"I am afraid of those rides"She clutched my hands like a baby. Mumbai, Wonderla in that. Dhanno from the village Salepur, Orissa, had never seen any of these rides in person. "Dhanno",I said gently,"the roller coaster would take you up,down,top and bottom. It is frightening. I know. But trust me. Trust your Dinesh. For some time assume the seat belt as my hand. And you always like it when I curl my hands around your waist". Dhanno was flushing with shame.
"Wyooon!!" went the siren. So did our hearts. The ride was going to start. The ascent was slow. Steady. Dhanno looked at me and smiled ironically. I knew what was going to come. So I played dumb. But her confident smile was rare. I've only seen her giggle under a veil. Mumbai, miles away from Orissa. The free air here makes anyone confident. "The city that never sleeps" is showcasing itself splendidly. Dhanno was immersed in that few seconds of stable breathtaking view too. Then with what felt like a slip, the wheels rushed down with a frightening velocity. Dhanno was too shocked to even react. We were pulled a second. Thrown an other. We went round in a loop. The machine halted at the peak again. Only this time we were suspended upside down. For a second I forgot Dhanno was not wearing a saree and frighteningly scoured her. Haha! That poor clumsy girl wore t-shirt for the first time. Was she uncomfortably frightened or frighteningly uncomfortable? Dhanno never spoke a word since we sat on this terror machine.
I heard some familiar lines in a melodious tone. Dhanno is singing Hanuman Chalisa out of fear! Dhanno!! Don't embarrass me! Ooops. A slip again! We went down like a tidal wave. We came up like a fountain. And as fast as it began, it ended.
That was an hell of a ride. The automatic seat belts released us. Dhanno ran to me and hugged me. "I was afraid Dinesh. A lot. But I also liked it", she said with tears in her eyes. She didn't use 'ji' anymore since then. A ride was all it took to bring us closer.