Mysteries Galore

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Strange things happened that year. The sequence of those uncanny events is still fresh in my memory as if they happened just yesterday. I was thirteen and deeply grieving Mallika’s untimely demise. I was a sensitive child, extremely attached to even the inanimate objects that I owned, such as pebbles and pieces of broken bangles. Ever since Mallika had come to our home, she was the first living being I would see in the morning and also the last one I spoke to before going to bed. You cannot imagine my grief when I found her beautiful red and black body motionless inside the shoe box.

At first, I was in denial and then was angry at the world at large. The setback was so severe that I fell ill. I couldn't forgo the image of my pet lady bug from my thoughts. I recovered a little bit from the depression only when my dad promised to get me a new pet. Because of this tragic event, I missed two weeks of studies. After that, my parents forcibly sent me to school, although I was still sad and melancholic.

At school, I learned that in my absence, some weird things had been happening. Every once in a while, the seats of students would be strewn with food items such as chewing gum, bubble gum, pickles, or smashed fruits, but nobody had an idea who the culprit was.

Our half-yearly exams were going to be held in a few days. I was still mourning the loss of Mallika, and now on top of that, I was anxious about the exams, almost sure that I was going to fail.

When the question paper arrived, my fear came true. I couldn't answer a single question. I nervously looked around, and to my surprise, I could see the answers in the air. One by one, I tackled all the questions. The answers were formed in the air by what looked like tiny insects—ants, spiders, cockroaches, and to my delight, lady bugs too. I couldn't understand the phenomenon at that time, nor did I tell this secret to anyone for the fear of being accused of cheating.

On the last exam day, as I mechanically occupied my seat, to my great consternation, I spoiled my skirt as the seat had been desecrated by the elusive miscreant. Abashed and exasperated, I cleared the fruit pulp—the fruit being sugar-apple, known as sharifa or sitaphal in India—and began writing the exam.

As usual, I swiftly completed my task with the help of the friendly bugs in the air. After that, while I was waiting for the first bell to submit my answer sheet, feeling extreme contempt for the unknown person who had played the prank, and trying to guess who he or she could be, when suddenly, tabhi achanak, I saw the name, Rahul, written by the bugs. I was taken aback at the knowledge that the sad-looking boy with curly hair and droopy eyes was the prankster.

After submitting the answer sheet, I rushed to the principal’s office and voiced my suspicion. The principal, a strict disciplinarian, with round eyeglasses on his stout nose, and deep furrows on his unending forehead, sent for Rahul, who admitted his guilt, but also recounted a weird story.

He said that he did not put food items on the seats to create trouble. What had been happening was that he saw a small hungry dog lying on different seats each day in deplorable condition imploring for food.

“What kind of a dog do you see?” asked the principal.

Rahul replied that it was a small thin mangy dog, unlike his well-fed pet, which had recently died in a road accident. Nobody believed him except the one who had been seeing bugs in the air. He was reprimanded and warned of severe punishment in future against such acts.

In that exam, I scored 99% marks, which lifted my spirits. And in the coming days, I accepted Mallika’s loss and got over my grief, and did not see the bugs again.

When Rahul’s parents learned that he had been feeding an imaginary dog, they got him a new pet. Rahul told me that he did not encounter that mangy dog anymore. One day, after school hours, he showed me a secluded corner in the school compound, where he used to play with that mangy dog. We dug up the place with sticks, but as soon as we came across some bones, which looked like a dog skeleton, we ran away.

Now so many years later, I am able to understand those mysterious appearances of the souls of the dead animals. Being extremely sad and melancholic, Rahul and I were attracting the sad souls of the creatures that had been crushed or killed untimely.

PS: I wish Aamir Khan makes a movie on this original story, which is pure fiction. He would look good in Rahul’s role and I am ready to play myself. All I would have to do to look like my thirteen-year-old self is tie two ponytails.

16 comments:

  1. "All I would have to do to look like my thirteen-year-old self is tie two ponytails." lolololol!!!!

    You are amazing!

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  2. Haan agar 40+ Amir college boy ban sakta hai to hamne kya paap kiya hai ki ham school girl ka role nahi kar sakte!!!

    That was a lovely story. Amir film banayega aur tumko hi heroine lega, dekh lena.

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    Replies
    1. Ab to mujhe apna ponytail wala video bana kar Aamir Khan ko bhejna padega :-)

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  3. Giri, this could beat 'Makkhi' hands down if made into a movie and with you in your ponytails and Amir as hero might even make it to the Oscars. Go girl!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Zephyr! May all your wishes come true :-)

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  4. What a cool tale! I just watched Talaash yesterday. You turned the story on its head :).

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  5. And please grab 'ghost ka role', you get to wear the best designer outfits and makeup. You already have a size zero figure:):)

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    Replies
    1. I would rather look more like a ghost in simple clothes and without makeup and without hair color :-)

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  6. I was imagining Aamir in shorts and wearing a tie.
    If Aamir buys your idea, that might be an Oscar winning movie from India.

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    Replies
    1. True! I plan to make the characters misfit and pariah :-|

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  7. this is so sweet. awesome...

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