We all love to prank others.
Have been there, either as the actual person or being a part of the team that does it and your only job is to run away before getting caught.
It’s a ritual during festival holidays me and my extended family head to a vacation spot to spend time together with laughter and smiles all around. As someone with so many cousins, we team up together to have loads of fun. The day witnesses all of us either playing together or us girls getting kicked out of the cricket team. But we don’t care when the guy vibe goes around, since we always have something much better to do and spend quality girl time together. And as a rule, no one is to sleep early while we’re on holiday, because that’s when me and the rest of my girl gang pull out our make-up kits at the ready, waiting till all the adults go to sleep so we could draw faces on them. Some of our brothers and sisters succumb to their drowsiness and even though they already know they’ll be victimised with the rest of us armed and on the loose, the kids sleep like a log.
The accommodation we usually rent has two dormitories, the downstairs one for the mothers, girls and children, and the upstairs one for our fathers and guys, both rooms full of bunk beds. We give everyone an hour’s time to be completely out and use the interval to sit out on the porch together under the light of the moon alone, talking ghost stories or band against one person to give them crap, issuing in endless teasing, snarky comebacks and snickers. A few of our parents ask us to sleep instead of messing around but we always have my mother and two of my aunts and uncles on our side to establish the fact the holiday was for us to be together and have fun. So they shrug in defeat and go to bed, and we wait until its completely silent and all lights are out before switching Operation Turn Everyone Into Clowns into active mode.
This usually goes in success but there was this one time things ended up hilariously wrong and we, read me, got caught.
It started off the usual way by us girls waiting outside the men’s dormitory while the guys sneaked in with silence, a flashlight from a mobile at the ready. My brother is one of those who sleeps like he’s knocked out and wouldn’t wake even if a hurricane stormed in there. Which is quite convenient. He was asleep at the top bunk and one of my cousin brothers climbed up the side to put my sister’s eyeliner and lipstick into a much horrific use. After the guys painted another soundly slumbering, yet younger, cousin brother of ours, they proceeded to deal with our fathers, excepting my own and another uncle of mine, because they’ll paint them only if they want their asses kicked. Me and my sisters were giggling about nonsensical things in silence as we waited, and whirled around when all the guys came out, trying not to laugh as they recounted everything that happened in there.
After the first half was done in success, we skipped downstairs to our dormitory and this time, all of us went in, tiptoeing carefully. Three of our cousin sisters were one of those sleeping and since I was nervous in actually painting them, my sister did the job while I focused the flashlight carefully on their faces. I’m never quite the prankster so I always service as the quiet but entertained onlooker. It was funny as she climbed right on top of the bed, easily squatting carefully for the perfect angle and running the eyeliner over the sleeping girl’s face in all random directions.
I could only muffle my giggle at the ridiculousness, my thoughts going, Poor baby.
No one was spared actually.
It was going so well, up until the point one of my cousin brothers accidentally sat on the leg of one of our elder grandfathers. And it’s not so worth it to piss him off, which is why as soon we heard an angry sound from him, we began heading for cover, either by ducking under the beds or lying down next to the nearest person.
Unfortunately, I was too late and Grandpa spotted my frozen state through the two rows of bunk beds between us. Because it wasn’t technically all that dark, the faint light supplied by the outside lights.
But as if better late than never, I ducked down, on all fours on the cool tiles. He murmured my name in a reprimanding tone before going back to sleep, the silent promise of all of us being in deep trouble the following morning lingering in the air. My sister and another cousin brother of mine were trying so hard not to laugh from their safe perches and after throwing both of them a glare, I crawled across the floor to my bed, too scared to get up. I didn’t know my maternal grandmother was in the bathroom all this time and she came in through the other door. On seeing her, I froze right beside my mother, on top of whom was my bunk, and my Grandma started calling her concerning my whereabouts, not noticing the small mouse (me) right there on the floor as she walked to her bed on the other side. My mother twisted around and as she did so, her eyes landed on me. In her sleepy state, she answered, ‘Mum, she’s right here … don’t worry …’ And then she paused, the absurdity of the situation clicking on. Why the hell is this girl on the floor in the middle of the night?
She blinked at me and I grinned sheepishly.
‘You fool, what on earth are you doing?’ she hissed at me. ‘Cleaning the dirty tiles with your pyjamas? Oh dear God, get up now!’
I scrambled onto my feet and whooshed up the ladder, diving under the covers and swearing not to peek out for the rest of the night.
But really, everyone was highly amused in the morning, watching each other amble outside with hilarious faces and the expressions on them when they realised what was funny. Our eldest Grandpa did yell but he was laughing at the same time.
This other time that things ended up not the way I wanted was during the time all of our relatives came to our house and stayed the night. After a long, fun filled chatter that went on for hours, people went to bed one by one, while me, two of my aunts, my cousin brother and two cousin sisters headed to the upstairs hall to have a midnight snack and watch a movie. In between, my sister suggested it would be a great idea to paint on everyone and we flew downstairs to fetch our vanity kit, sorting through our supplies. I squared my shoulders to get into the pranking business in person, and it was a piece of cake to get the task done at everyone we could reach downstairs, even though my hands were trembling. The last two targets upstairs were two of my other aunts. One of them was on the bed next to my then only few months old cousin brother, and it would be a risk to climb onto it in the dark while a baby was to be considered. So we spared her and fixed our eyes on my other aunt sleeping on the floor. I dared myself to do the job, carefully maneuvering myself to a comfortable squat and leaning over to scribble on her face with the eye liner in my hand. She was turned away from me and all of a sudden, tossed her head in my direction, waking up. She mistook my shadowy form for something scary and began screaming.
In reflex, I screamed too and lights came on all around the house. My sister scampered outside the room and burst into laughter on the landing, unable to control herself. Meanwhile, I didn’t think it was funny and stared in horror as my freaked out aunt took a good look at me in the clear vision of the bright light, calming her heart rate down. My other two aunts peeked in through the door, restraining themselves from laughing, and assured her we were just messing around. Luckily, the little one slept through all of this, because I can’t imagine the difficulty of putting a wailing baby back to sleep in the midst of that chaos. Apologising repeatedly, I streaked outside, hit my sister, and then began laughing myself. The incident was turned into hilarity in the morning.
If you’ve ever been caught while pranking before, please feel free to share your funny experiences.
Thanks for reading!
Jai Shree Krishna.