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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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My Fundays

I was an extremely naughty child who did everything in her power to make people feel uncomfortable. I was an inveterate prankster, not even sparing my three siblings. But if I were to remember one particular incident, it would be the one some of my school friends and I planned and executed with finesse. One All Fools’ Day, we decided to do something wicked that would scare the wits out of everybody in school. We had a fire drill at my school, Queen Mary’s in Bombay, and it gave us a fabulous idea.

We shut and locked all possible doors in the school building. Having successfully accomplished this, we carefully set about locking up the many emergency exits as well. And then we rang the fire alarm!

The ensuing panic was quite amazing to watch. But it only lasted a short while as all of us were soon caught. We were duly suspended from school for a few days. This, however, did not affect us too much as we were not missing exams. It was a time of the school year when nothing much was happening. And so, even while we were supposed to go around with this look of extreme distress on our faces, we were really quite happy to have pulled off the joke.

However, in hindsight, I feel that this was one of the most despicable things I have ever done in my life. I’m actually not keen on sharing this incident with too many people even now. I realise what might have happened that day: Someone could have had a nervous breakdown from fright!

Pranks apart, I was not really a bad kid. But one of the things I was not ready to compromise on was my mother’s undivided attention which I wanted all the time. I loved all the dishes she cooked for us.

I feel that our lives were much simpler than it is today. The onslaught of the Internet has complicated life beyond measure and unfortunately I could do nothing to save my children from its ill effects.

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