“Hunger Games” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Lavanya Karki, Mount St. Mary’s School, Delhi, India.
Different people have different hobbies – some are unique, some are great. Yet I have the strangest hobby, eating food. It is just the thing which can please me when I am in serenity. Out of all the delicious dishes of the world, jalebis and samosas stand a big place in my heart. Where these foods interest me, there is one thing which is strongly hated by me. These troublesome things are guests.
One warm June day, as I lay on my bed with my head in the clouds, my mom called out to me. Her loud and clear voice brought me back to reality. What I heard from mom’s mouth wasn’t very pleasing to my ears. She had something annoying to say. Dad’s childhood friend was in town and had planned to make a visit to our house. This thought gave me immense grief. But all of a sudden, my thought changed. That was all because I was asked to get Jalebis and Samosas for the guests. However, these dishes used to come to our house once in a blue moon. As the jalebis and samosa lay in my hand, I could not control myself. But, I didn’t have a choice. I rushed back home. The guests arrived a little later. My face was beaming with life, actually not to welcome them but a golden opportunity to feed on the yummy taste of North India.
The conversation went on and on and I was forced to be a part of them. The jalebis and samosas were calling out for me. At the drop of a hat, I moved towards my dishes. But all of a sudden, the doorbell rang. The house-maid was at the door. Mom attended her. Meanwhile, I got back to the drawing board. Papa’s phone often rang at the wrong time. So it did this time too. I ran to get it from the bedroom. Dad attended the call, as I comfortably settled myself for another strike. That time, I had a one-track mind. But because of the lack of entertainment, I was asked to present a song as none of the Indian gatherings are complete without the twist of a song. Forced to do so, I did. I don’t know why everyone was keeping jalebis and samosas at bay.
The next time, it was the turn of our pet dog to put a barrier against my opportunity. It barked ferociously as some naughty boys troubled it. It was just a piece of cake for me to chase them away. I was blue in the face. Finally I found an awesome chance to pounce on my jalebis and samosas. I had a feeling that when pigs fly, I will get to eat my very delicious dishes, the jalebis and samosas. But all of a sudden, I don’t know why that toddler of aunty began to cry and aunty requested me to take him to the park. Perhaps, that was the last straw. I wished to bang the head of that toddler on the ground. Babies are so troublesome. For him, my company might have been amazing. But for me, his company was so annoying. In a while, uncle and aunty came down and I was extremely glad to see the back of them. I was about to have the best of both worlds. At last, I was about to have my very own jalebis and samosas. With a sigh of relief, I headed back home and was ready to feed on them with great enthusiasm. My heart broke all of a sudden when I saw the plates empty. I drowned in an ocean of grief. I raged as if a storm in a teacup. The guests didn’t even spare a thought of leaving a samosa for me. Uh! The guests didn’t even have a spark of decency. But if I would have been in their place, I would have done the same. After all, Ramu chacha’s samosas and jalebis are the best. Well that was just a small explanation of what had luck actually means. Even today when I remember this incident, I cry over the spilt milk.