Super Writers of Brainy Brats (Seniors)
HAPPY 20TH, HARRY POTTER!
The scarred wizard with his emerald green eyes and his mop of unruly black hair cast his spell on us on precisely this day, 20 years ago! Harry Potter has continued to captivate swathes of readers the world over and has been a constant source of inspiration to our #BrainyBrats family. Thank you, J.K. Rowling?, for the innovative neologisms, riveting storylines, awe-inspiring vocabulary and for teaching us numerous lessons. From Harry Potter?, we learned about true friendship, courageously facing our fears, and never judging anyone by their appearance. In honour of this spellbinding series, we decided to share a story about BRAINY BRATS WRITER SHWETA'S encounter with the enchanted MIRROR OF ERISED.
I stood rooted at the spot after setting eyes on Safia in the mirror of Erised. It was astonishing as well as confounding as Safia is none other than my identical twin. Safia is the gregarious sister, whereas I'm the timid one. The Mirror of Erised had peeked into my soul and had displayed what I truly desired - to have been born as sociable Safia and not as reserved Rabeeah.
I deeply loved my sister, but the green eyed monster reared its ugly head every time I reminisced about our past. My envy took root at the tender age of eleven, when our parents were transported to their heavenly abode because of a tragic accident. Since we were bereft of our lifegivers, our despondent grandparents took us in. Our bereaved grandparents weren't very well placed financially and could only afford to sponsor the expenses of one child. A distant well-wisher offered to foot the bill for one child's fee at a hostel. It was a terribly difficult choice, but since Safia was the more fragile twin, they decided to send me to the hostel. With a heavy heart, I bid adieu to my family.
Hostel life was nightmarish - my peers were cold and callous, the meals were insipid and inedible and my teachers were tough and terrifying. I sobbed myself to sleep every night. Over a period of time, I became diffident and dispirited. On the other hand, Safia flourished under the watchful eye of my grandparents. Since she was extremely affable to begin with, she befriended new people and became immensely popular.
When I'd come home during the vacations to meet my family, I'd feel as though a knife had been twisted in my heart every time I'd set eyes on Safia. Facing these hurdles had indeed made me more resilient, but I craved to be adored and applauded the way Safia was. Even though she wasn't the perpetrator of my distress, I couldn't help but think how different my life would be were we to switch places...
It felt as though I had been motionless for an eternity, as I couldn't even move a muscle. The chilly breeze whooshed eerily through the window and made a chill run down my spine. Despite having endured a fatiguing day, the yellowish-green eyes of this menacing creature drove away my enervation in a jiffy. Adrenaline coursed through my veins. The sinister being looked away before I could engrave the finer details of its visage on my mind. Why was it here? What did it want from an ordinary being like me? Without making any sudden movements that would incite this spooky being to charge at me, I observed my room thoroughly for anything I might have overlooked in a hurry. Everything seemed quite normal at first glance. Heaps of soiled clothes occupied one corner, while the other corner was inhabited by my trusty laptop and some other handy gadgets. On my bed were a few magazines that I had pored over the day before and on my dressing table were the bunch of fragrant tulips that I had purchased on a whim from the local florist only hours ago. Surprisingly, the erstwhile dewy tulips had already withered away and turned a shade of muddy brown. This brought to mind the mythical tales narrated to me by my wise grandma. The idea that this being could have paranormal powers made me shudder incessantly.
Just as I was beginning to adapt to the all-engulfing darkness, I missed a heartbeat when I heard the windowsill creak unnervingly. I turned around rapidly to find myself face to face with this elusive creature. My mind absolutely froze and I looked at the creature with my mouth agape. I was now able to spot the minute details about the creature, that was too big to be a house cat and too small to be a notorious burglar in disguise. It had several greyish-blue patches on its soft, dark blue fur that looked almost black in the soft moonlight. It had a long, jagged scar that ran down the side of its face, giving it an ominous look. When this mysterious creature opened its mouth, my heart pounded so hard that I felt as if it would fall out of my mouth.
I was scared out of my wits when the feline creature flashed a wide, crescent shaped smile at me and spoke jarringly- “Hello human!” I was shaking in my shoes on hearing its strident voice and attempted to stutter a fitting response. In the twinkling of an eye, the large cat vanished into thin air. I looked around frantically for the creature, wondering whether it would grab me when I had my back turned. My heart thudded deafeningly. Was my end only seconds away? Is this how I would meet my maker? My thoughts raced at breakneck speed. Just then, I felt a light tap on my shoulder and when I slowly turned around, I perceived the cat, floating right in front of my eyes. "Looking for me?" it asked contemptuously. My teeth began to chatter ceaselessly and I could no longer think straight.
