zoya opened her eyes while still laying in bed. she stared at the damp ceiling for a few seconds to come back to her senses from the deep silent peaceful slumber. the moment she reconciled her thoughts she heard the door bang again.
BANG!! BANG!! BANG!!
this time the thump on the door was harder and louder. zoya jumped from her sloppy bed. covering half her face with the tattered quilt, she glanced at the over-sized clock hung on the chipped wall from the corner of her eye. it was 3 am. "who would be at the door at this hour?" she wondered. hoping the rattling on the door to be the strong wind outside, she slowly and slyly stretched her legs to go back to sleep.
suddenly the door was forced open. zoya with a ruffled mane on her head and a petrified expression on her face sat straight clutching her weak pillow hard against her. she noticed a ray of light in her dark dreary room. a tall handsome man entered the room. he had an incandescent aura around him. is it my last day on earth? has he come to take me? am i dying? a series of questions started pouring in zoya's head. before she could shush her perplexed inner voice, she heard the man speaking "hi zoya, i am aryan, a messenger sent by earth."
zoya: why have you come here? what have i done to the planet?
aryan: calm down. you have done nothing wrong. planet earth has chosen you to explore
one of its secret areas. it is still shielded from the people. you are the lucky one to
make the first brave journey.
zoya(bewildered): do you see my condition? already i am miserable with my life and
my living conditions. and this journey is like a tinned cherry on the awful tasting cake.
aryan(smiling): do not say that. there is a reason for you to have been chosen. you will realise it
towards the end of the journey.
zoya(angry): and how does my dear planet earth expect me to make this journey? on feet?
or have you arranged mr. mallya's private jet for me?
aryan: such special journeys can't be made without an extraordinary ride. your mode
of transport will be at your doorstep as soon as i leave.
"you will not regret this exploration" were aryan's last words before he vanished into crisp thin air.
zoya crawled out of her bed and toddled towards the door. there it was, standing magnanimously waiting to be throttled by its privileged driver. zoya had driven a car in the past, but never in her wildest dreams had she thought that she will get to drive such a beauty one day. forgetting all her fears she hopped into the arctic silver new tata safari storme .
zoya twisted the key to automation and storme's powerful engine roared and took her by storm to a new unknown road in no time. the road was as deserted as the desert right in front of her. the desert started where the road finished. falling back on the seat, she climbed the dessert as if she had been doing it all her life. the desert seemed endless, when zoya spotted an oasis. she planned to halt there for the night. feeling thirsty and hungry zoya looked around. then she noticed that the storme was well stocked for her. she quenched her thirst, guzzling water down her throat and chose to munch on some of those fresh carrots and apples. with a content stomach she dozed off quickly.
|oasis in the desert (image source:google)|
it was still dawn when zoya woke up to start again. after driving for a few hours she left the desert behind and was back on the road. unlike the last one, this road was rocky and steep with a lot of head-banging and body shaking, water-filled potholes. zoya pressed her foot hard on the brake wondering if she will be able to drive though this difficult terrain. but with no other option and nowhere else to go in this strange land, she decided to proceed with all her might.
zoya was surprised and amazed with the drive. even on a breakneck rugged road like this one, the ride was relatively smooth. while she was concentrating on the coming turn, she was startled by a quirky voice from behind. she looked in the rear view mirror and shrieked. she brought the drive to an abrupt pause and turned around to face the bizarre looking creature.
it was a monster lizard that called itself sunder. it wasdressed up no less than a cartoon and was talking!! flaunting an aubergine coloured cap and a striped t-shirt it was lounging in the back seat cross legged binging on the nuts and chocolates that were provided for zoya.
|sunder (image source:google)|
licking the last hint of chocolate from his lips with its slimy tongue, sunder ushered itself into the front seat while a scared zoya bobbed out of the car.
sunder: hi i am sunder
zoya: what? no! you are a scary looking monster lizard. how
the hell did you get in here?
sunder: no darling...no...do not call me that else you will turn
me into an angry lizard again. i am sunder,
ignore my looks. my heart justifies my name. i live
rather lived in the desert before i hopped into this
beauty. i have been looking for a friend forever. a companion who can take care of me, feed me,
you know what i mean (a raised eyebrow and a grin)?
