I watched the movie ‘Stree’ recently and loved every second. (For those who don’t know, Stree is a Bollywood movie about an evil spirit who abducts men after calling out their name seductively.) Horror and Comedy are my favorite genres, and as the credits rolled, a little idea popped into my head.
You see, I fancy myself something of a prankster. So that same night, once the kids were asleep, I crouched under my bed and waited for my husband to retire for the day. And soon enough, he came, eyes glued to his little screen, watching some YouTube Video. A little later, I felt the familiar creak as he settled down on the bed. Patience is my forte, so I waited a minute more. Then I jangled a few bangles I’d kept ready for just this purpose (Much like Baden Powell, my motto is Be Prepared).
*Jangle Jangle Jangle*
The tinny sound of the YouTube Video paused. Now I had his attention.
Then in my creepiest ‘Stree’ voice, I said:
I heard him sit up. Silence. I rattled the bangles
“Oh Haha Pavi. You got me! Come out. Where are you, anyway?”
Fighting hard to control my giggles, I counted down to 50. This was so much fun.
47…,48…,49…,50. Ok time! Stree mode on!
He looked under the bed. All he could likely see were some Amazon boxes (artfully placed there by me as a cover). I heard him walk around the room, opening and closing closet doors. Even the laundry hamper
was checked (seriously, dude?!!).
He’s a total Fattu about horror movies. He watches them to maintain that Macho image, but we both know the truth. Now, I’m sure he doesn’t really believe in vengeful spirits and all that. But when you hear a disembodied voice in the
middle of the night, it’s hard to not let your mind go to those dark places. Or at least I hoped he would think along those lines.
So I smiled to myself, put my head back and groaned.
For a second I couldn’t breathe. Two large black eyes looked at me from the edge of the bed. An upside down
lock of hair waved in the gentle AC breeze as her little mouth opened wide and screeched.
“Mommy, what are you doing Mommy? Why are you under the bed, Mommy? Can I play, Mommy? Please, Mommy. I’m all done sleeping, Mommy,”.
(When you hear a disembodied voice in the
middle of the night, it’s hard to not let your mind go to those dark places.)
Heart hammering, I screamed. Which led to my daughter shrieking in wounded surprise. We both did a jaunty little howling
Jugalbandi for a few seconds, with me hitting the low notes and her going high.
The next 15 minutes were not pretty. I bounced around an inconsolable 4-year-old while Raghav sat on the bed, doubling up with laughter. My son walked in, confused at the noise and promptly climbed into our bed, asleep before his head hit the pillow. I threw death glares at Raghav as my daughter finally drifted off to dreamland.
With a loud huff I turned around and shut my eyes, squished between the two warm kids. And tried hard to ignore stifled giggling sounds coming from my spouse.
It must have been 3 am when a little voice piped up.
I lay still hoping it was a dream.
“Mommy”. Second time.
No one can escape my little monster when she calls out your name three times.
“Why did you hide under the bed Mommy? That was so scary, Mommy. Next time don’t do that Mommy!”
So I sat up and apologized for the millionth time. We read books under the covers for a long (long) while before she dozed off again.
And 2 feet away, Raghav slept like a content baby.
Moral of the story:
Pranking is Overrated.