A night in a forest

An eery silence, and a dark surrounding, only a small area illuminated by my torch.
I am just wondering, how I ended up here alone in this place?

It started as a fun game of dare. We were four friends visiting this pristine scenic place away from the crowd of the metro, where we work.
A small village with many homestay to cater to the needs of us city folks. It was a tiring journey, had a good meal and sleep when we arrived.
The village is surrounded by dense forest with tall deodar trees. The locals also mentioned a small local temple with a stream flowing from the mountain side.
So, at night while exploring the area, we decided to visit temple as a dare. I didn't knew then that it would be a bad idea.

Coming to present moment, here I am standing all alone separated from my friends. One should never underestimate the forest. Although we had the map and a small path was shown to reach our destination, but there were many diversions, which we should have checked before.

The path I am following is rugged, with pits and broken branches here and there.
I had to be careful, focused as I took each step, not to injure myself.
I had been told earlier that all path would lead to a bigger road that goes towards the temple, so I am assured of not completely lost here.
The silence is scary, being broken by chirruping of the crickets. As I listened closely enough I could hear the hooting of owl from distant. An occasional croack of the toad brought me to my present situation.
I tried to walk hurriedly, with bigger strides to move as fast as possible. Today was bit cloudy, so the torch is really a big help. Every once in a while, the area is illuminated by moonlight, bright enough to help me survey the neighborhood. The trees filter most of it, and the shadows are forming illusions, which are making scary impressions and bringing back the fear that I am trying so hard to suppress.
Finally I found the larger opening to a broader road, which go straight towards the centre of the forest, a bit of a upward hike.
Once I discovered the route, ai heaved a sigh of relief and felt immensely tired.
So I rested near a base of a tree, looking up towards the sky. The clouds slowly drifted apart, displaying the beautiful night sky with all its magnificence.
The large moon, surrounded by infinite small blinking dots, felt like magic. As the soft breeze brushes my skin, I closed my eyes feeling the vibe.
This trip was worthy indeed.

© Dr. Manish Rout