I shook myself out of my stupor and bolted out of my room when I suddenly came across a little girl sobbing heart wrenchingly in the corner. She wore a crimson skirt and a light blue top and continued to bawl loudly despite my presence, with her face buried in her hands. I speculated whether the creature had been the reason for her loud weeping. “Who are you and what are you doing here?" I asked her gently. After receiving no reply, I doggedly pursued a reply. After all, I couldn’t leave this poor girl behind at the mercy of the frightening feline. She lifted her head, and I saw a faint smile spread across her face - her dark face with two long canine teeth jutting out of her mouth. They dripped with saliva and reached her chin. Her face sported thick eyebrows and fiery red eyes under them. Her face slowly contorted as her claws curled around my neck. The last thing that I can remember is being choked by a cackling girl demon, gasping for breath as my life ebbed slowly out of me…
INVISIBLE FOR A DAY
Brainy Brats (Recommended Reading)
One blustery Sunday morning, I woke up groggily and trudged to the bathroom. As I squeezed out some toothpaste onto my toothbrush, I caught sight of the mirror and noticed that the toothbrush was floating ominously in the air. I looked down at myself and shrieked deafeningly. My body was absolutely invisible! I took in a few deep breaths and felt a sense of calmness wash over me. Maybe it was the effect of the fluorescent green fruits that I had found under a tree in our garden, I pondered. They had seemed extremely scrumptious and I had popped them into my mouth without further ado. The effect would probably wear off the next day, I supposed. I hence decided to pretend that I was a real-life superhero and enjoy my newfound formidable powers to the fullest.
I strode towards our refrigerator confidently and began to wolf down the junk food that my mom had forbidden me from consuming. She truly believed that I needed to improve my fitness levels and constantly chided me whenever I inched closer to the refrigerator. Now, that she’d not be able to see me, I was determined to eat every ounce of creamy chocolate cake. While I was raiding the fridge, our domestic help walked past us. She screamed at the top of her lungs and fainted when she saw a piece of indulgent cake floating in the air!
I chuckled cheerfully and made a beeline for the football pitch near my home. All my friends would be there, working hard on their technique. I decided to play a mischievous trick on my buddies; I poached the ball from them and scored goals effortlessly. They gaped at the goalpost, completely flabbergasted. They then threw their hands dramatically in the air and ran out of the field, screaming, “GHOST!”
After playing this glorious prank, I was still keen on displaying my boisterous side. I soundlessly tiptoed into my neighbour’s home. After all I was unseen, but not unheard! My neighbour, Arush, was a callous young man who would leave no stone unturned in showing me down. I resolved to settle scores by playing a hilarious joke on him. Arush was snoring loudly while I picked up his tube of whitening toothpaste and emptied it all over his face. I then cut thin slivers of soap and placed them carefully in his open mouth. He gradually began to foam at the mouth and that sight made me guffaw so hard that I was sure a tummy-ache was well on its way. After he woke up with a start, he screeched piercingly and rushed to the washroom.
I then made up my mind to trick my sister, Manya, as well. Manya is exceedingly possessive about her storybooks and arranges them in a meticulous manner on the bookshelf. While she was painstakingly completing her school homework, I slyly pushed the pen in her hand, which created an ugly scrawl on the page. She began to shake in her shoes. I then pulled a storybook off the shelf and scribbled all over it with a red hued sketch pen. She bawled loudly and bolted to our parents’ room. I cackled ecstatically.
After all my rambunctious antics, I decided to retire in my room and enjoy a siesta. When I woke up, it was dinnertime and I sauntered towards the dinner table. My family was wondering where I had disappeared to and dad gravely announced that he was going to contact the police. They also somberly discussed the supernatural events that had taken place in the house during the day. I realized that my family was missing me and that they desperately wanted me around. A tear rolled down my cheek and dropped onto our dinner table. All of a sudden, my hands and legs were visible! My mother rushed towards me and enveloped me in a bear hug. My sister grinned from ear to ear and my father looked tremendously relieved. They then admonished me and asked me about where I had been all this while. I then slowly began to narrate the unusual events of the day that had transpired…
My Closest Friend
By Vyomika Jashnani
I can distinctly remember the day we were playing kho-kho during our games period. John inadvertently pushed a chubby little girl. When he realized that she was hurt, he frantically rushed her to our school’s nurse. The nurse treated the girl and informed John that he had brought her to the hospital wing in the nick of time – had he been even a few moments late, the girl would have suffered irreversible damage. Even though it was John’s fault that the girl had fallen, he undoubtedly made amends for his mistake. All the students and teachers applauded John for his timely help and prompt act.
