” Krish said and offered to drive.
Theo immediately shifted to the passenger seat, handing over the steering wheel to Krish.
Krish took a reverse and looked for the signboard. The signboard was missing. “Theo, did you see the signboard when you took a left?” Krish inquired.
“I think so, but I am not, too, sure,” Theo answered.
Krish was confused and didn’t know which way to go. They were finding it all the more difficult due to heavy rains. Myriad lefts and rights were further confusing.
Krish did what his instinct said and took the first right turn. As he moved ahead, he felt comfortable. The road taken seemed right. But soon, he realized this turn took them to a village belonging to indigenous people.
Two men wearing chef-like caps painted in red and blue and knee-length sleeveless silk material with its edges attached to the shoulder stood right in front of their car and started knocking on the window. Krish rolled down the window and tried to talk to them, but neither the tribes nor Krish understood the language.
The tribes started calling out other people in their community. Seeing this, Krish got worried and tried to escape. But the tribal chief soon reached and stopped them.
They eventually managed to communicate through hand gestures and facial expressions. The tribes handed a bottle of water and showed them the way out.
Krish and Theo exhaled sighs of relief. They expressed gratitude and left the area.
The petrol tank of their vehicle was not even half. Finally, after driving for 30 minutes, they saw a cop. With the help of the cop, they, at last, touched the highway, first filled petrol and checked for their tyres before moving ahead.
It was 4 a.m. The sun was about to rise in a couple of hours and light the sky. Now they knew there would be enough light for them to move smoothly.
“Ah! If we had continued to move on the known path even if the traffic was bad, we would have reached home by now,” said Krish.
“It’s ok, Krish. It is also an experience. Isn’t it?” consoled Theo.
At a distance, they saw the blinkers of another car on and someone waving their hands for help. Krish slowed down the vehicle.
Two ladies stood outside their white car. The rear tyres of their vehicle had punctured, and they wanted a lift. Krish and Theo initially hesitated, but when they found them genuine, they got ready to help.
“The ladies quickly pulled out their luggage from their white car, loaded it onto Theo-Krish’s vehicle and settled in the back seat.
One of the ladies said. “You will not find too many sign boards as this road is quite old and built in ancient times. We will guide you.”
“Ok, that’s great. As it is, we have taken enough wrong turns.” Theo said and smiled.
Both the ladies introduced themselves as Kaira and Kripa. They were sisters and often travelled to explore new paths. Krish and Theo, too, introduced themselves.
“By the way, where do you live?” Theo asked the girls.
“We were living in tin ton city and recently shifted to Emerald city.” Said Kaira.
“What? That’s a coincidence. We also live in Emerald. We have been living here since childhood.” Theo replied surprisingly.
“Yeah, we have heard about this place from our parents, especially mom. My mom stayed here during her younger days and did her schooling from this place.
One of her close friends resides here. She lost her landline number and couldn’t get in touch. Hopefully, she gets to meet her friend now.” Kripa said.
They continued to talk about various topics like food, travel, politics and passion.
“Is your mom a homemaker?” Asked Kripa
“She is not only a homemaker but also helps in our catering business. She also bakes cakes and cookies.” Answered Theo.
“Oh, that’s wonderful. So you both part of this family business?” asked Kripa.
“Yes, I am. I have done my hotel management and help my parents in their business while Krish is a chartered accountant and works for a multinational company.” Answered Theo.
“Ok. That sounds interesting.” Said Kripa
“What about your parents? What do they do?” inquired Krish.
“Our Father owns a stationery shop, and our mom is a teacher, teaching secondary kids.” Replied Kripa.
“Wow, that’s good. Your dad can supply stationery to schools.” Krish expressed.
“Right, he does. It is convenient, and he need not approach too many clients. He is satisfied with few clients.” Said Kripa
“What about you girls? Do you work somewhere?”
“I am a wedding planner, and my sister is a dress designer.” Answered Kripa
“Wooo! Different profiles in the same family.” expressed Theo.
They finally reached their destination. The girls got down. “We stay three lanes away. Do visit whenever time permits, and thank you for guiding us to the right route.” Krish said.
“No problem. You’re welcome. Yes, sure. We will drop in. Thanks for the lift. It was nice meeting you guys.” Kripa and her sister bid goodbye and went inside.
“Hey, girls, what took you so long? We were worried.” Said Sharlet (their mom)
“Mom, don’t ask. Our car got punctured, and we were stuck on the highway in the wee hours. Luckily two gentlemen, Krish and Theo, staying in our vicinity, gave us a lift, and we could reach safely.” Said Kripa.
“Oh, ok. Thank God.” Sharlet expressed.
By the way, what’s their surname Kripa? Sharlet asked.
“No idea, mom. We didn’t ask.” Said Kripa.
“Ok. Do you have their landline number?” Sharlet inquired.
“Yes,” Kripa answered.
“Good. Can I get it?” Sharlet requested.
“Sure, mom. But why do you need it?” Kripa asked and handed over the number.
“Just to thank them personally,” Sharlet replied.
Sharlet hesitantly dialled the number. “Hello, a sweet voice answered.”
“Hi. Is that Suni?” Sharlet asked. She found her voice familiar.”
“Yes. That’s my pet name. How do you know? Who is this?” Suni asked in excitement.
