I did not stay in the tents, for I picked a rather cheaper and exciting option: to sleep in the middle of a desert on a mattress. The camels were gone and probably resting and the eyes of the deer started to twinkle under the moonlight. I am pretty sure that when it was 12 am, I was in a jeep chasing deer. We had planned to unwind our watches to a random time and stop it there, for we wanted our 2017 to start whenever we wanted to, whenever we felt it was the perfect moment to shout “HAPPY NEW YEAR”. Coming back to chasing animals, our jeep driver suddenly stopped and all the deer ran out of our sight. When we were about to abuse him for ending such an amazing chase so abruptly, he pointed out to the ugliest yet the stunning most bird ever. It was an owl sitting right ahead of our jeep with its back facing us. We looked in anticipation and the freakishly amazing yet the scariest thing happened. The owl turned its head 180 degrees. THAT, for me, was when the clock struck 12.
The night safari ended after a good 40-45 minutes and we settled in the desert far away from population. The cold had reached our bones and we did what most of us would do in such freezing situations. We lit a fire. (That’s what you would do, too, right? ???? ). We gathered some woods, dry cow dung, used some oil and burnt the freaking shit (Quite literally). There were three others with me celebrating their New Year’s Eve the serene way. We played some Kishore Kumar hits, some melodious shayaris, wondered what we all be doing had we been in Mumbai at that moment. Then, reality struck. This time for good ????