In school, they used to keep us counting at every possible opportunity. The day always started with a roaster call by class teacher and then during morning assembly, (I think) school principal used to count total number of student in school as he stood at stage, a vantage point built only for such an activity. Then in each class period, every teacher would use first five minutes of class counting number of students and then move to their respective subjects. In the evening, on way back home, bus conductor would count all the kids. On picnic trips we always spent more time counting ourselves than actually enjoying the picnic spot.


The most uninteresting part about such counting’s was that no unexpected absenteeism ever occurred except once or twice when teacher made a mistake in counting and then said out loud, “Oh! I think one kid is missing”. Everybody would turn their head half expecting to see a dinosaur eating their classmate. But nothing so exciting ever happened in this non-Jurassic era, where possibility of an alien abducting a kid is more than a dinosaur eating one up. But in those of course of thinking’s, I ignored another predator lying somewhere between dinosaur and an alien.


My mother once told me about increasing abduction rate in the country and surprisingly all my classmate’s mother had the same view of the world to share with their kids that day. Next day in class, we were discussing the benefits of getting abducted. Some kids actually believed that it would be fun to get abducted and travel around the world in a jute bag. One of my classmates, actually believed that his parents were not his actual parents and had abducted him as soon as he was born, and supposedly he remembered the whole abduction part.


My mother always warned me about the Sadhus and at the same time she asked me to respect them, as they were all sanctimonious and pious. So I had developed this rule where till they were 20 yards away, all Sadhus were messengers of God and if they were closer than 20 meters, they were all potential kidnappers.


But no alien ever landed in school, no dinosaur ever came, no kidnapper showed up, and worst of it all, the skeleton in Biology lab never ate anybody. Alas, nothing exciting ever happened.

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