One day I decided to play a prank on my friends. What happened was this - I decided things had been quiet for long, thus I decided to make some mischief. I am very naughty, you see. So on Thursday in the recess I told my friends something I was sure they’d believe. As it happens they didn’t. This is how our conversation began:

ME: Listen guys! I discovered this only yesterday but it’s true! I’ve found a dark place, a scary one, which when you go into you see skulls, hear tortured screams and get really scared like you got in the movie “THE HAUNTED”

SAHIBA: Soven, come on! You’re joking. I can’t believe it.

ADITI: - Me neither. Soven has a wild imagination and it sometimes runs away with her.

SHREYA: Sov, Are you sure it’s not ‘ur’ imagination?

ME: Naah!

‘Ayushi and Akriti (in unison) – So coops, why do you lie? Tell us the truth. And if it’s true where is this place?

ME: It’s right here in this class. Where we’re standing.

There was silence. You could literally hear the ants walking on the ground. Only the distant shouts of some boys could be heard. The silence was broken by SHUBHDA.

SHUBHDA: HA! HA! HA! hee hee hee ! Soven, Please!

ME: (getting really impatient now): look, don’t you guys believe me?

EVERYONE IN MY GROUP: - NO!

ME: Well! (I said banging my fist on the table where I was sitting) Well, You are incorrigible!

SAHIBA: (cocking up her ears) what’s that?

ME: It means Unchangeable!!!!!

SHREYA: Oh yes! We are incorrigible. We don’t at least let our imagination run away with us.

Me: Look! It’s time to show you guys some……….

EVERYBODY: - Some what?????????

ME: - Some evidence (I hissed) Some proof!

I dropped to my knees and started scraping the ground at odd places. My friends just stared at me for a while, then (working as if not believing their eyes) gave me a hand or two. The recess was for 20 min. By the time it was over we were all panting. You see, (crazy as it may sound) what I had intended to do was scrape the ground so hard that it actually gave way to some passage. I was unsuccessful.

Akrito: (practically yelling) – I told you she was lying!

AYUSHE: - (indignantly) – We both did, you mean SHUBHDA, SHREYA, SAHIBA, ADITI – Well, bye! Thanks for nothing.

I sat there alone on the ground, stunned. When suddenly the ground gave way and I was falling.

“Where is she ” Sahiba’s voice cracked like a whip through Shreya’s mind. “Where is SOVEN? She was here a minute ago. I saw her “Well” said Shreya who had been sitting on her seat, dreaming, and suddenly getting up to her feet “ She must be hiding somewhere. CROSS, I expect” “Yeah! said Aditi, who had been eavesdropping on their conversation. “Nothing could have happened to her. Believe me, Sahiba” “And stop worrying,” she added seeing the anxious agitated and doubtful look on Sahiba’s face. “Nothing could have happened.

As for nothing could have happened I wouldn’t presume that far I thought. Here, I was getting up to my feet, picking a canter suddenly appearing, and listening to the conversation, which seemed like miles away. I had thought this place was a figment of my imagination but…no! This place was exactly the way I pictured it.

I could over hear the blood-curdling, spine chilling screams that I had described to my friends. I was very frightened. Then suddenly a voice boomed – “ It’s not your time yet” and I found my head spinning. I clutched my temple and found myself on my knees. In seconds I was back in the class. A disappointing adventure, I can assure you, but very relieving. ALL MY FRIENDS gathered around me and for once (Oh! my God. I can’t even believe this) didn’t criticise me when I told them my story. VERY DISSAPOINTING – I am bursting out right now.

I am now in V-E and three years have passed since that fateful adventure. Bye!

( Year 2003 )