This is a funny story with emotional thought. I was 13, my sister was 15. Our father worked abroad, and had recently brought this cool CD player (back then CDs were a big thing, 1990′s). Now there was a shop near our house from where we could rent movie CDs. All we needed to do was to bunk school.
Now we didn’t want to bunk school just one day or two, we wanted it to be a trend! Hence, we needed to devise a pattern.
The pattern: Evening before, I would complain of feeling sick. By night, mom would try and feed me, to make me feel better. I would claim to feel better and sleep. Would again complain of feeling sick next morning. Now due to second occurrence, mom neither suspects foul play nor takes it lightly. The trick here is to claim some sickness now very serious, should not need medical attention. Mine was gas attacks (I was fat with known digestive issues as a kid).
Now this would make mom ask my sister to stay behind and look after me, as she had to go to her school as well (she was a teacher).
She used to leave at 7:40.
The shop opened at 9:30.
10–1 : Movie time!!!
Now here comes the story.
One fine day, we were following routine, rented a horror flick (Vaastu Shastra). This movie was genuinely scary for kids our age, who wanted to believe in ghosts. Hence, by the time the movie ended, we were scared to our core. Moreover, there was no one else at home. Moreover, it was a huge house, just like the family had in the movie where ghosts attacked.
Now I started seeing things. I saw a frail of shadow go by in the last room, down the lobby. I shouted for help, my sister hugged me. When I told her what I saw, I could tell her socks were ready to be blown off by fear, but she managed to keep calm. She acted brave, to restore courage in me. It was really mature and brave of her.
Next, she grabbed a wiper (It had a 3-foot aluminium rod as handle, with rubber sponges below to swipe off water) and took it as a weapon of choice. She entered the room bravely, switched on the lights. I heard her say, “See, there’s nothing! Come over.”
I was standing near the door now, still a few feet away. Sensing I was still afraid, she started playfully beating the insides of the room with the wiper, claiming she was beating the ghost of it. It was sweet of her, and that did make me laugh then and forget my fear, but it broke the wiper.
Now folks, you NEVER break stuff in lower-middle class Indian families. They are fighting hard to make ends meet, and the added (Stupid) burden tips them off. When they tip off, you get to receive their wrath.
We were aware, and as it broke, we suddenly were again white with fear. Fear of consequences this time. We stuck to the basics: tape it out. Hence, we got a lot of cello tape, trying to tape the stick to the wiper. It stuck, but just as a showpiece. One swing, and it could show the broken staff.
Hence, we needed to be careful. We couldn’t let mommy use it.
Cut to evening, we were (pretending) to study in the living room, keeping an eye on mom who was washing vegetables in the lobby. We knew she would wipe the lobby after that, she always did that. We just waited for the right occasion to go grab it and ask her to leave the chore to us.
But as we grabbed it, and took the first wipe, it revealed it’s fractured state. In the next fifteen minutes, mom knew of the movie we rented, the CD player misuse. I was about to blurt the process of bunk too, but my sister took mom’s attention and received all the wrath for it. I didn’t realize this, but she saved me from a whole lot of new level wrath! Imagine my mom’s reaction knowing I was faking illness!
Whenever we remember that incident now, I don’t forget to thank my sister for saving what was left of my ass that day.