Sameer’s queue crawled towards the ginormous stone deity, sitting nonchalantly on a pedestal, unconcerned with the crowd of teenagers gaping at it.
Sameer grunted in irritation. He had thought he would spend the day of the museum trip next to Palak, enjoying each moment of togetherness. But Palak had ignored all his timid openings. Instead, she had latched onto Rahul, hanging on his nasal voice, droning useless facts about the deity, discovered somewhere in the desert of Kalahari.
“The natives believed He could grant wishes,” his words carried over.
Rahul, despite being aware of his best friend’s crush, had proved to be a snake. He was too much in love with his own voice. Sameer wished he was as loquacious but he got tongue tied in front of Palak.
Palak slipped over to her girl friends, probably uncomfortable with the flinty genitals of the deity staring her in the face, especially in front of a boy. Sameer rushed to Rahul and gave vent to his irritation.
“You think you are Shahrukh?
Rahul! Naam to suna hi hoga?”
Rahul turned to him, hurt written all over his face. “You asked me to leave you alone today and I did. Why do you sound so angry?”
“I wanted to be left alone with Palak but you hogged her to yourself. What wouldn’t I give for your eloquence with words? I wish our lives were inverse!” Sameer exclaimed.
A shimmering glow, unnoticeable to the human eye, covered them for a few seconds and gently dissipated, leaving no trace.
Next morning Sameer woke to the voice of his mother calling him for breakfast. He hollered back.
“I’m soon coming down.
Say bye to that frown.”
Did I just say that?
His mother answered.
Don’t go clowning, son.
If you want your day, a happy one.
She sure seems to be in a good mood.
He dressed and went down. The smell of warm toast and eggs filled up the room. Something bubbled up inside him and words burst forth from him.
You’re the best mom, I must say.
You make life heaven, day after day.
“Did you get hit on your head, Sameer? Stop being a fool. You’ll be late.” His mother admonished.
He quickly sent a text to Rahul.
“Need to talk, mate.
Meet me at the school gate.”
Rahul stood livid at the school gate.
“I’m speaking in verse all the time.
It’s so hard to find words that rhyme.
What have you done, my dear friend?
Will this ghastly rhyming ever end?”
He berated Sameer.
“Nothing I said,
To this could’ve led.” Sameer protested.
“A wish spoken, not worded well,
Has landed us in a rhyming hell,
This deity we gotta implore,
To set things back, like before.”
The two of them hurried to the museum. They stood before the deity and Rahul heard Sameer whisper a prayer.
“For better or for worse,
Please put our lives in reverse.”
A shimmering glow covered them like a cloak, then faded.
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