The Art Gallery :
Talent Show :
Frank Anthony Public School, Bengaluru, India
Short Story :
The Night When Books Came to Life!
By Simran Choudhury,
Class 7, South City International School, Kolkata
It was a cold winter night, I was busy making New Year greeting cards for my friends and relatives, though I don’t remember the exact date, but I distinctly remember it was just a few days before New Year and immediately after Christmas. The big bold clock high on the wall reminded me that it had just struck 12 midnight. As my parents were fast asleep, I was quick to wrap up my work and I rushed to my room to go to sleep.
I switched off the light and leaped on to my bed. Just before I could doze off to sleep, I faintly heard some weird sound of people talking. I thought that the television was on. I ran down to the hall-room and was surprised to see that the television was switched off. I gathered the much-required concentration and attentiveness to following the strange sound that I could still hear distantly. With extreme cautiousness, I took the smallest possible steps and gradually advanced towards the source of the sound. Soon I realized that the sound was coming from the small library which was attached to the study-room. I had always found the small library in our house very fascinating. To be honest, a feeling of uncanny fear was dripping down my spine. There was a battle within me between the fear and the urge to solve the mystery.
With a lot of anxiety within I continued to carefully move towards the library. My attention was soon drawn towards a key-hole on the old long wooden library door. I had to bend down a bit to take a clear peek through the key-hole. I fixed my eyes on the key-hole and tried to understand what exactly was happening there. Soon I could hear a clear voice saying, “ Why do you think that the little girl has completely stopped coming to the library?’’
I was extremely astonished by what I experienced! Furthermore, this question arose a great deal of interest in my mind. I wondered, who are they referring to and who are these people speaking!
A deep husky voice replied, “You really can’t blame her as she looks extremely occupied and busy with some other set of books covered with brown –papers, which she is carrying in her hands most of the time.” “I think these are her school books, poor girl must be under a lot of pressure that is why she does not read us.” I at once understood that these were my favorite storybooks that were talking to each other. Then came a real surprise! A majestic voice said,” She used to refer me for her school studies too, but after this stupid ‘GOOGLE.COM’, we the dictionaries have become a piece of decoration in the bookshelves.” “Oh Mr. Dictionary you are not alone, we the encyclopedias feel the same too!” The encyclopedia further added, “But I still have a lot of love and respect for the girl as I clearly recall an incident when the girl’s friends were here in the library and one of them brought a pair of scissors to cut some pictures from me for their school project, and how our little girl shouted on her friend and saved me. This shows that the girl is still attached and cares for us.” I could really feel the emotions and sentiments of the books and immediately I decided to ensure that I start spending time with my favorite books again. Then came a funny voice, “I Mr. Willy Wonka, the owner of the chocolate factory, feel like giving my delicious chocolates to the children who visit this library. But destiny has confined me inside this book as a character.” “Friends, as you all know me, Robinson Crusoe, is leading a lonely life in a marooned and isolated island. I used to love it when the little girl used to come and read so many books, which was a great source of entertainment for me.” “Hey everyone, you all think me to be a little jungle boy, Mowgli, but I too enjoyed hearing so many interesting stories here”. I liked the beast from the ‘Beauty & the Beast’ the most as I feel there should have been a character like the beast in our jungle too. Just then Mrs. Pots, Chip, Lumiere, Mr. Clogsworth, Feather-duster and Madame Gardrobe, all shouted together, “How mean of you Mowgli to mention only about Mr. Beast alone and not us!” Soon a melodious voice started singing, “I Belle also could sing in the jungle….” This song was followed by the howling of Akeela the wolf in a commendable effort to imitate Belle’s song. “Dr. Watson, are children losing interest in detective books?” Dr. Watson replied with a slight degree of pride, “I am sure none of these new detective series can match the class of Sherlock Holmes.” Feluda was prompt to mention, “Topse, Homes babuatho proud kano feel korchen?”
Suddenly a gust of smoky blue light appeared.I could clearly see a Genie like figure, very similar to that I had seen earlier in Aladdin! In a squeaky voice, the Genie said, “In the best interest of my Master and all of you, I suggest, I put you all back inside your respective books with my magical powers. I also request all of you to get inside your own respective books and not try any mischief or misadventures which can otherwise spoil the reputation of our ‘book-kind’.” The light disappeared in the darkness. There was a pin-drop silence thereafter. I returned back to my room with deep thought and a resolution to spend some time in the library reading books everyday.