zoya: no! i do not know! just get out of the car!
sunder: dear...ummm...what is your name?
zoya(eyes rolling): i am zoya
sunder(pleading now): ok dear zoya. i intend to do you no harm. just let me tag along with you through
your journey. you are alone. with your ride's outstanding infotainment system, a
good company won't hurt you. take me with you. please!!!!
bouncing in its seat, it went down on its legs and with folded claws and twitched eyes it began imploring unceasingly.
a benevolent zoya finally agreed. the nasty looking sunder was not so nasty after all.
they started the journey again. zoya narrated her encounter with aryan to sunder and sunder went on with his maddening and deafening songs. they climbed the almost vertical route to the mountains, crossing the most bumpy terrain. they danced their way, swishing through the dense forests. the route was no less than a roller-coaster ride. had the storme not being their wonder vehicle, they would have slipped down and found hanging on a tree in a gorge thought zoya . in the needle-pricking cold condition outside the storme kept them cozy and its fog lamps kept the view clear.
|steep rocky terrain surrounded by dense forests(image source:google)|
all of a sudden it started raining heavily. were we not in enough mess already that the planet had to spit on us cribbed zoya. due to the heavy shower and the uneven terrain the way ahead turned into a stream. zoya prayed for the vehicle to turn into a boat. the storme could not do that but with an amazingly high level of water wading it cruised them through the stream like road.
zoya could not stop thanking and blessing the ride for making the drive hassle free. sunder agreed with her.
finally after a maze like journey, came a dead end with a huge wall. zoya stood there with her eyes closed while sunder went on "oh my god! what now? that is a tall wall for me to climb!"
|THE wall (image source:google)|
ignoring sunder's babble, zoya tried to focus and looked for a way to get to the other side. zoya ran towards the rear of the car, where the cargo basket was provided. she scouted for a rope amidst the collection of other touring essentials.
|storme with its cargo basket (image source:google)|
zoya then tied one end of the rope to the car's door handle and flew the rope in the air letting the other end fall on the other side of the wall. she climbed onto the storme's top and then on the wall's edge, carefully sliding down the rope landing on the other side. a heavy lazy sunder followed her, climbing up the wall in a lazy fashion.
zoya saw huge rocks forming a little mountain. she gazed through the binoculars and saw some sparkle at the peak. with the torch she found in the basket, she courageously ventured her way to the top.
reaching there, she found a little hut from where the sparkling light was being radiated. she walked towards it and the moment she opened the door of the little shanty.....she could not believe what she saw.
she stood their agape with her jaw dropped and her eyes wide open. lazy sunder who was tired of climbing suddenly got an active limb. the place was filled with jems and all the worldly luxuries. a confused zoya took a long deep breath and sat there not knowing what to do further. crazy sunder started adorning himself with the bangles and the neck pieces.
the incandescent aura appeared once again. aryan appeared out of nowhere. he congratulated zoya for being brave and determined to finish the exploration. zoya blushed then smiled and replied with a coy thanks giving the entire credit to the sturdy storme.
aryan informed her that she was chosen because she was one good person deserving more than the miserable conditions she was in. he added that she is kudos-worthy and since she did not chicken out from taking up the journey in the first place like a few others,was kind enough to help sunder and remained unabated through the entire exploration of an unknown land, planet earth has decided to honour her with all the possessions in the room. zoya had to pinch herself hard to realise that it was not a dream.
reading the obvious question in zoya's eyes (how will she get back home?), aryan said "just sit back in the storme and it will take you home".
as soon as zoya sat in the car, sunder begged her to take it home with her. zoya, now friends with the lousy yet entertaining sunder smiled and asked him to jump into the car. as soon as they had shut the doors the storme swirled.
in the blink of an eye zoya found herself on her bed, this time soft and cushiony, she opened her eyes to a brand new, beautifully done up room with sunder sleeping in his own comfortable little bed. she glanced at the clock from the corner of her eye, it was 8 am in the morning. on the table, next to her bed, were lying storme's keys. leaping out of the bed, she peeped out of the window and saw her friendly ride parked outside.
this is altogether a new beginning , a new exploration thought zoya to herself and started getting ready for work.
|tata safari storme (image source:google)|
this post is a part of the "i am explorer" contest for tata safari storme explorer edition.