Lunch break is the most looked forward to time for every school student and we were no exception. What made these breaks even more enjoyable is the fact that we all came together and shared our lunch boxes. John was so eager to share that he would not taste his snack till all of us had taken a bite. Even when he brought his favourite snack to school, he instinctively shared with us first. How can I forget the delicious sandwiches he got especially for me! They were made with an extra dollop of love and that is what set them apart from the sandwiches of the world.
Once when we had participated in the ‘Kaladhara’ drawing competition, he accidently spilled water on his partner’s drawing. Without a second thought, he owned up to his mistake and went up to the judge and informed him about the mishap. The judge was taken in by his honesty and candour and allocated an extra hour to his partner to complete his drawing.
John has been my bosom buddy right since we were kindergartners and it is my ardent desire that our friendship continues for lifetime after lifetime. After all, it takes a special friend like John to form an unbreakable bond!
The Mirror of Erised
By Navya Mayekar
One night, during my customary stroll, I stumbled upon a small room at one end of the park. I couldn’t resist the temptation of heading in its direction and the moment I approached it, the door flew open on its own. There was nothing but pitch darkness inside the room and suddenly a bright shining object grabbed my eyeballs. I felt myself being helplessly drawn to this shining object. As I was at close quarters, I realized that this object was a mirror and instantly revealed a reflection that seemed unrecognizable at first. On close inspection, it dawned upon me that the reflection belonged to no one else but me. I was a grown up girl and wisdom shone through my eyes in the mirror. I stood in front of scores of students sporting badges that blatantly declared that they were Brainy Brats. Realization struck that the mirror in front of me was the ‘Mirror of Erised’ and I saw my deepest desire of being a Brainy Brats’ teacher come alive before my eyes. The sight of the students listening to me with rapt attention made my heart burst with pride. I will always cherish this image and work towards making my dream come true!
Underestimating the Power of a Boss
By Nakul Goenka
...And in the faint moonlight, I saw a face – a
hideously grinning face in my bedroom window, staring through the darkness at
me with its luminous glowing eyes. I was shaking in my boots and couldn’t
think. My peaceful and pleasant night had unexpectedly turned horrifying.
Finally, after regaining my senses, I bounded out of bed and rolled to the
corner of the room (a move that I learnt from Tom Cruise’s latest movie).
There, I found something that seemed like a long stick with a round bottom.
Even though I couldn’t exactly see what it was in the darkness and I couldn’t
remember keeping anything in the corner, I had no other option but to use it as
a weapon for my defense. After going through my plan for the tenth time in my
head, I got into the action mode. I darted towards the window with the stick in
hand whilst hollering at the top of my lungs. Halfway across the room I slipped
on some old magazines that were strewn all across the floor and fell straight
on my buttocks while throwing the stick in the air.
The stick, which was actually my cousins’ baseball bat, hit the light switches and then my head. I fell to the floor and before losing my consciousness I saw that the face was not of a dreaded monster, but of Uncle Toms’. He opened the window and haw hawed with delight at my foolish behavior. After three minutes of uncontrollable laughter, he finally lunged towards me and helped me off the floor. I was too exhausted and hurt to ask any questions that night and fell into a deep slumber with an ice-pack – sometimes on my head and at other times on my buttocks.
At the crack of dawn, I woke up to find that
Uncle Tom was sleeping right beside me. I shook him vigorously, but there
seemed to be no sign of him stirring out of his deep sleep. Finally after a
forceful tug, he woke up only to find me hurling a volley of questions at him.
