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Published by Adhish Majumdar

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Published by: Adhish Majumdar on Aug 11, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The bell at 1:15 pm marked the end of the school day. After the prayer, I hastily packed upmy books into my bag, and ran out into the courtyard. Another busy day in kindergrten was over.With various combinations of the angular english alphabet to form words, the curvier hindi lettersin confusing shapes, and other things jumping around in my head, I was running towards the schoolgates, where the bus would be waiting for me.It was a hot April afternoon. Summer vacations would start in two days. However, at thatmoment, all I could think about was the orange cylinder of ice, sheathed in a plastic tube, that someof my friends were sucking at. This “Pepcee” was a favorite of all kids. At one rupee for the four-inch pepcee and three rupees for the twelve-inch long one, kids could afford it with their pocketmoney. Well, most kids could, but I could not. I could not afford it because at the time, my pocketallowance was the princely sum of zero rupees.I had asked my parents several times to give me one rupee so that I may indulge in thepleasure of biting the pepcee, but they, in their desire to protect me from anything that may bringdisease, they decided that I must stay away from the pepcee. I had absolutely no idea what thepepcee tasted like, for nobody ever shared his, and I was too poor to buy my own. Yet, the very factthat one would not share it indicated that it must be something amazing.As these thoughts as replaced the alphabet, and were bouncing around in my little five-yearold head, one of my friends walked up to me and said, “Tomorrow is the last working day beforethe vacations. We will buy the big pepcee tomorrow. Get three rupees for it.”Peer pressure is a strange thing. It makes one commit to doing things one knows isimpossible. I replied, “Sure!”While the bus made its fourteen kilometre long journey from school to my home, mydetermination to obtain the three rupees grew stronger. I devised a master plan. I would first ask myparents to give me the three rupees. If that did not work, I would tell them that all my friends werehaving it. They would understand. The concept of lying had yet to be born.Well, they did not understand. I was not a stubborn kid, so I simply walked back to myroom. No sobs, just a few tears rolling down my cheeks. In fifteen minutes, all was forgotten, and Iwas happy as ever playing with my cars.For some reason, I walked into the kitchen. Nobody was there. I rolled my car up thevertical cliff, and turned off at the first plateau. Weaving through the tall cylinders filled withpowders of different colors, and an occasional one with some liquids, the car moved forward on itsexpidition. Suddenly, the intrepid explorer discovered treasure!! It was in the form of a metallicdisc, with the number 3 embossed on it. Could someone have left it here? Has it been forgotten?Finally, the greed of the treasure seeker overwhelmed the well-meaning concern, and the explorerquietly picked up the disc, and put it in his pocket.The next day was the last working day and summer vacation would begin at 1:15 pm!!Everyone was excited. The day passed very quickly, and as I rushed out of the classroom, there wasonly one thing on my mind. The coin in my pocket, and the twelve-inch pepcee that would soon bemine.As I approached the gate, I started looking for the friend who had proposed the grand planthe day before. I spotted him near the pepcee cart. I ran toward to cart. The dishevelled lookingpepcee seller was giving out ice cylinders of different colors, orange, green, black and yellow tolittle hands, in exchange for tiny metal discs. I finally reached the cart, hoping that it was not allsold out. He said, “Quick give me your three rupees!!” I pulled out my coin from my pocket and

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