“Come on Kanha! We are already so late!” Krishna tapped his foot impatiently as he leant against the door of the room of his best friend. “You know how Teacher hates it when we come late to morning class!” “Then stop rushing me! I don’t do well under pressure!” Krishna giggled at the double entendre and earned a whack on the back of his head for it. “Fine. Take your own sweet time. I’m not going to simply get punishment from Teacher because I’m leaving now.” Krishna made the motion of walking away from the door when Kanha barrelled into him, closing the door. “DONE! Phew! Now let’s put your mad F1 skills to use!” “With a 2nd hand Maruti Alto where the gearbox is basically fucked? In your dreams!” Krishna dug into his pockets for his keys and gestured to Kanha to wait near the gate for him to bring the car around. They would make it on time but only if Krishna drove as fast as the Bangalore traffic would allow him.
Morning class was uneventful and a bore to everyone present, except for Yudi. He was the only one who turned up at 9am on a Sunday, fresh faced and wide eyed. The rest were barely keeping their eyes open and didn’t even bother to hide their yawns from Teacher, their 30 something lecturer. It was difficult to explain to normal people about Morning Class. It was a necessary requirement for everyone who had been identified with the powers but utterly useless when it came to the true application of the powers. “Why does the God Almighty insist on having these classes when they basically do jack shit?” Kanha moaned as he stretched his legs when they finished class. Their daily routine was to go get some chai and a smoke at the nearby coffee shop. “I’ve even asked my dad this and the great Mr. Kumar has no idea why!” “They never had these classes during his time, right? Lucky bastards!” “Kanha, there were no women in his regular classes during that time. Lucky it seems!” Krishna shoved him as they reached Rajesh’s Tea Shop and gave their usual order. Kanha pulled out their favourite pack of cigarettes, Snakes and Ladders, which had a picture of a man climbing a ladder and being chased by a snake. He gave one to Krishna and lit his own, passing the lighter as his lungs filled with the first drag of the day. “Ah! This is the life! Chai and smokes!” Krishna laughed as his friend stared into the pothole right next to the trash can, their usual spot. “I have an idea. You know how all the professors keep telling us that we should practice our powers at home.” “Yeah…” Kanha looked at the taller man warily. “So I was thinking, my sister was gifted this really old board game set, like from the 60s!” “Dude! Nothing like Jumanji and all! I cannot deal with dinosaurs coming to life!” Kanha’s powers were giving life to inanimate objects and Krishna’s powers were telekinesis (and telepathy, only he didn’t know that yet). Very rare and highly dangerous powers, if they weren’t controlled. “Are you sure you have an idea of what we can do?” “Listen, just come over at 5 today in the evening after your guitar class and I’ll tell you. Bring some rum also. The folks aren’t at home and Sharada is going out with her boyfriend.” Kanha nodded in agreement as he stubbed out his cigarette and picked up his bag. He wondered if today could be the day where he actually learned to control his power.
5pm rolled around soon enough and Kanha was in an auto on his way to Krishna’s house, armed with packets of chips and bottles of rum. They were men and therefore they didn’t need Coke or soda to drink with rum. Kanha banged the door with his foot and heard the 5 locks being turned (Mr.Kumar was a paranoid man, even with his son being gifted with powers) as his friend exclaimed, “Dude, Sharada got Snakes and Ladders! What fun we are going to have, bro!” Kanha slumped his shoulders. Snakes better than dinosaurs? How that was even a choice? They quickly settled down in the living room and Kanha got to watch the Austrian GP in its entirety. By the time the drivers were getting sprayed with champagne on the winner’s podium, the boys (or men as they liked to be called) were already drunk. Krishna got up with a surprising amount of control and raised his hand, “My dear friend, let the games begin!” Kanha clapped wildly and proceeded to clear the area full of empty cigarette butts and chips packets. The game was being held very gingerly by Krishna as it should have been, for it was one of the original Snakes and Ladders boards made. They chose a playing piece each and then proceeded to meditate.
Krishna’s aim was to move the pieces on the board as the game progressed while Kanha had to make at least one ladder (and hopefully not a snake) come to life. Both boys weren’t worried about their state of inebriation affecting their powers because they were confident in their abilities. Kanha should have been less confident because as they played, his hand waved at the board and suddenly there were 3 snakes, hissing at both of them. “OH FUCK!” “Dude! I said ladder and not snake!” “I knew this would happen!” “Wait. Look at them.” Krishna poked Kanha in the ribs to get his attention. The snakes were coiling around the sofa and staring at the boys. They weren’t making any movements which creeped Kanha out to the core. “Do snakes chase people?” Kanha looked at Krishna in shock and then burst out laughing! “Wanna try? Run around the house and see!” Krishna looked at him in bewilderment and joined in the laughter. The snakes simply looked on in wonderment. “What is happening?” “I do not know, little one. It seems the smaller alien has brought us to life!” “Is that a good thing? Why are they laughing?” “Because apparently they think we chase aliens.”
It was a weird sight to behold when Mr and Mrs Kumar entered the house the next day at 10. The two boys were encircling a row of empty rum bottles and an abandoned Snakes and Ladders game. The 3 snakes were curled up in one of the holes in the sofas due to the artistic design. Just another day in the life of Krishna and Kanha, was the thought running through the mind of Mr.Kumar as he approached the snoring males to ask them for an explanation.