We broke our kiss when the voice outside sounded clearer. It sounded like that of the helper who was pacing up and down the narrow corridor of our houseboat talking boorishly on his cell phone. He even had the audacity to fiddle with the DO NOT DISTURB plastic board that hung on the door knob of our room in this houseboat.
My Cochin University batchmate Cyril Chako had arranged this “The Greatest Honeymoon Experience” cruise in the backwaters of Vembanad lake on a grand houseboat. The experience was heading towards greatness until this moment. We were parked few meters away from the bank for the night. I could still pick up few Malayalam words. He was inviting someone to take a rowboat and come over now! They were organizing some party!
My heartbeat stopped as I heard the words meaning “Nerds”, “sexy Northie girl”, “just wed” “fresh” and references to the honeymoon couple onboard.
Prerna looked concerned and asked “Honey, why are you so irritated, they are drunk and will sleep off soon”
I nodded in disagreement. “Prerna, I don’t think this is a safe place, we have to get out of here”. “They are planning some kind of assault on us, I have bad feelings about this crew now”
Prerna looked shocked but not convinced “Honey, don’t you remember how friendly they were during the day. I am sure you are getting paranoid”
“Prerna, rapists are usually normal guys till the booze gets into their heads and make them animals”
Prerna became pale. “Varun! are you implying that they are planning to rape me”
“And kill me too” I added. My fears escalated when I heard whirring noise outside from the waters. I drew the window curtain aside and saw a small motor boat cruising towards us. We were both trained swimmers and could make it to the path by the paddy fields leading to the resort with just few meters of swimming. I took our wallets and put them in a plastic envelope.
Prerna was telling, “Varun, shouldn’t we wait and see. I am still confident that nothing will happen, after all, this is arranged by your close friend and he must have double checked”
“Prerna, the first thing I will do if we get there alive is kick his balls for spoiling our honeymoon. Now, listen to what I say”.
“This window is big enough and it is only about 2 meters to the water”.
“Do not jump, just slide along the hull and into water and glide for a distance. Don’t splash and swim. Is that clear?
In Five quick minutes we were at the bank of Vembanad lake.
Out of nowhere, fireworks lit the still humid Kerala night sky.
Lanterns light up. A banner came out of nowhere “The Greatest Honeymoon Experience” and when the fireworks stopped, the night was reverberating with roars of laughter from the 1990 batch of Cochin University alumini led by Cyril Chako.