He said that he was apologetic for having arrived at such a short notice. He
also explained that the reason for coming from Delhi to our house was to take me
to Hawaii for my cousin’s wedding. I was flabbergasted to hear this as I had
lost touch with my cousin, Jerry, for a long time ago and for that matter, I
even forgot how she looked. However, I wanted to accompany Uncle Tom as I had
never seen the exotic islands of Hawaii. Meeting Jerry and reliving the good
old days just seemed like the icing on the cake. But the problem that stared me
in the face was what I would tell my boss and how I would coax him to grant me
leave. Instinctively, I typed out a very sentimental e-mail to my boss
requesting him to sanction my leave. Just before I could hit the key that sent
the e-mail, Uncle Tom violently pushed me away from my desktop. I was
infuriated by his barbaric act and asked him why he acted in that manner in a
grumpy voice. However, he was caught up in modifying the e-mail that I had
typed and sent it even before his folly could sink in. He told me that he had
sent the same excuse letter to his boss back in Delhi and it had worked like a
charm. Gingerly, I read the contents of the email that he just sent to my boss
and nearly banged my head on the door in frustration. The letter said that I
needed to go to Kanpur for my friend’s surgery. I had no choice but to keep my
fingers crossed and wait for a favourable reply.
Surprisingly, my boss granted my leave and wished my imaginary friend a speedy recovery. I was spellbound at his reply and stared at it with my mouth wide open. My heart couldn’t contain my happiness and I hugged my uncle so tight that I almost crushed his ribs. I was so overjoyed that I didn’t know how to express my gratitude towards him. Then Uncle Tom went towards his luggage and slowly revealed two air tickets to Hawaii and my visa card, which was issued from Delhi itself. All I had to do was get it stamped by the American consulate in Bandra Kurla Complex. After a painstaking four hours in the consulate, I finally had my visa card stamped. The next day I booked a cool cab, and Uncle Tom and I were off to the international airport. As soon as we set foot at the airport, we rushed to the check-in counter and sprinted to our gate as we were terribly late owing to the laid back attitude of cool cab driver. Fortunately, we reached the gate in the nick of time. The benevolent and beautiful airhostesses guided us to our seats. Seated smugly on the plush seats, we stared at the gates we had just entered through. Just before the gates shut, a very pudgy man, who was as bald as a bullfrog’s belly, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase trundled in the direction of our aircraft. His face was shockingly familiar. After half a second, I froze in the luxurious seat and my heart nearly stopped beating. The man with an eerily familiar face was none other than my boss. As he came towards my seat, I shoved my head into my carry bag and pulled the blanket over my body. My uncle who was listening to music was oblivious to what was happening. As my boss walked past our seats, I heaved a sigh of relief. I thought I had successfully dodged a bullet, but I had no idea what was to come my way.
I then tugged at the iPod earplugs that Uncle had plugged into his ears and was evidently enjoying. I briefed him about the problem at hand and while I did that, I felt someone’s spooky presence behind me. I gulped in a lungful of air and felt my blood run cold. I turned around to find that it was none other than my boss. He bellowed my name so raucously that even the passengers sitting on the last row could hear it. I was frightened out of my wits, much less embarrassed. My boss was about plant a resounding slap on my cheek when my uncle intervened and said that my friend’s surgery was now to be held in Hawaii. Immediately my boss said that there were no state-of-the-art hospitals in Hawaii. There was a pin drop silence for a moment and then I stammered and said that my friend’s surgeon had relocated to Hawaii as there was an acute shortage of doctors in the island. He was finally convinced and left without saying anything else. After the initial brouhaha, the rest of the flight journey was tranquil and occasionally I flashed a sheepish smile at my boss.
As soon as the flight landed, we hastily collected our luggage and boarded a cab to Jerry’s house. In no time, I found myself amidst all my long lost family members. We greeted one another as the to-be bride and bridegroom made a grand entry, grabbing eyeballs blatantly. Jerry looked stunning in her resplendent attire, but the moment I cast a look in her fiancé’s direction, I felt my heart would leave my chest to pound in my throat. Her fiancé was none other than my boss’s son!
By Muskaan Aga
There are some moments in everyone’s life that are intensely heartbreaking. Even the memories of these moments fill one’s heart with anguish and agony.
I had experienced these moments when I had been to Delhi to attend my cousin’s wedding. After the extravagant wedding functions came to an end, we decided to go around the capital city and drink in the historic scenes. One such crisp winter morning we headed out for a rejuvenating stroll. The nip in the air made us look out for a tea stall that could provide us with a cup of warmth and comfort. A humble tea stall caught our eye and the aroma of ginger tea turned our stroll into a brisk walk.
As soon as I set foot in the tea stall, a little boy in rags attracted my attention. I was aghast when he came to take our order. The only thoughts in my mind were about the little boy in front of me. He was indeed too young to work. He executed our order with the ease of a professional and while he was serving us cups of hot tea and steaming snacks, my cousin struck a conversation with him. When Chottu, the boy in rags, spoke we realised how many woes were concealed beneath his sweet smile.