“Hey, hi, dear Suni. Sharlet this side,” she said.
“OMG! Did you say, Sharlet? What a pleasant surprise?” Suni jumped with joy.
“I got your number from your children who accidentally met my girls and dropped them home. We stay in the same locality as you.” Sharlet exclaimed.
“That’s wonderful news. Why don’t you all come home for dinner in the evening?” Suni Invited.
“Sure. We will.” Sharlet confirmed.
“Mom, where are we going?” Kaira asked.
“Girls, we are going to Krish’s place. Their mom is my dear friend,” Sharlet replied with joy. Her eyes twinkled.
Sharlet asked Kaira to get Rocher Ferrero chocolates and a bouquet of purple orchid flowers as they were Suni’s favourite.
As the clock struck 7 p.m, the doorbell rang. Suni rushed to open the door. Sharlet was standing right in front. Her husband and the girls stood behind.
“Sharlet, my darling friend, so good to see you.” Suni hugged her tight and invited them in.”
Memories came rushing back. Tears of joy pooled up in their eyes and soon touched their cheeks. They wiped their tears and smiled.
“Your girls look so pretty, just like you, Sharlet. You have not changed a bit and look quite young.” Suni complimented.
Suni’s hall was big. An L-shaped peacock green sofa rested on the right-hand side that matched the pure white wall. The butterfly-shaped false ceiling looked elegant. A crystal chandelier brightened the room. There were two individual sofas placed diagonally and a brown colour coffee table in the centre.
In the left corner was a rectangular dining table with six seats. Placed on it were bowls of various shapes and yellow ceramic plates in a tidy fashion. Many paintings of Buddha and family pictures were hanging on the walls.
“Your home is beautiful, Suni. Here, this is for you.” Sharlet handed her the chocolates and flowers.
“Thank you, dear. Aww, do you still remember my favourite things? So kind of you.” Suni said and thanked Sharlet.
“Hello everyone,” The boys entered and greeted everyone.
After a while, their maid served everyone hot and sour soup with some starters.
The elders sat and discussed various topics while they relished the soup, and the boys and girls went out for a stroll in the garden.
“Common guys, time for dinner.” Suni peeped out the kitchen window and called Krish, Theo and the girls.
There were some seven dishes, including deserts, spread on the table. “Please serve yourself,” said Suni.
Each of them relished the food, especially the homemade chocolate mousse cake, brownies and the Indian ras malai.
The cuckoo clock announced the time. It was 11 p.m. Sharlet helped Suni wind up the kitchen before leaving.
Two days later, Suni called Sharlet and said, “I wanted to ask you something. But not sure how to put up.”
“Common Suni, you need not seek my permission. Just shoot.” Sharlet asked to pour her heart out.
“Now that your girls are settled in their careers, have you begun searching for an alliance for them or are they currently dating someone?” Suni asked queries with hesitation.
“Oh no. Not yet, dear. Neither have I started looking out for an alliance, nor are they dating anyone. All these years, they focussed on their studies and now careers. Why are you asking this question?” inquired Suni.
“Krish and Theo were very impressed with your daughters. So a thought crossed my mind if we should take our friendship to the next level by getting our children married. It is just my thought. Please don’t take me wrong.” Suni said in a low voice.
“That’s a great thought, Suni. It didn’t click me. Good, you mentioned. I will check with my daughters and get back to you soon.” Sharlet replied.
“I will eagerly wait for your positive feedback,” Suni said and hung up.
“Girls, I would like to discuss with you something important. Rather seek your permission.” Sharlet excitedly said.
“Yeah, sure, mom. We will be back home by 7 p.m. See you.” Said Kaira and left for work.
As soon as Kripa and Kaira reached home, Sharlet served them coffee, and both she and her husband sat to talk to the girls.
“Girls, Suni aunty had a proposal, and I am ok with it.” Said Sharlet.
“What, proposal, mom?” asked Kripa.
“It is a marriage proposal. Suni wants to make you both her daughter-in-law. I have not committed anything yet. Now it’s up to you both to decide.” Sharlet spilt the beans.
The girls sighed and then replied, “well, mom, we were about to discuss this with you. I like Krish, and Kripa likes Theo. The boys know about this.” Kaira said with a smile.
The room filled with happiness. Sharlet leapt in excitement and dialled Suni’s number as she couldn’t wait to tell her this news.
“Suni, my dear. It’s a yes from my girls. Let me know how to take this ahead.” She informed with joy.
“Oh, excellent, Sharlet. Maybe we will drop at your place during the weekend and discuss.” Suni said with thrill.
All awaited for the weekend. Suni, with her family, came down to Sharlet’s house to discuss the engagement, marriage dates, venue, food etc.
Finally, D-day arrived. Faces lit with joy and exhilaration. The two families became one. Most importantly, the girls would be staying close to their parents.
The wrong turn turned out to be a blessing. So never curse if the turn you took is incorrect. After all, not every turn is a dead end. Sometimes, things happen for good.
But still, till today, Krish and Theo wonder if it was a wrong turn or meant to be and smile inwardly.
Be open to wrong and challenging turns to navigate the unexpected. It might be the turning point for something new. Sometimes the most remarkable things happen when you take a wrong turn.
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