Summer Holiday.

I was lounging in the drawing room sofa, trying to kill time on a lazy summer day. I must have been in the eighth grade. School was closed for two months.

When I heard a war-cry outside my window, I looked up from the archie comics I was reading.

I peeped out to see my younger brother and his two friends deeply engrossed in a kung-fu game. They couldn’t see me, so I settled on the window sill to watch.

They were pretending to be kung-fu warriors. Three brothers, if you please! And were fighting some invisible enemies with all the moves they’d learnt watching those kung-fu movies.
All of a sudden, the youngest in the group Sameer, fell down with a thud, screaming and fighting for his life. But all his attempts to overcome the invisible enemy were futile as he was fighting a losing battle. His brothers could not help him because they were busy fighting their own enemies. So with a last war-cry, he called to his brothers and breathed his last.
Seeing this, the brothers quickly finished off their enemies and ran to their dead brother’s side. Crouched on either side, they looked at each other across his not-so-motionless body.
” They killed our brother” said my brother mournfully, “We shall avenge this!” Screamed Krishna, (a neighbor) They looked at each other with determination, a performance worthy of a tiny Oscar each…
“Here we come!!” they shouted in unison. And they jumped and shouted something incomprehensible and ran towards the invisible enemy’s invisible fortress. (behind a parked car)
Meanwhile, Sameer was getting restless. After all, he cannot lie down there for ever and miss out on the fight raging on the other side.
He woke up, walked to the fighting arena and started pleading.
“Please da, let me come back.. I want to fight!” Being the youngest of all three he was given the brush off. “You are dead! Just go lie down!” Bellowed Krishna.
“But I don’t want to die” whined Sameer, all set to have a good cry.
Faced with this minor emergency both the living brothers took time out from the fight and conferred with each other, a little out of Sameer’s earshot.
They came back with a decision. “Ok da.. Since you’re dead, you cannot go back to being our brother. Now you can be the enemy” declared Krishna.
“Yippee!” shouted Sameer. He jumped to the opposite sides. And with a horrible contortion of his facial muscles that belonged to an enemy he was back in the game..
And a fierce fighting commenced…

Chuckling, I went back to my book.
Of course, this was in an era where video games were scarce…. Where they were huge empty plots between houses for playing cricket or football… The worldwide web was unheard of… Cable television was not dreamed of…

And no kid ever said, “I’m bored!”



  1. sgt said,

    December 3, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Nice read.
    Is sameer as handsome as he was when a boy?

  2. maami said,

    December 3, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    and girls played hopskotch;and picked jamun fruits off trees and went cycling up a winding road to the sea front…

  3. lakshmi said,

    December 20, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    When my younger son was about 4, S, we visited a cousin, whose younger one was about 6 mo older to mine. They were playing and suddenly my son came to me crying saying his cousin had broken his sword. His cousin said “but he was going to kill me with it!”
    My then 7 year old (A) came up and said excitedly “where sword?!”.. S turned on him and said “imaginary sword!”. So I looked at S and said “Wait a minute.. your cousin broke your imaginary sword?” S nods.. I said, “why not imagine it is back in one piece again?”.. S says, “No it is broken – cannot repair it.. will you buy me another one?”
    His cousin then starts crying -“but he will kill me with it!” like this.. and starts to show.. S joins the game, forgetting his sword was broken.. mind you there is no contact between the two, just a lot of sword fighting actions as in movies..
    I had a hard time keeping a straight face. A shakes his head and says “Amma, they are crazy!” and walks away..

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