Friday, October 26, 2012

Kids are mean! -Part 1

I must have been 10-11 then and having recently shifted to a new house, I was busy making new friends. Amongst these recently acquired friends were two girls, sisters, both younger to me. Lets call them Ruhi and Yana.

The 'chatt' of our house, littered with stuff that only the 'chatt' of a newly contrscuted house can be littered with was a child's heaven. It was more often than not our playground and we would spend hours and hours playing make believe games as the monsoons lashed around us.

Sometimes we would use the cement mounds that had caked, that odd piece of wood or iron that the labourers had left would be used. For us they were pricessless. And were vehicles of imagination that could take us on flights of fantasy.

Ruhi, (who rather adorably referred to 'chewing gum' as 'chingum'), maybe 7 at that time, was the youngest amongst all of us and therefore the most gullible to ragging and leg pulling.

This one day, Bhai (or someone else) came up with a brain wave. Hurried wispers later, the strategy had been formulated and without wasting any more we sent Bhai away and beckoned Ruhi to come to us.

'Didi!' she yelped as she happily skipped across the 'chatt' towards us.

' What didi?' one of us said ' say hello to bhaiyya also' I said pointing to the air between Yana and me.

'Bhaiyya?' said  Ruhi puzzled.

Yana looked at the air between herself and me as if listening to some one. On cue both of us laughed.

Ruhi stared at us.

'What are you laughing at?' she said her face drawn with worry now.

'Bhaiyya just said that maybe he was invisble to you' said Yana. I laughed again as if Bhai's comment was still tickling me.

'I...I....' stammered poor Ruhi as i struggled to not burst into laughter 'cant see him'

'You are such a scream!' hooted Yana.

'No...really i cannot' said Ruhi.

'Oh my God' i said slapping my forehead and looking intently at the air between Yana and me ' she really cant see you'

'Oh my God' added Yana rather unoriginally and slapped her forhead.

'So' i said now pacing as if in deep thought ' you cannot see bhai'

She shook her head and extended a hand towards the air space next to Yana in an attempt to feel bhai.

'Oh dear, you cant feel him either, can you?' i asked my face registering shock and worry.

She shook her head now almost ready to cry.

'Listen, now dont worry...i can get to the bottom of this' i said my face grave. Yana and ruhi looked expectantly at me.

'So you are saying that you cannot see him waving at you?' i asked eye brows raised. Ruhi shook her head.
'And now....he is jumping in his place...can you see him now?' i asked again. Ruhi shook her head.
'Yana' i said now turnging to face her elder sister ' can you see bhai?'
'Yes ofcourse...he is looking very worried now' she said.

I nodded my head.
'Ofcourse, we have reason to worry' i said.

Yana looked at me and i looked at Yana. Ruhi, teary eyed stared first at me and then at Yana.

'Yana' i said my voice serious ' do you think this is what i think it is?'

Yana, a good actress, breathed deep.

'Yes, didi....i am worried...'

'What is wrong' wailed Ruhi.

I dramatically tunred around to face Ruhi.

'Ruhi...there is this disease that is doing the rounds in schools these days...teachers are not telling pupils about it as it may scare them....but...but...we think you have it...the symptoms are the same'

'what is happening to me?' she asked.

I breathed deep and inched closer towards her.

'I think' i now paused for effect as Yana struggled to keep a straight face ' that you are going mad'