Nothing would ever stop our “play time” in the colony, it was a daily ritual repeated with utmost sincerity after quickly scribbled home work, a glass of milk and a bath -the bath part is which I never until now have understood, as we come back like sweating zombies.
This colony is were Rissy met her first friends, found her passion for dance and explored the world of books. Over the 10 years she grew into the tomboy she was. A part of her soul still wanders in those parks and lanes.
Lets get back to the day. The Girl gang and the Boy gang have decided to play Hide and Seek all over the colony. “Inkey pinkey ponkey …” was done and boys were to seek. The super hero girls decided to mastermind ” the never seek plan”. They would all split into groups of two and hide at the least reachable parts of the colony. Out of the corner of her Rissy looked at Soumi and wished she would chose her to hide together. Soumi was the smart, pretty, long haired, confident girl and Rissy was doing all she can to be titled her Best Friend. And yes she did chose her. Rissy then mused ; “why dint i get the chance to chose or did i assume i don’t have the right? Is there something wrong with me? Why don’t i have close friends ? Hope i find the one in soumi. ”
The counting has started. Soumi lets go. They sprinted across the green lawn up the underground car parking ended up in front of the bungalows. “Lets go hide behind the fountain. Oh ..i think i hear the boys. Cheaters !! They have started search already. Run soumi”. We ran bare foot across the rocky trails to the funny smelling artificial fountain. It was so mushy and smelly we had to keep running and ended up behind one of the bungalow. They found a nice place to sit on the doorsteps of the kitchen and waited. We could hear the footsteps fade away.
” Found u …u scary monkey”Rambo laughed.
“U donkey ” shouted back Kriti.
“Common you help us search the other girls”, Said one of the boys
“Oh yes ..nice idea. ”
“Traitor. How can she do that.” I angered.
“Shhhh!! “. Soumi clasped my mouth.
” Rani. Did you put the washing machine on” we could hear Srini uncle talking to his wife in their kitchen.Me and Soumi were inches away sitting on a stool outside the balcony of their kitchen, we looked at each other and chuckled.
I don’t remember who started it or if it was the eerie surroundings we were in, we started sharing scary experiences, ghost movies we had watched, ghost like figures we thought we saw in the colony. We also sorted out families that may be possessed and made a note to inform all the girls to stay away from them. We allocated the buildings and corners where the ghosts could reside in.
Time went by and it was almost an hour. We totally forgot we were in hiding. No one found us. Yay !! so we may be the winners. But then where is everybody? May be they all left to their homes. May be they were eaten by the ghosts. buaaahahahah!!
Slowly we got out of our secret place and walked out to the lawn. No sound. Not a boy or girl in the vicinity, except for some adults on their routine walks. We could only hear the swings in the park creak and someone playing basketball.
” What do we do now ?” “Do you think the colony has been taken over by those ghosts”?, said a shivering Soumi.
“Come on Soumi” Rissy replied by shaking her shoulders and assuring her All is Well.
We walked around and came to the main road. Hmm..It was early winter and the breeze was good for a nice walk. Right time for the question. ” Are we best friends, Soumi?”. She smiled and replied “May be but me and Roops are best friends already. I am not interested in two of them.” Not a very satisfactory reply but that is OK for me. Somethings are better than nothing.
We heard a loud screech and turned around to see the whole group sprinting at us with claws and sticks and bats.
“Runnnnnn….” We ran at 100% speed but were caught. Even though we were the winners we were not showered with praise but with questions to disclose our hideout. They all had worn out searching for us. Hehehhehehhe…That feels special.
We never told them. Never will.
Back home i mused. That night new friendships bloomed, new limits crossed, winners were proud, losers were curious, ghosts trespassed, super heroes found and memories made.