I turned 18 this year and it was one of the craziest birthdays I’ve ever had. My parents finally gave me the permission to take my friends outside for lunch, so without telling them, we snuck off to Mamallapuram in my friend’s car. Nine of us somehow managed to fit into a tiny hatchback. We should have realised sooner that the car won’t be able to bear our weight after lunch and sure enough, it broke down a few kilometres away from the Mamallapuram bus stand. We left two friends to wait for the tow vehicle and the rest of us trooped back to the bus stand. It was nearly 6 pm by then and my phone was ringing off the hook. We finally got into a state transport bus and were on our way back, when two drunk men began a brawl. I got caught in between two groups trying to pull apart the fighting men and I don’t know how but a heavy blow landed on my cheek. When I got back home, my parents naturally noticed the bruise and I had to tell them the truth.
— Gautham is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in an engineering college