It was during the cold winter night of January this incident occurred, a night; we tried to forget but just can't get it out of our minds.
It was a Saturday and the three of us, Sanju, Ajay and Jeetu (me) had been all day together, enjoying ourselves. 10 p.m. Was the time; we were at Sanju's house, passing our time by talking, playing games and cracking jokes. Ajay asked what the plan was for dinner. Sanju said he knew a new place that had opened up and had great food. Pritam's Dhaba was the place at the outskirts of the city; at least an hour drives from Sanju's place. We did not argue much, and decided to go ahead. Sanju picked up the keys of his Honda Accord and we left around 11 p.m. We reached the Dhaba, we ate and were done by 12 midnight at which point it was time to head back home. We sat in the car; Sanju drove, with me on the passenger seat and Ajay alone on the back seat. 10 minutes passed and I realized Sanju had taken a different route. He said it would save us some time getting back.
The road was deserted as it had only swamps around it. It was a no-moons night and the temperature was around 12 degrees. It was a long stretch of road, and for some reason I was getting the chills. 12. 30 a.m. We were in the middle of this dreaded road around the swamps and our car started to slow down and with a few jerks stopped in the middle of nowhere. "What happened Sanju?" I asked. "Wait, I'll check" he answered. Sanju opened the Bonnet and started to check what the problem was. I sat in the car and Ajay got out of the car saying "I want to pee". Sanju finished off playing with the engines and came sat in the car. "Prob solved, where's Ajay?" he asked. He's gone to pee. I said.
Ajay returned and sat back in the car. "What took you so long dude?" I asked.
He did not respond. Sanju was wiping his hands, when he asked Ajay the same question and turned back to have a look at Ajay. Sanju turned back and froze for the next 10 seconds. I looked at Sanju and asked "What happened, what's the matter with you?"
Not getting a response from him I also turned back to Ajay who was sitting right behind me to see what the problem was. Ajay just stared at us angrily, with utter disgust. His nostrils flared up, his hair was a mess and what even spooked me more was when I saw his eyes. Brown coloured cattish eyes, whereas Ajay had black eyes in reality and did not wear lenses. Five Seconds later Ajay's hands were on his neck choking himself, he screamed in a shrilling Feminine voice and his eyes had rolled up, only the white of it could be seen. God, that scream was just horrible; it still gives me the creeps. Sanju and myself got out of the car. I opened the back door and tried to stop Ajay from choking himself, that's when he pushed me with his left hand and I fell at least six feet away.
Physically, on normal day, it was not possible for Ajay to do that to me. Sanju helped me get up. We both were in shock and scared for our friend.
"What do we do?" Sanju asked. I went to the car and removed the small idol of Lord Ganesh (Hindu God) that was kept next to the steering wheel. I gave Sanju the idol and a bottle of water. We opened the back doors again, Ajay was still choking himself, I started to recite the Hanuman Chalisa (Sacred Hindu Mantra) and this time held his hand's firm and pulled them from his neck, Sanju at the same time put the Ganesh idol in his pocket and poured the water on his face. It worked; Ajay started to calm down and fainted eventually. Sanju and myself were still in shock and were trying to figure out what had happened in the last 15 minutes. I signaled to Sanju that we should leave ASAP.
We went to Sanju's house and carried Ajay to his bedroom. We sat next to him.
He woke up at 7 in the morning and looked at us and asked, "What happened, how did I get here and why are you guys awake and staring at me? "Nothing, you just fell asleep in the car and we brought you here." I replied with a nervous smile. Later we dropped him home, and told the incident to his father. We kept a watch over him for a few days to see if anything about him had changed or not, but he seemed to be fine. His father thanked us and asked us to forget it and never discuss it again.
We never discussed it with anyone, but cannot forget that night and may not be able to forget it, a night when we almost lost our friend.