Sunday 1 March 2015

Prose500 2015 Longlist, Diwakar Pokhriyal


‘Tomorrow I will come in the morning’ I replied in a lousy mood.
‘No, I can’t come.’ Rohan denied the possibility.
‘Why not?’ I asked in awe.
‘My mother only allows me to play during this time’ Rohan tried to convince me.
‘Oh, it’s ok’ I accepted and overwhelmingly walked towards my house.
I reached my house by another 20 minutes.
‘What were you doing?’ my mother inquired.
‘I was playing with my friend’ I asked.
‘Who plays at this time?’ She looked at the watch in disbelief.
‘He told me that his mother only allows him to play at this time’ I said and went towards my room.
I went inside my room and put my books on the table. Those hefty books actually create enormous pressure inside students and they acted in the same manner towards my subconscious mind. I looked at my watch and it was showing 9:30 PM.
‘Only ghosts play at this time’ my mother said vociferously.
‘Aren’t you happy? I play with ghosts’ my stubborn disbelief was evident
‘I heard so many ghost stories’ she tried to instill the dark fear inside me.
‘This is a happy story, then’ I chuckled and she left the room shaking her head.
The next day I went to my friend again.
‘You are a ghost?’ I tried to investigate.
‘Do I look like one?’ he popped another question smartly.
‘To me, you look like a normal boy’ I said sluggishly. The birds were chirping.
‘What if you are a ghost’ He intelligently tried to turn the table.
‘I understand that I started joking, but why do you wish to continue? Why don't you bowl first?" I said, swinging my bat overconfidently.
"Where do you live?" I asked him while playing.
‘B-209’ he said while attempting a square cut.
‘Oh! Right here in this building?’ I tried looking at the building he was pointing at.
‘Yes, at the top’ He hit a monstrous six crashing his own window.
‘You are now gone’ I laughed and he ran towards his house.
‘Your mom isn’t there?’ I asked in surprise as no one came out, but he was already busy inside his own thoughts.
I waited anxiously for fifteen more minutes and then started taking the route to my house. As I was walking I felt a hand on my shoulder.
‘Hey, how you have been?" someone patted on my back. It was a friend who I hadn't met in a while.
‘Never been so energetic’, I smiled.
‘Are you busy somewhere?’ he inquired.
‘I play cricket with my friend here every day’ I was sweating,
‘Which friend?’ his expression went weird looking at that place.
‘Rohan’ I said and his eyes welled up in utter disbelief.
‘Rohan Paul..’ he stammered and gulped the air he was breathing.
‘How do you know him?’ I was taken aback.
"You need to see this," he said as we walked into his home. He handed me an old newspaper.
"A 16 year old boy died in the park in front of B-209."
"Yes, this is Rohan. Oh My God!"

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