Chottu revealed to us that his father passed away leaving him and his mother in the lurch. His mother was faced with no other option but to remarry. This did not prove to be a very good option as Chottu’s stepfather made him discontinue studies and put him to work in a stone quarry. Needless to mention, the job in the stone quarry was arduous and backbreaking. Chottu’s day at work was shockingly long and he was tired of rising at the crack of dawn and retiring well after midnight. What’s more, he was served two miserly meals a day with magnanimous thrashings. My heart went out to Chottu and I marvelled at the callous behaviour of people towards him. I tried to comfort him by putting my arm around him. I wondered who is responsible for Chottu’s plight and in my heart I heard an unmistakable resounding WE! Yes, we all are responsible for Chottu’s woes. If we don’t turn a blind eye to child labour, this world will be a much better place to live in.
The Incredible Invisibility Cloak
By Ridhina Arora
It was a cold winter night with the full moon drifting in and out of the clouds and casting its silvery light on the calm cerulean sea. I sat down at a cool spot enjoying the breeze that caressed me lovingly and the soothing sight of the waves that lashed against the rocks and receded. I felt a sense of bliss wash over me and was completely lost in thoughts when suddenly an unusual sight made me snap out of my reverie. I caught sight of a steamer at the far end of the shore and perceived a few men too.
I got up and started walking in their direction as curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see what they were up to. As I approached them I realized that there was more to it than met the eye and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I hid behind a rock and spied on the mysterious men. Before long, I became aware of a strange presence by my side and belatedly understood that I was the one being spied on. I tried to escape but I found myself in a powerful grasp and felt a black cloth over my face. Soon a strong blow knocked me unconscious and when I regained my consciousness, I found myself trapped in a room. I trembled as the cold breeze stroked my frightened frame. There was nothing in the room but boxes piled one above the other– the ones that I had seen at the beach. Particles of dust permeated the air and made it difficult for me to breathe. Darkness enveloped me and I found it difficult to see much. I walked across the room trying to look for something to cover myself with.
Suddenly, I caught sight of a cloak hanging on a peg in a corner. I quickly wrapped myself with it and instantly felt a comfortable feeling of warmth flowing through me. It was truly divine intervention! Then it was time to look for a way to escape. The moment my eyes searched for a hole or a gap, I saw a window with an opening – just as though it were beckoning me to take a leap! I curled myself and surreptitiously sneaked out of the window and landed with a thud on the ground. The sound attracted the attention of a guard who became alert and tried to find out the source of the sound. Just when I began to lose all hopes of escaping, the guard turned away and went about his work. I tried to run, but the sand not only made it difficult but also revealed my footprints, thus drawing the attention of the other guards. Sniffer dogs were called in and I found my hope of escaping diminishing once again. But this time the police vans put in an appearance and the sound of their sirens made the guards run for cover. Taking advantage of the situation, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me and jumped over the rocks and reached home. Upon reaching home, I stood in front of the mirror to see how exhausted I looked and was shocked to see that there was no reflection in the mirror. The cloak I had draped was an invisibility cloak!
By Dharun Bail
This is truly the start of a unique vacation. Unanimously we selected New Delhi, our capital, as our vacation destination. In the scorching summer heat, we set out to discover the wonders this magnificent city had to offer. After feasting our eyes on the splendid spectacles, we headed to a tea stall to have our regular dose of stimulation. As soon as we took our seats, we were warmly greeted by a bubbly young boy named Chottu. It was indeed disheartening to see this boy with disheveled hair, clad in rags and running barefoot from one table to another to take orders. While we placed our order for two hot masala teas and delectable snacks, we looked into Chottu’s sad eyes and felt there was a tale of woe waiting to unfold. We asked him something about himself and he just let out his pent up emotions by narrating the poignant story of his life. Chottu had studied up to class three and was thereafter put to work in a stone quarry by his wicked stepfather. He had to work relentlessly from the crack of dawn to midnight. We were shocked to hear about his extensive and exacting working hours. My parents too didn’t work as severely as Chottu and here was this boy, all of eight, toiling day and night. What’s more, he received two meager meals each day consisting of dry chapattis and chillies. However, he received thrashings magnanimously. When all this reached intolerable levels, he fled his home and somehow made it to Delhi in the dead of night. The scars of his back, hands and legs were a testimony to the tough times he has had in the past. When we heard the story of his brokenness, we couldn’t help breaking down. I felt utterly shattered. He, too, broke down sensing our sympathy. Though I felt helpless and could not take away his pain, I resolved to donate part of my savings towards the education of such needy children. Chottu’s plight also stirred me to make a resolution to share my lavish food with such homeless and hopeless children, at least on my birthday. Until then, Ciao!
