My husband, Manik has been behind me for weeks to share this episode, so here it goes.
It was a regular summer day…muggy, sleepy and uneventful. The only good part was that it was a Saturday, so no school. I was 12 and my sister 14 yo at that time.
To break the monotony, dad made a plan to go visit our favourite uncle, RC and his family for dinner.
It was late evening, we all got ready to leave for RC’s home. Dad was driving his Maruti 800 at a speed of a fighter jet, mum sat in front chanting God’s name, my sister and I at the back-seat staring outside our windows. It was near dusk with sky pinkish dark in the distance. Half way through our journey, the car’s AC stopped working and it started to get suffocating. Dad rolled down the windows and now we had the warm but calming balmy air, kissing our faces. We all were silent, lost in our train of thoughts.
And then there was a loud scream. It was my sister. Watching her, I screamed and like a chain reaction, my mum did, followed by my dad. Dad slowed down, all of us stared at my sister and she uttered the ominous words, “there’s something in the car!” What the effing eff do you mean by “something”??? We all started yelling different things now…. “stop the car!” … “what’s in the car?”… “…you saw what?”… “are you mad?”… There was commotion, argument, panic – utter chaos.
Dad stopped the car, we all frisked it and nothing was amiss. We gave my sister an evil eye and continued the journey. It was eerily quiet in the car. And then we heard a flutter. Everyone ignored. And it fluttered again. We looked behind and…
…it was a bat.
Inside our car.
There was a bat fluttering in the car. Our eyes got wider. I felt numb. And then we all screamed murder. I wished I was dead. I wished we were delusional.
Dad immediately applied the breaks and in the next second all of us jumped out of the car. A crazy family of four standing on the roadside with car doors open – trembling, paralyzed, nervously laughing, all at once.
It was dark now. Someone had to get that bat out. We three women looked at my dad. I saw terror in his eyes but hey, wasn’t he the cool, “I’ve got this” type dad? With reputation at stake, he braced himself to creep in. He took mum’s stole, wrapped it around his face and craned his neck inside the car. The bat started flying laps.
After a good 30 minutes of drama of dad chasing the bat out, my sister and I giving instructions, and mum yelling, “don’t go near it” – my brave dad did it. He got the bat fly out. I think we saw it flying out but it was too dark to be sure.
Dad signalled to get back in the car. We leapt in hesitatingly, locked the doors, rolled up the windows, looked at each other and… laughed, hysterically.
With no AC in the car and humidity at it’s peak, we spent rest of our journey wiping sweat dripping down our neck, face and back. And that’s when dad said, “it’s too hot in here, shall I roll down the windows?” and we screamed together “hell, no!!!”.