The Sunday evening saw most of HEGT, and even people from Tukawadi, with passes given out to them, converge at the Recreation Centre for the big game of the year. There was a very festive atmosphere. There were food stalls selling wada-pavs and burgers, and plenty other fast food on the grounds. Excited children walking with cotton candy, and wearing matching team t-shirts with their parents were all over the place. There were face and body painting stalls, and people were flocking to get themselves painted green and black, and red and white, in their team’s colours. Everybody was out to have a good time.
The game was Love-key. It was a spin on HEGT’s novel intra-campus ferry system – the love-kits, and hockey. What some enthusiastic HEGT employees had done is that they took the levitation technology in the ferrying baskets and miniaturized it, and integrated it into the shoe soles, elbow pads, belts, and helmets of the players. Then the field creating material that was drawn out on the paths for the love-kits ferry was painted all over the hockey ground. The players were given controls on their palms to adjust the field created from their gear that interacted with the field from the hockey ground. Thus they were able to adjust how high they wanted to be from the ground. Thus by using the controls on their palms, with their fingers, which took them some practice to get used too, they could take off from the ground or get back to it. To move forward, or side-ways, the player would throw their weight in that direction.
The whole group was pretty excited about their weekend trip. They were going on a special trek, and it was a one that the locals often did, and was suggested by them. There were going to go to a place a little away from Tukawadi, and trek from there across the range of hills to culminate in the devraai on the hill in HEGT. The special thing about this trek is that it was an overnight one, on the full moon night of Guru Nanak Jayanti.
Come Saturday, the group, largish for a trek, 19 of them, reached the starting point at the base of a hill around 7 in the evening. They were accompanied by Mahesh Mali kaka’s teenage son, Vishwa and 2 of his friends, who were local residents of Tukawadi and going to play the role of guides today.
It was a cool evening, and the group was in high spirits. Many of them had got along packets of snacks for the way. Moni and Bethany had come together with some volunteers, which included Bulbul Singh, and put together a nice spread, which included methi parathas and payasam, among other yummy treats.
Suraj had had a busy week, and a busy day that day as well. He was kind of tired and was in two minds about joining this trek, but eventually tagged along. He was enjoying sitting around in the group, nibbling at snacks being passed around, cracking jokes, laughing. He half-jokingly suggested that they spend the night there – sitting, snacking, snoozing and get back home in the morning. He was eloquently supported by Shirisha and Kamal, but generally booed down.
Shortly, they started up the hill, with a big, rich, copper moon looking on them from a clear sky. It was magical. There was moonlight enough to read in, and many of them exclaimed how thanks to electric lights they didn’t know a full moon was so bright.
At the top of the hill, Vishwa pointed out a very faint light, like a star, out in the distance. “That” he said “is a light on the tower in the HEGT campus. And is roughly the direction we will go in”.
‘This can’t be so bad then’ thought Suraj to himself. “If we can actually see HEGT, then we’ll be in a few hours – half way through the night.” Continue reading