It was a Sunday afternoon, and I had just left my house to go down and play; I met my friends waiting for me to come so that we could start playing. We decided to play cricket after my team got the opponent team all out. Avanish, my best friend, and I came out to open the batting; it was a challenging total to chase down. We needed 24 runs in six balls that had just hit a good shot. Suddenly the Fairy of Mischief with short wings appeared, she looked in a hurry but the hard season ball hit her directly in her face.
She was very cross with me and cursed me that I would walk backwards for the rest of my life. I got scared and begged her to revoke the curse, and after 30 minutes of my friends and me pleading to her, the Mischief Fairy reduced my curse to one month. While I was relieved, I did not realise how hard it would be to live my life normally after that. My friends had to follow me home to make sure I didn’t fall on the way. When we got home, my friends and I narrated the whole story to my parents. They were shocked and angry at the fairy at the same time.
My parents then told me that I had to live with it and find a way to get through a month. I then went to my room, possibly breaking a couple of bones in my back due to falling down the stairs 20 times. Once I got to my room, I read books all day and went to sleep without having dinner as I didn’t want to walk up and down the stairs. When I woke up the following day, I saw a sign outside my window that read, ‘’INTER SCHOOL BACKWARDS RACING CHAMPIONSHIP’’. My brain filled up with ideas; after all, being able to walk backwards wasn’t so bad at all.
I asked my mother if she could go to the school and register me for the race, as I didn’t want to walk backwards to school and avoid the public eye for a while. After three days of waiting, the championship day arrived. Even though I lived right next to the school, my dad had to drive me there just to be safe. Once the race started, I came first, winning my school a gold medal. After that, I just couldn’t stop; I went for another inter school backward running race, a district race, a state race and even a national back running race.
Soon, I got a letter from the International Sports Association informing me that I was selected in the international backward running race against international legends. Six days later, I reported to California for the race; due to the changed timeline, I didn’t know when I would run out of time of the curse. While stepping out of the hotel, I suddenly realised that I had just walked forward!
That’s when it hit me that the curse was over. I was baffled as I clearly remembered that I had at least a day in Indian time left. But I couldn’t walk out now, not with a whole country relying on me. So, I found the courage and went to the track, the person there told me that he had heard a lot about me and hoped that I won. I thanked him and went to lane number three; besides me, I saw legends 20 years older than me. The whistle blew, and we all ran. I almost fell because I was just used to facing forward and sprinting while running backwards. Halfway through the race, a strange thing happened, time suddenly paused, with me being the only person who could move. I took advantage of it and ran as fast as possible without falling to cover up their lead. But time un-paused when I got near the finish line and someone else overtook me, and I lost the race by coming fourth.
Heartbroken, I went back to my room, the Mischief Fairy appeared and told me that she was sorry that she cursed me but could not let me win with an unfair advantage. So, she had removed the cure a day before it was meant to be removed. At first, I felt angry as she gave me the curse and used my wits to even get the unfair advantage. Still, after some time, I understood that wining with an unfair advantage isn’t essential; instead, losing while trying your best is more important.
Contributor: Dhairya Mittal
About our Writing Program Student
Dhairya Mittal is a 7th Grader studying at Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai in Mumbai. He’s an avid reader and loves to play cricket and practise his Taekwondo skills in his free time. A Taekwondo black belt, Dhairya is also an excellent orator and a groomed debater too.