It was a pretty nice day.

My brother and I had the whole house to ourselves as our mother had gone out for some work in the insurance office and father had gone with her. Our parents had locked us inside the house to prevent us from wandering out, riding horses of our imagination. While mother was in the house she kept telling us to behave, not to make a noise, et al., to which we had managed to respond with a straight face.

As soon as the door got locked and our scooter left the parking lot, we ran to the balcony, I carrying my kitchen set with me. My brother ran and brought some lady’s fingers from the kitchen and chopped it up. Then we lit small miniscule rolls of paper from our notebooks to make a fire- we were playing cavemen. On went the small steel saucepan from my kitchen set. We poured oil, put the small pieces of lady’s finger, and waited for it to get fried.

What we conveniently forgot was that the rims of the tiny steel burner, and the utensil were made of plastic! By now, the plastic had melted and had mixed with oil and the vegetable.

We looked at each other in dismay, blew out the fire, and carried the little utensils to the kitchen wash-basin using a paper holder as we had seen mother do.

The utensil and the burner sizzled under cold water and we sighed in relief. After a while, we started laughing hysterically at the experiment gone wrong.

As days passed by, these little experiments grew in frequency, always escalating on the mischief scale. As year passed, we grew close to each other bonding over mischief and staying bonded in saving each other’s skins in case anyone got caught.

In fact, we could tell what the other was thinking by just throwing a look at the person. We knew when the other was lying and hence lied in union. Such was our relation.

Now, as we have grown up and moved into our respective fields of study, I miss my brother. But we still find time for mischief, to irritate mother and to sneak out for a secret snack or golgappa at a nearby stall. These moments shared together, somehow give us strength to endure the outside world and to stay a child within.