P.S. Mahatma Gandhi inspired us by stating that we should be the change we want to see around us.
An Unsettling Nightmare
By Asmi Sethi
My heart pounded like a drum and my knees shook like jelly. The creature’s eyes glinted in the dark like a cat’s. Its horrendous face, bloodshot eyes, cracked lips and disheveled hair frightened me out of my wits. I tried to scream at the top of my lungs, but no sound came out. I tried to move, but I couldn’t.
Suddenly, all the lights went off and it was as dark as deeper space. I had my heart in my mouth, but tried to put on a brave face. But then an earsplitting cackling sound rended the air and made my blood run cold. To my utmost horror, its long bony fingers stretched out towards me and goosebumps appeared all over my body. I froze in fright and did not have the bottle to move. All of a sudden, its gnarled hand reached out to grab my neck and I screamed at the top of my lungs.
I flicked open my eyes and could feel hands all over my face. Then realization struck that these hands belonged to none other than my meticulous mother who had darted into my room upon hearing my piercing scream. I recalled the horror story that I had read before being dead to the world and smiled to myself as I realized that it is that horror story that had triggered of the spine-chilling nightmare. I promised myself that I will never read horror stories before hitting the hay as they leave me shamefaced the next morning!
By Shreyal Arora
I have been having the time of my life with my family in Delhi. Yes! We are on a holiday in the capital of India. After visiting the historic Red Fort we were in serious need of revival and revitalization. We caught sight of a tea stall and made a beeline for it for our dose of refreshment. As we waited patiently to place our order, a lively little boy in rags skipped in our direction to take down our order.
Our wee waiter, Chottu, was a cheerful boy and we instantly took a liking to him and struck a conversation with him. During our conversation, we learnt that Chottu had a cruel step father who put him to work in a stone quarry. Unable to cope with the laborious job, Chottu ran away from home and came to Delhi to work in a tea stall. Even though he loves colourful books and lively music, he had to overlook his passion to earn a living and take up a job in a tea stall at a tender age. He had shockingly long hours at work – right from 5 in the morning to 11 in night. He barely received any food – just two measly meals and a generous amount of thrashings.
Chottu’s tale of woe saddened us deeply and we were almost in tears. In my heart of hearts, I thanked God for blessing me with such doting parents who spared no effort to provide every comfort to me. As we expressed our sympathy to Chottu, he broke down and cried inconsolably. We tried to comfort him, but felt very helpless as we didn’t know how we could alleviate his pain. Is it fair to employ such young children and make them do back-breaking jobs? My heart just goes out to such children…
By Ayushi Pandey
It all began on a cool Sunday morning when I woke up with a grin and resembled a Cheshire cat. We were going to Imagica and I had heard so much about it that I couldn’t help being overexcited. My sister was perhaps dreaming about Imagica as she had not even stirred, much less wake up. My parents were morning people and looked like two crisp slices of toast that have just popped out of the toaster. My Mom was busy preparing some snacks for the long day ahead while my father, all bathed and dressed, was engrossed in reading about the current affairs mentioned in the newspaper. Soon my sister decided to stir out of her slumber. Upon setting eyes on my sister, our parents instructed us to get ready. I rushed in for a shower and soon found myself in front of the mirror, eager to admire my reflection. However, instead of looking into my own eyes, I stared at a vivacious face that animatedly announced that Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the dynamic captain of the Indian team, was all set to retire. I was speechless from bewilderment as none of what was going on made sense to me. I wondered if I was looking into a mirror or then at a television screen. I did not have the foggiest idea of who this woman is. I peered intently only to have an epiphany! The journalist was none other than ME! I was absolutely amazed at the revelation and then realization dawned upon me that my mirror had been transformed into the Mirror of Erised and was at that point in time revealing my innermost desire of yearning to be a journalist. But just the very next moment, I saw my current reflection in the mirror and an ear-splitting scream rent the air. My mother yelled out to me asking me to get ready in a trice as it was time to zoom to Imagica. I shouted back telling Mom that the weather is not conducive to visit Imagica as the harsh rays of the sun are sure to give us a sunstroke. I was aghast at myself for speaking in the tone of a journalist and warning my mother against going to Imagica, a place that was my dream destination!