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It had been one of the most unlikely occurring, but it had happened. Sherlock Holmes, the self-proclaimed consulting detective, who lived as he pleased, didn’t give a fuck about anyone, worked on his terms, on his hours, on a billing defined by himself, had burned out. I think he had been particularly hit by Watson getting married, and had given into occasional drugging, but to no avail. And from what he told me on our time together, he had discovered that he had to let himself be human just for a little while, so that he can not be so in the rest of the time. Don’t be ridiculous, he didn’t say those words; he never would. But all that he told me over the span of three months, pointed to this.
He had been averting Mycroft’s advice of going to India to “rejuvenate”, for a few months now. And finally, he had come to a stage of hating to admit that he wanted to take that advice. That’s what he told me; that’s what he told himself as well possibly.
And like the menacing little brother he proudly was, he decided to leave for India without letting anyone know. I imagined Mycroft finding out about this and rolling his eyes about the “secrecy” Sherlock maintained when his passport was beeped out of the country and it showed up on a laptop screen on his mammoth of a desk back at the secret services. I even giggled a little, and was despised by him for it, when Sherlock indirectly told me about not having told “even his brother”. Of course he knew that Mycroft was onto him, and wilfully chose to ignore that. He had just mentioned to Mrs. Marge that he was going to be away for a “little longer than usual”. The last few times he had done so, he had travelled to the parts of London that Mycroft and he as a kid used to discuss about never having to go to. Yeah, so trust me when I tell you, he was so fucked.
Thanks to his photographic memory, he didn’t have out-of-context notes in his backpocket about things to do, people to contact, and trains to catch, numbers to dial. He didn’t have Google Keep or Evernote either. He had an old beat-up nondescript Android, 2010 model, which would make you believe it was the first Nexus. If it was or not, I cannot confirm, but it was as functional as an old Nokia 3315 (if you remember that brick of a phone). We met while I was on the toy-train from Pathankot to Dharmshala in the northern parts of India.
I was visiting there for some unwired time, and he seemed delighted at the fact that it was illegal, yet fairly possible without getting into trouble, to smoke in public places in India.
There was something about him that made me believe that he trusted me. Uncanny. Not to mistake, I am mostly harmless, and my appearance screams it as well. There also have been instances of people laying undue trust on me. But then, this was a white guy from London, in India, whose first instinct even back in London was to not trust anyone or anything but evidence. So, maybe he did find evidence to trust me. Or maybe he too was human. Or maybe he was just on a “downtime” from his day job that had now been years long.
McLeodganj, you would know if you’ve been there, is a particularly small town. While shivering with cold on my hotel’s balcony after the hour-long snow, I air-calculated (it is like playing air guitar, except that in this case you make calculations on an imaginary black board with imaginary chalks. I do this kind of thing sometimes. Don’t judge me— I was on a vacation.) the probability of two people in the same town meeting each other while loitering about randomly and the math of it made me believe that if I walk about in McLeodganj for four hours straight, and that Sherlock did so too, just aimlessly, we MIGHT meet each other 1.8 times or so. It was an ad-hoc math, and there might be errors (there WILL be errors, because I don’t simulate real world very well even with that multi-core processor I have that we charmingly call “brain”). So, 1.8 times in four hours. Not bad. I wanted to take those odds, and I wanted to tread on some fresh snow. So I put on a jacket and stepped out.
I did meet him within an hour.
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