Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Forbidden Summer

Summer was always exciting. It meant the summer break, mangoes, longer evenings to play cricket, fly kites, the rattling comforting cooler and of course all the yum food. The planning would always begin in advance. The gang would meet weeks before the summer vacations were declared. Plans would be made as to where we would meet, what new adventure would we indulge in and cricket scores were heavily discussed and debated.

This year seemed no different as we excitedly ran across the play ground and came to our favorite spot. It was a well covered hide out behind a few trees and shrubs where the gang would meet. I was on time but of course there was Amit who always reached before everyone. Neel shuffled in soon followed by Rags (short for Raghuveer) and Gags (short for Gagan). Gags was the serious sort who joined us for cricket but would always worry about his grades and homework. He sat down in the corner adjusting his over sized glasses. Amit had conjured a board from somewhere and he scribbled “agenda” on it. Usual suggestions of cricket, more cricket, foot ball followed. Amit began listing the various options when we all heard a meek voice. We all looked around surprised to see Gags speak up. “Lets try something different this year”, he said. “We always do the usual games but why not something innovative- we could try selling something, do something noble or creative or maybe ….. try going up to the woods!” said Gags slowly looking around.

A big gasp followed… “the woods… the woods”. Gags had uttered the sacred word and to think that he could say something like that. Amit was speechless. I gave him a glare and said “… Why Gags? You know we are not supposed to.. even mention the word”. Gags looked up and settled his glasses… “Why not? .. We always speak about doing something adventurous and fun. This is real adventure and in this area what more exciting thing can be than to explore the WOODS!”. Amidst the fear there was a sense of excitement to discuss the forbidden and even dream about doing something outrageous. A long silence followed.
“We should do it Guys!” said I looking around for reassurance. Rags nodded profusely chewing some gum. Neel seemed blank but Amit refused loudly. A lot of yelling followed....


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