| Out of boredom is born creativity, thought Ishita looking at the big bungalow that she has just made of cards. She looked around the dark, dull room. It was last painted eight years ago, a year before her parents left to Canada. The mahagony writing desk and the adjacent five feet tall bookshelf in the southern corner of the room were a gift from her Papa on her sixteenth birthday. She had a huge august collection of classics back then. Everybody used to borrow books from her. But now the shelf stood empty, for Mamma had taken it all to Canada with her. She remembers how very difficult it was for her parents to pack all those books and her own writings in the small luggage they had intended to carry with them. Yet they did not leave a single piece behind. They loved her.
Slowly, Ishita got out of her bed and walked towards the kitchen. On passing the dining she heard Betty the biter, her neighbor Raghu uncle's darling black Norwegian Elkhound, barking so loud. Frightened, she went to the side windows and opened a bit of it to see if she had an unwelcomed guest. But Betty as usual was barking for nothing. "Such a menace, always barking!" said Ishita to herself. This Norwegian Elkhound was one reason why Ishita hated stepping out of her house. The moment Betty's eyes fall on her, she would start barking and making loud freakish voices. "And that is why Nita and Indu have never come this way for so long". Being an introvert , Ishi only had two friends- Nita and Indu. They had long back promised to come on the day of Mamma's departure, but they did not; and since then have not made any effort to see her. Friends they are; Shameless ugly creatures! Murmuring a thousand things and feeling irrationally irritated, she opened the fridge only to find it empty but for a bottle of water. She opened the bottle and closed it again, she was not hungry neither thirsty. She was just bored. And who would not be, after being locked inside a house for so long as seven years!? Anyone in her situation would have gone mad by now; at least she has managed to retain her sanity.
She went to the drawing and sat comfortably on the brownish grey couch, hugging her favourite multi-coloured cushion. There on the floor laid some old magazines hither and thither. She wondered who might have done that because it was only yesterday she arranged everything properly. May be it was the mischief of that naughty little cat, Blacky who always sneaks in through the kitchen door. She went around, collected all the magazines and kept it neatly on the table. The neat and tidy room had a cozy vibe that pronounced the imagination of her Papa. The drawing was exclusively designed by him. Italian vintage interior blended beautifully with the Victorian architecture - a union of elegance and class. He had a special liking for classic designs. Ishita missed him, more than she missed her Mamma. Her Papa was her best friend, her partner in crime, someone to whom she could say anything and everything. He was the reason she had a beautiful childhood; the long evening walks, her never ending queries, beach and ice-creams; the mere memory of it all made her eyes wet. 'Papa would be missing me too', thought Ishi.
Betty was barking again, but this time there were other voices too. Raghu unlce was talking to Meenamma, the domestic help; he was handing over Ishi's house key to her. From the window she saw Meenamma walking towards the house. Ishi ran swiftly to the store to hide herself behind the cupboard. She could not afford to let anyone find her in here. It's a secret. One day Meenamma was close enough to find her but Ishi managed to make some weird sounds and the frightened maid ran to Raghu uncle who scolded her for imagining voices. That was totally fun. Ishi did it a couple of times more, and then her conscience told her not to repeat that again. But after the terrifying event Meenamma never dared to go anywhere near the store room, though Ishi isn't sure how long this drama will go on. She heard the door being opened and held her breath, preparing herself for yet another cloak-and-dagger game.