James Bond was driving an aristocratic sports car. Several people by way of artillery were chasing James Bond (Daniel Craig). The car tore through the traffic in the attendance of gunshots. James Bond managed to flee a lot of them. Unexpectedly the cops started following them.
We were watching Quantum of Solace in Bharath Big Cinemas Mangalore, a late afternoon show on Saturday. The show began at seven forty-five in the evening. We had planned this evening a few weeks earlier in advance. I was in the company of my cousin Colin Cutinho along with his friend Daniel D’Souza. All three of us planned to meet near the mall before the show. We had already booked the tickets in advance over the phone since we were expecting a large crowd for the movie. We collected the tickets from the counter and moved to the cinema hall.
We managed to get a good seat right in the centre of the cinema hall which was an ideal place to watch the movie. We ordered some burgers, popcorn and some soft drinks. We enjoyed every second of the movie. Earlier I watched Madhur Bandarkar’s ‘Fashion’ a Hindi movie with my friends. It was an excellent show.
The show ended at nine forty-five in the evening. As we were approaching the bus stand an over crowded express bus passed. Our intention was to travel with the least possible passengers in the bus. We wanted to go to Surathkal that was nearly 22 kilo meters from Lal Bagh, the cinema hall. We found some place in the bus stand where we could sit comfortably and chat. We got together after a long time. So we started speaking about our childhood days. Many buses passed. All of them were crowded. The last bus to Surathkal was supposed to leave at ten thirty that night. The time was around ten o’clock. We continued chatting. My cousin Colin was playing a game on his cell phone. Soon we realized that we were late. We were thirsty so we bought a soft drink and waited for the bus. It was ten twenty five, when asked; a man said that the last bus was cancelled. We were shocked and we were laughing for the great work we had done, sitting and chatting. We had many opportunities to go home in a crowded bus and we did not utilize any of them and now when we realized our mistake, there was no bus to go home.
We started walking towards Lady hill; I suggested stopping some vehicles and asking for a lift, for this my cousin agreed. We tried stopping many vehicles but no one stopped. We now thought of going to Kottara Chowki, which was our last hope to find some help. Kottara Chowki connected the city to the National Highway – 17 which joined Mangalore to Udupi and then Manipal. We managed to engage an auto to Kottara Chowki. The autowaala charged us a monstrous forty plus night charge a total of sixty, a bus conductor would have charged us four rupees for the same trip. Luckily we had carried some extra cash and that helped us in the turmoil.
Our next task was to find another vehicle that would take us to Surathkal. We continued to stop the vehicles and this time we tried stopping trucks. As soon as a truck stopped three guys from no where came and asked for a lift, I suppose they worked for a service station near by. We were angry. Now we were facing another problem two more guys joined there and started stopping vehicles and they were minimizing our chances of getting any help to go home. It was around twelve o’clock, and we were still in Kottara Chowki. After fifteen minutes we managed to stop a white Ambassador car that was on the Press duty. The driver offered us a lift till Bykampady Industrial area. At that moment that was the best offer, we decided to go with him. The driver was on a Press duty for Udayavaani, a Kannada daily newspaper. We reached Bykampady at twelve twenty four. The driver was expecting some cash so we gave him thirty rupees and started walking to the main town. The place was full of darkness, I at all times used to watch that place from the bus, but I wasn’t expecting to land up there in the mid night walking back home. As soon as we reached a place where there was plenty of light, certainly street lights, we started asking for lifts. At last an autowaala offered us a lift. On asking him the fare he replied “five rupees per head”. That was very less than what we had expected. Soon we realized that he was drunk and that was the reason why he asked us only fifteen rupees, anyone else would have charged us around eighty to ninety rupees. He was totally drunk, he couldn’t drive properly. As soon as we reached the main town of Surathkal we thanked God for saving us from this autowaala. We went all along with Daniel to his house and afterwards we had to walk back around twenty minutes to reach back to our house.
As we were walking home, we realized that the autowaala was following us. He was an old man, with a look that would not encourage anyone to hire his auto. He had the most frightening looks like a ghost from a Bollywood movie. He stopped near a refueling station to piss. Then he went back to the main market. We continued walking.
After some time we saw the same auto right in front of us. He was roaming nowhere. How can a drunken man can be so careless and roam all around the town? We were feeling tired of walking and we started sharing some thoughts about the movie. After sometime the autowaala passed by and stopped right at the other end of the road. The autowaala was totally out of mind and was headed nowhere.
We now had a great experience of missing a bus late in the night and we decided to share this experience with our friends
We started sharing a thought, if the autowaala was an evil spirit or a bhooth what would have happened that night. We were working on the topic through out our way home. I even expressed my desire to make a documentary on this topic. We were supposed to prepare a documentary for a college film making competition. Colin started giving me some ideas. We decided to start our experience right from the cinema hall. I thought of adding some creative and imaginary stuff at the end of the story. We thought of adding some imaginary scenes that would make the documentary more interesting and express a message to the audience. But now what was the message going to be? That’s what we could not decide that night. But now I know what the message must be “Don’t be late at night!” We had a tuff time that day. By no means am I going to repeat the same thing for a second time in my life?
Finally we came out with a title “The Autowaala Bhooth”.