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Staying alone at home is the experience every teenager craves to get once. It is a different adventure, for you can do whatever you want, like playing games at high volumes, running all around the house, and exploring the restricted parts like the garage and basement. But as the saying goes, “The biggest adventure does not take long to become the greatest nightmare”. Something like this happened to me recently when I had gone to stay in my father’s childhood home for the winter holidays in Himachal Pradesh.

My grandfather built the house in the small and sparsely populated yet beautiful village of Kangra. We often choose it as our tourist destination because of its heavenly landscapes and majestic mountains. We headed there this time not just to spend the holidays but also to attend the marriage ceremony of my cousin. I had a severe stomach ache on the wedding day, so my parents had to leave me at home and go to the wedding. They left in the evening around six and told me where to find things I may need.

The temperature dropped significantly with the sunset, so I had to get in the blanket. But something unusual happened that night, suddenly it started raining. Soon after that, the light went out. I was glad that the inverter was still functioning, but that, too, did not last long. We had come to this house after almost a year, and no one cared to charge the backup batteries, so now it was completely dark. After my parents went, I put the phone in charge as it barely had two per cent charge left, and in the meantime, I thought I should read a book. I carefully moved across the house to look for the torch. While walking, I could hear my footsteps and realised it had been years since I experienced such peaceful surroundings. The combination of raindrops outside made such a soothing melody that it felt like I was in a different world. I found a torch in a drawer nearby and decided to continue my exploration of the house, as I did not have anything else to do. As I wandered through the corridors, childhood memories flooded my brain. I recalled the days when power outages were usual occurrences and how I used to play with my siblings in the dark. As I was proceeding to enter the basement, the surrounding suddenly changed. It was much colder, and the wind gushing through the basement door with the lighting made it feel scary, like a horror movie scene. My footsteps sounded much amplified now, and it gave a chill through my spine. I quickly ran out of that creepy place and got inside my blanket. I was enjoying the tranquil surrounding but terrified of the loneliness and lightning. I had picked an old family album from the drawer where I found the flashlight. I revisited my childhood while going through the album and realised how less time nowadays, I spend with my family. I may have fallen asleep while going through the album. When I opened my eyes, my parents were already home, and I excitingly told them everything that occurred the previous night. The power was also back, and the storm had faded away.

With no access to the distractions of modern technology, I experience a very solace life. This incident also taught me a lesson to spend more time with family. It was like a nightmare for me, but sometimes nightmares guide the path to growth and development.

Written by Mayank Vikash

Published on Friday, 9th June 2023 at 2:42 IST

Last updated Friday, June 9 2023, at 2:45 IST