Childhood and mischief? Ah! They go together! Atleast, in my case! When I look back at my childhood days, I squirm at the amount of mischief I used to do. What a nightmare, I must have been to my parents. With my elder sister too, doubly mischievous, they had two little monsters in their home, always up to pranks of all kinds, making the house noisy and a crazy one. From breaking precious items ( accidental or intentional ), throwing away food if we didn’t like the taste ( ah..my poor mom, who cooked it ), lying if we wanted to go to friend’s place for party, stealing money from our dad’s pocket or mom’s purse, buying comics with our tuition fees, and fighting like cats and dogs pulling each other’s hairs ~ that our neighbours used to come to enquire what happened. Ah…there are so many of those now embarrassing incidents. But one incident beats them all. What a mastermind plan I had to make, to execute it. And boy, was it easy to tell truth, and accept all those nonsense we did? Err...no! But somehow it proved to be the best solution in the end... Read on :-)
The match-day finally came. But, it was on a Sunday. What excuse do I make now? As I finished breakfast, my father called me to his side. I got alert instantly – was I caught? But thank heavens it wasn’t so, as the next sentence he said was a surprising one – that, I could watch the match on TV since it was being held in our city. He’d be watching the game too. For him it was a big concession to make, to allow me to watch, with my exams near; whereas inside, I was chuckling at what I had already done. With a very serious face, I told him that I wasn’t interested in the match, but instead, would prefer to go to my friend’s place to study Maths, if he’d give me the permission. His daughter was asking his permission to study? What could be more music to his ears, than this? He instantly agreed, though, he watched narrowly as I stepped out of my house wearing my newest dress that day – which I never did, while going to my friend’s place.
We reached the stadium just in time and I was totally absorbed in the frenzy of the place, that day. The place was bustling with energy, with almost half the city thronging the stadium. We grabbed our Pop-corns, Chips, Cokes & Kinley mineral water bottles and sat in the gallery; while our heart-throb cricketers flung into action in the field. We screamed with every run scored, booed at every wicket fall, drooled at the score-board every time it got updated, chewed our finger-nails nervously at every third-umpire’s call, got excited like crazy when any of the players came near our gallery to fetch the ball or sign autographs. With so much happening, we didn’t realize at all, that all the TV cameras were zooming at us gleeful bunch of girls every now and then ~ until one of my friends spotted the huge screen and shouted – “Hey, look that’s us on the screen. We’re on TV. We're phaaaaamous!”
I instantly remembered that my father would be watching the TV too. Cold sweat broke out. Oh damn! I'm done now! Maybe, I would be grounded forever as a punishment. Aaargh, whatever…it was too late now to do anything. If he reprimanded me for lying to him, I’d have to face the consequence, I thought. I enjoyed rest of the game with the nightmarish thoughts of rebuke that awaited me back at home, clouding my mind. When I returned home late in the afternoon, my father was standing near the door. I was all ready to face his thrashing. What else could I do?! Sigh.
“Did you manage to get autograph of Sachin?” His question made me look up in wonder. At first I thought, he was being sarcastic. But he had a crooked smile playing in his face, instead. “We saw you on TV. Your relatives have been calling up too; they have all seen you on TV. So, we thought, you must’ve collected the autographs too, didn't you?” I knew, he wasn’t happy with my telling lies to him earlier, but he wasn’t that furious either. I shook my head, because I couldn’t get any autograph, with such a huge mob surrounding the players and also the bouncers and security everywhere. “Well, next time at least get one then, when you go to watch a match for real, ND! What will we show our relatives if they ask – that, ND watched the cricket-match from the ground itself, but couldn’t even manage to get an autograph from her favourite player!” His last sentence made me laugh out. Because, I finally knew for sure that he wasn’t angry with me. Maybe, he accepted that I was bit of a rebel. Anyways, I guessed it was okay then to confess to him, how I took the notes from his pockets to finance my tickets. And yes, he didn’t get angry as I had expected. Infact, he said much to my surprise, that he’d accompany me too the next time such a big match happened in the city. I think he wanted to come on TV too. Well, so, maybe it’s better to tell the truth after all ~ kitna chain hota hai na sachchai mein, right? ;-)
( Images - IB )