Would you believe me if I told you that I ran away from home when I was 15. I almost started to write out the whole story as it happened, when it occurred to me that I could make this more fun. I’ve made up some part of the story but most of it really happened. I will leave it to your imagination to figure what is fiction and what actually happened.
This story is about young girls from a small town in India. But our protagonists were anything but ‘small-town girls’. They were all of 15 years old. I spent a good deal of time thinking of a name for them; fearless (they were not!), fun adventurous (which they were) etc. but none of them did justice. In the end, I decided on ‘Jackdaws’. Like the birds, they can easily be mistaken for normal crows but they are very different in being keenly inquisitive, high spirited and gregarious in nature. To be honest, the name is also inspired by Ken Follet’s book with the same name. In the book, the Jackdaws are an all female group of reniassance fighters. The girls I’m talking about had all the above characteristics and more. Let me first introduce you to the Jackdaws: I will just call them Soo, Shee, Vee and Mee.
Soo a.k.a the fearless one:
The most gutsy character of the group, she was almost fearless. She would stand up for her friends, whatever the cost. She was tall and pretty but on the flip side, a little daft as well.
Shee a.k.a the pretty one:
Very generous and kind hearted but because of which, she was super-gullible.
She was vain but also the prettiest of the lot. Born to a rich family, she had unlimited access to a lot of resources that the others didn’t.
Vee a.k.a the charming one:
Quite the charmer, she could talk her way through any situation. The story started thanks to her! Never one to follow rules, she was creative, fun-loving and a dreamer. She was the glue that held the pack together.
Mee a.k.a the smart one:
The most practical one in the group and the smart one as well. Always followed rules but the Jackdaws brought out the wild side of her. Extremely loyal and would always go the extra mile for friends.
The girls happened to meet in school. They got along like a house on fire and eventually got into a lot of trouble, both in and out of school. Soo and Shee grew up in the small town but Vee and Mee had both been brought up in the big city but had landed in the small town due to different circumstances. Now lets get to our story.
It all started when, due to family circumstances, Vee came to live with her aunt and uncle in the small town. Lets just call them the Evil Aunt K and Uncle Chot. Vee was very unhappy living with them. She hated the samll town and her aunt and uncle. She longed to go back to the city, to live with her parents again. Aunt K and Uncle Chot made life very difficult for Vee. But once she met the Jackdaws, life was bearable again. Aunt K and Uncle Chot did not approve of her friends and did all they could to stop her from seeing them often. Most of the adventures of the Jackdaws involved tricking and of course, making a fool of Aunt K and Uncle Chot.
One day, Uncle Chot told Vee that she to go to another city to visit her relatives. Vee suspected there was more to it than just ‘visiting’ although she did not know what. She suspected that she was to be parceled off to another place but she didn’t want to leave her friends. When she voiced her dissent, he would have none of it. Her tickets had been booked and she would leave in the next two days. When Vee told the others, they were all heartbroken. She told them she didn’t want to go but she had no choice. They said their goodbyes and Vee told her friends not to come to the station to see her off, as Uncle Chot had warned her. He personally came to see her off to the bus stand, standing guard until the bus left.
Soo, Shee and Mee had decided they just had to say goodbye to their friend and see her one last time, no matter what. They stood hiding in the bus stand, and once the bus started, they started their bikes (I mean two-wheelers, not bicycles) and set off behind the bus. What followed was a very bollywood style bus-chase scene. Vee was so happy to see her friends but also sad that she was leaving them and waved goodbye. But the trio just kept following the bus. After about an hour, the bus stopped at the end of the town to pick up more passengers. The trio then went up to the bus and asked Vee to get off. Vee picked up her luggage and came down. By now, they were all in tears and in between hugs, they decided that Vee would just come back with them. And Vee did just that! And together, they just rode back to Shee’s place.
Shee’s home was a big place. She had a room to herself and could go in and out of the house without anyone finding out. So, quitely they all went there and plonked themselves on the giant bed in Shee’s room. Everyone was super happy and danced away for a while. Eventually, Soo and Mee had to go home. It was then that they began to realise the enormity of what they had just done. They had just helped their friend run away. The next morning, the relatives would call Uncle Chot and tell him that Vee was not on the bus. What now? Vee could hide here for a while but what after a few days. Uncle Chot would know they had smething to do with Vee’s disappearance and would come looking for her. They didn’t have a plan yet but they had to think of something. And fast!
To be continued.
Writing this post has inspired me to start a series called the ‘Escapades of the Jackdaws’. This is only part I of the story.