By Ruchi Malviya

“From the stables of a company that gave you Mario and low grades, is yet another gadget that has complete potential to ruin your annual appraisal. It is called the Nintendo 3DS. It doesn’t require you to look like a moron with 3D glasses”, I said to Arvind, sitting on his lawn.

Suddenly Subhash moved out of his chair and turned to snatch the gadget from my hand, replying to which I pushed him and he collapsed on the ground. He made an energetic kick to my right leg and punched me in the chest so wildly that I didn’t understand whether he was playing a game or punishing me for something wrong. Meanwhile, Arvind seized a bamboo and threw it at me. The two friends, laughing, bumping together, threw everything at me. After being hit by pebbles and lumps of mud, I was getting scared. Overwhelmed, I dodged to and fro, shouting hysterically in desperate submission.

I was quite shocked seeing them go barbaric. Then again laughing with gusto, Subhash rushed at me with the rake pointed as a lance. Though he refrained himself at a distance, the rake came close enough and the skin beneath my jaw was slightly cut, and a bit of blood oozed out.

Suddenly all that remained was silence. The two friends rushed inside to get the first-aid box. They washed the cut, cleaned it with Dettol and stuck a piece of plaster. I was silent, rather still in the moment when Subhash’s face was confronting me – crazy and murderous. It seemed that he really wanted to hurt me, as if he hated me! The affection was absent and something new had broken into our friendship. And this new thing was, indeed, brutal and primitive.

I reflected over the change when the “post war” talk was going on, but was much upset inside. I wanted to steal away so I said, “Hey! I gotta class”. Both of them waved goodbye.

Sitting on my bike as I turned on the ignition, I heard footsteps and turned. It was Subhash. “Brother, see you at seven!”, he said and saw my cut. “Sorry man!”. Saying this he rushed back inside. While riding back home I realized that is wasn’t a game. My friends were growing up…and so was I.


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