‘Sounds exciting, but I have a project delivery scheduled during that time,’ a voice said.
‘Great idea! However, I got back from a family vacation just last month. Another vacation in six months looks really difficult,’ followed another.
The third one pitched in. ‘This would have been so much fun. But yaar, I was thinking of visiting India this summer. Maybe the eight of us can do a Euro trip next year?’
Right then the fourth voice interjected. ‘Eight? What the hell do you mean by the eight of us?’
The four friends were on a conference call, which had been scheduled the very day after the Eureka moment in the car. Sitting in different time zones, they were now discussing the possibility of going on a Euro trip together. But the idea had, for some reason, failed to take off as soon as it was pitched.
‘Us eight!’ the voice replied to the indignant query.
‘Four couples, eight people. A summer Euro trip! That’s what we have been discussing here, right?’
‘Hold on to that thought, till you get bored of it,’ quipped the fourth voice. He paused for effect, and let the implication sink in.
‘O teri!’ Harprit shouted. ‘Rinku veer, are you thinking what I am thinking you are thinking?’
‘Well, what do you think I’m thinking?’ responded Ravin, or as his friends knew him, Rinku.
‘Oh wow! An all-boys Euro trip! Raam ji, are you ready for it?’ Manpreet asked Amardeep, using the name they had given their friend during their college days.
In fact, they all had particular nicknames in their little group. Happy was actually Harprit and Manpreet was called MP.
Within the next five minutes, the rigid project delivery date suddenly became flexible, a second vacation within six months didn’t seem like that big a deal, and instead of summer, Diwali appeared to be a better time for the next India visit anyway. One by one, all the roadblocks standing in the way of their trip were cleared. Men!
(You see, I have always believed this – where there is a will there is a way. Where there is none, there are excuses. Anyway, let me continue with the story.)
‘Okay boys, let’s freeze the dates and apply for leave. By the way, we also need to do the research, pick the places, book the hotels, and plan the itinerary. Who’s going to do that?’ Amardeep asked.
His words led to pin-drop silence, which lasted for about three seconds before Harprit broke it by laughing. Loaded with sarcasm, his chuckles were contagious.
Soon, Manpreet and Amardeep joined in and it was evident what their laughter meant.
‘No! No way am I doing it this time!’ Ravin said before anyone could speak up. ‘MP will do it.’
However, Harprit and Amardeep immediately objected. They had zero confidence in Manpreet’s administrative abilities, and anyway, history was witness that Ravin was the mommy in their group.
(There’s always that one friend, isn’t there? The responsible and accountable one; the irreplaceable one. I can tell you that while Ravin protested, he quite liked his place in the group.)
So just like it used to happen in college, more than a decade later, the onus of planning and executing things fell on Ravin’s shoulders.
Finally, when all of them were on the same page and equally excited about the vacation, Manpreet asked the most important question, the answer to which would
determine the entire foundation of their upcoming trip.
‘Bhaaiyon, biwiyon se kya bolenge?’ (Brothers, what will we tell the wives?)
(To have a wish is one thing. To make it come true, another.)
For these four men, convincing the women they had married to let them go on this trip was the biggest and the foremost hurdle. In fact, it seemed almost impossible. But then, the desire to get some semblance of their old, carefree college days back, to go on a trip of a lifetime as just a foursome, was too strong. And to make their wish come true, they were ready to bite the bullet.
There was one small relief – they had to convince only three women, not four. After all, one of the wives already knew about the plan and was already on board with the idea.
At the same time, they all made a promise to each other, one they would keep – The trip would happen only if all four of them could go. If even one of them, for whatever reason, couldn’t, then they’d simply cancel the whole thing.
‘Yaar, I’m sure they won’t agree!’ Manpreet said.
‘Yes, but only if you make them believe that it’s going to be too much fun,’ Hapreet said.
‘Exactly. And anyway, it’s not like we’re going on some crazy bachelor party,’ Amardeep added, nodding.
‘It’s a pity that we never went on one of those,’ Ravin said drily.
‘Seriously, man! Four marriages. Four missed opportunities,’ Manpreet complained.
For a few seconds, they were all quiet, contemplating what could have been. And then, a voice – excited, hopeful – broke the silence.
‘In that case, how about we let this be our belated bachelor party?’
A moment to process this, and then three voices rose in unison, ‘Amen!’
About the book
It’s been twelve years since Happy, MP, Raamji and Ravin graduated. Well into their married lives, they realize that none of them had a bachelor party before their weddings. But it’s never too late to set things right. They go about planning their belated bachelor party – a Euro trip which, well, ends up becoming the trip of their lifetime. Picture this: It’s the middle of the night. The four friends wait to be strip-searched by the border police. They are stuck in the no-man’s land between Croatia and Slovenia, without valid visas, but with banned party drugs and a rifle cartridge … Welcome to one hell of a reunion! Bestselling author Ravinder Singh returns with his friends in a hilarious, moving story of friendship and adventure.
About the author
Ravinder Singh is the bestselling author of six novels and two crowd-sourced anthologies. His books have sold over 3.5 million copies to date. After having spent most of his life in Burla, a very small town in western Odisha, Ravinder is currently based in New Delhi. He has an MBA from the Indian School of Business. His eight-year-long IT career started with Infosys and ended in Microsoft, where he worked as a senior programme manager before deciding to pursue writing full-time. Ravinder has also founded and runs a publishing venture called Black Ink (www.BlackInkBooks.in), where he publishes and mentors debut authors. Beyond his love for words, Ravinder is also fitness freak. You can reach out to him on his Instagram handle @ThisIsRavinder or write to him at email@example.com