Seema and Reema were twins. While in appearance they were identical, they were quite the opposite in nature. Seema was studious, honest and hardworking. Reema enjoyed playing the fool and trying to get out of work.
While everyone were irked by these habits of Reema’s, they were troubled by two more of her traits. She loved to play pretend games and she also told blatant lies. Once she pretended there was a rat under her bed and screamed the house down. After much hullabaloo in searching for the rat, when the rat catcher was called, she laughed in delight saying how easily she had fooled everyone as there was no rat. Another day, she pretended to faint and her concerned parents rushed her to the doctor. At the hospital she opened her eyes grinning and saying she was only pretending, much to their embarrassment. She even posed as Seema one day and got poor Seema into trouble too as they were identical.
But as all bad deeds meet with their just results, Reema learnt her lesson one day.
One evening, their mother had gone to the office and their father was due to return in two hours from a business trip. The girls were watching television when the doorbell rang. As usual Seema went to open the door. Reema could hear her talking to someone and she was curious to see who it was. When she reached the door she saw Seema going out. It appeared that she was going to show directions at the gate. The next few seconds were a rush. A car swung by and the stranger grabbing Seema’s hand, pushed her into the car and it sped off. Stunned, Reema ran out and saw it disappear before she barely noted the number.
Rushing inside she called her mother. But her mother scolded her, assuming it was one more of her pretend games. She said angrily, ‘I’m sure you have locked up poor Seema in the room, so I don’t get to speak to her and confirm. You behave yourself Reema, I will deal with you when I return,’ and she cut the line.
Reema was crying by now but all she could do was wait for her father. When he arrived, he did not believe her either but after thoroughly searching for Seema and seeing that she was indeed not present in the house, they rushed to the police station.
The police said that there was a gang reported to be abducting little girls. When Reema told them some of the numbers of the car she had managed to note down, they got into action.
But it was only the next evening that they could track the car as it had already reached another far away town. Luckily they found many abducted girls at a warehouse and Seema was brought back. But she was so shaken by the experience that she had to be treated and counselled for many months before she became her normal self.
Whenever Reema looked at the silent Seema, her heart broke. She lamented for all the pretend games and lies she had told. If only, she hadn’t, action would have been taken faster and Seema may have returned immediately, she blamed herself. She changed herself and took every step possible to bring Seema out of her trauma and soon the twins were their happy, cheerful selves.
To Reflect on:
There is a time to play and a time to be serious. What do you think?