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Ghost in the Pink Fur Coat

January 9th, around 7:30 Pm

Its dark. Very dark. I'm hiding behind the Cycling Machine in Rita Aunty's balcony. Chonu and Nishant are behind the chair and Partho's somewhere too. Its still very dark. The garden in front of the balcony is rumored to habituate hundreds of varieties of insects, worms, an occasional monkey and even snakes. Chonu and Nishant are fighting, and the scene, the place, the sounds make me nostalgic.
We're all in Rita Aunty's balcony.
We're playing Hide and Seek.
We're waiting for the 'seekers'.
Suddenly, the door in her balcony, adjacent to the Cycling Machine, which opens into the house...creaks open. Slowly. We all freeze. I remain very still. A figure steps out, hooded.
Its very dark and I can't see who it is.
But one thing drives the fear out of my mind.
The figure's wearing a pink fur coat. Its definitely not a ghost. Ghosts don't wear pink fur coats.
Its Rita Aunty. Dressed for her evening walk.
I can recognize her coat anywhere, anytime.
But I'm again scared. What if she gets mad finding the four of us in her house without her permission? What if she bans us from playing in that area? She didn't know we were here. Yet.
And suddenly,
There's a quick tick and the balcony is illuminated, all sign of darkness gone.
There's light all around- to reveal four not-so-small-people crouching behind chairs and Cycling Machines in her balcony.
"Arre!", she exclaims loudly, very, very astonished, as she took a step back. Even after her exclamation, we all remain hiding, hoping against hope that it wasn't us that she saw.
It was.
But none of us move an inch. She stands there, shocked to the core, unable to move. My hand flies to my mouth so the sound of laughter is muffled. I'm about to tip the Cycling Machine over, I'm laughing so hard. But I don't want her to hear.

One Minute Later (during which, all four of us are trying to cover our laughter, STILL CROUCHING, HIDDEN, while she's plain shocked, speechless)
"Wha-wha-what...?", she finally manages. I can understand. There have been a lot of thefts lately. And crouching there in her balcony, I bet we didn't look any less than thieves.
"Playing Hide and Seek, Aunty! Hide and Seek?", Nishant calls out jovially.
We all come out. She gapes at us.
"Sorry, "I say.
"No, no, its perfectly alright, I was just very surprised..." Understatement of the year.
She walks back inside, all thoughts of evening walk forgotten.
We somehow stumble out of there, and as soon as we're out of her earshot, burst into laughter.

Oh yes. Saturday, we were out playing in the biting cold and this happened.


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3 Reflections:

Rohith.R.Das said...

:) Couldn't help smiling at the warmth, joviality and innocence of the post....made me nostalgic and consequently, somewhat feeling old. The striking aspect of the writing was the crisp and fluent narration. Maybe because you were reliving those beautiful moments through the writing, as a result of which, words came from the heart. Keep Writing....

Sherry Wasandi said...

All smiles and caramel candy.

Absolutely.

Srishti said...

@Rohith: Thank you! :) I was reliving those moments or rather just, thinking about them. It seemed really funny earlier, but not so much now :\

@Sherry: Absolutely. :)