Chinese whisper.




Chinese whisper, I am sure a lot of people have played this game when they were mostly in their teens. I haven’t seen people playing this in college or elsewhere. This is a game of preteens and early teenagers. A very few people who don’t know about this game, let me give you a quick description of the game.

A few people will sit in a circle (more the people, more fun it is) and then someone will write a word or a sentence in a paper and whisper the same into the ear of the person sitting next to his/her left and the next person will pass it on. Thus when it completes the circle and the first person will hear it back, then he/she will reveal what was the exact word or sentence it was. The most important rule of this game is you can’t repeat once you whispered in someone’s ear and the person has to pass it on as he/she heard it. Often the words or the sentences get changed completely and into something hilarious.  

I have so many memories about this game. When we used play it the evening after power cut. Yes that time my city used to see 2 to 3 hours of power cut at daily basis. Mostly during the summer holidays we used to gather in someone’s terrace. We were a group of odd 10 girls and boys in our early teens.

I was about 15 then when I got the bad news. That I have myopia or I am short-sighted and will have to wear a power glasses. It was not so easy then for a teen to wear glasses as all his/her friends were all set to pull that poor chap’s leg by calling him/her a nerd. Life weren’t so simple then like the teens with glasses has now. I didn’t like it; my friends welcomed it their two arms open wide as they have someone make fun of. But anyway I had to accept it.

Then summer holidays again and we were playing Chinese whisper on the terrace of a friend’s house.. We were exactly 10 people there. Back then it was a strange feeling of teenage romance and sexual tension between girls and boys participants. It was in the peak that night as we came to know a friend Soham has asked out Puja, another group member of ours and she said yes to him.

We were in a good mood and almost celebrating with soft drinks and chips. There was a girl in our group, Lipi, she was kind of cute, little short and dusky. I knew she has a crush on me and I had a crush on her big sister Deepi, who was of course elder then me and also was the local heartthrob. For some unknown reason I always enjoyed a special attention from her sister and I loved it.  

So we were playing and chitchatting that night and then it was the time for our favorite game, Chinese whisper. So we all sat in a circle, with a candle lit in between. It was Lipi who was the first one to write down something on a paper and whisper it to the next person’s ear and the game started. When I heard it, well I was a teenager and I think no teenagers would like to hear these words. “He is looking like a nerd in those ugly glasses”. And I knew who that ‘He’ was referring to

I was enraged, furious and totally forgot about the game, it was almost a slap on my male ego. A girl whom I was so sure likes me and I don’t give a damn about is saying I am a nerd? Huh doesn’t she know that even her sister, her big sister, Deepi, the heart-throb of colony, even speaks to me in different tone? And who is she to comment anything like this?   I made a face and walked away from them. They were calling me back but I said I am thirsty, I need some water and I went down.

When I came back, the game was over and everyone was scattered around in the terrace. I was feeling a strange bitter taste in my mouth and I exactly knew how to fix it. Everyone was talking about Soham and Puja as they were the new couple now. Soham was in a belligerent mood and was telling us all that we should have patience and eventually all get our partners right in time.  

I intervened. It was a full moon night and I was already become a wolf-man with a wild rage, out for revenge. I walked to them and said I have a doubt if we all will find our partners. Everybody looked at me with a curious expression.

I chuckled, “well you know, someone like Lipi”.

“Why? What’s wrong with Lipi?” Shumi, her best friend barked at me.

“Well I don’t know but, I don’t think she can ever find a guy with her looks and dark complexion”,

I said it so bluntly that even I felt little uneasy. I knew precisely how much it hurts when someone comments on anybody’s appearance, and especially on a girl’s looks and complexion in front of a gathering

Unfortunately still in this part of the world, girls are praised and judged by their beauty and fair skin rather than their talents and virtues.

But my unjustified blind rage had already made me a racist of the worst kind. If the world has seen me that night, Simon Legree wouldn’t have go down as the most cruel and racist character in the history. Everyone else was looking at me with a dumb expression. I looked at her; she was looking nervous and was trying to smile. She managed to get a nervous smile in her face.

I went on, “look at her smile, she looks so dumb and ugly even when she smiles”.

This time she stopped smiling, I could clearly see the tears in her eyes, sparkling in the moonlight and slowly rolling down on her cheeks.

I spoke again, “I don’t know if she’s adopted or something, she looks nothing like her sister.”

She almost ran out of that place. I could hear she is running down in the steps. Slowly her best friend Shumi followed her and then everyone else started leaving. I was standing alone in the terrace.   I had a nasty, victorious smile on my lips. Gottcha. Attaboy Ani. :D. YES. Taught that B**** a lesson.

And then my attention fell on a piece of paper laying there.

Ah! I almost forgot we were playing Chinese whisper. That’s the piece of paper she might have written what she said about me. I picked that paper and started for home, there was not enough light to read it. As I started walking on the road, the power came back and the street lit up with streetlights.

I went near to a street lamp and took out the paper from my pocket. I felt a strong jolt, as if the earth moved out under my feet.

I could see what that piece of paper whispering to me, “You are looking so cute in those glasses”.

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