Chapter 1 - Road to Summer Camp - I

Chapter 1 - Road to Summer Camp - I

A Chapter by Boldpen

In India, the summer breaks have begun and children are leaving for a great camp, well, in opinion of most of the children...'



No answer.


No answer.

‘You know Akshat; we can do this all day.’ A boy with an oval shaped face with crinkly, black hairs and enormous, bistre eyes, said in a matter of fact voice to his classmate who sat beside him reading a book, primarily to cope up with the distress he was going through.

‘I’m in no mood to talk, Pradeep. Just be quiet.’ Came an angry reply as the boy of fourteen who had been trying to drown his sadness in a famous novel written by Dan Brown, though in vain, raised his brownish face with well defined jaw line, small brown coloured eyes and spiky, coal black hairs, to have a clear look of the person who had been fingering him for half an hour.

  ‘Hey, it won’t be that bad. You do have your precious books with you.’ Pradeep cheered his friend up.

‘yeah.. yeah...’ Akshat shook his head as he gazed outside the window to distract himself by looking at buildings, vehicles, and smoke as they passed through. This was the best thing he could do while travelling in a bus, through the city of Mumbai, on a journey that ended at the place where he had no wish to be at- A summer camp.

At very first place, he never wanted to be in that bus and he wouldn’t had been there  if it wasn’t for his mother who made the most dramatic wish on her birthday a week ago.

“Honey, I want Akshat to attend that camp. It would be a great step to make him social.” Her honeyed words filled his ears. His mother was the greatest opportunist in his eyes, an ability for which he, secretly, admired her.

‘Social!’ he muttered to himself. How much ‘social’ do they wanted him to be? He was friendly, good to his classmates and helpful. The problem laid with the fact that he did not liked them much. You never knew when they’ll feel hurt, cared, left and accepted. Worse of all, others could never share his feelings. They could never understand his prospect to look at things around there. Anybody who had been there could imagine how much it hurts to be made fun of by children around just because you loved the world of fantasy and wished that it was real.

‘Pradeep, why are you here anyway? You parents never chased you down to drag yourself here.’ Akshat asked shutting down the book.

‘Oh well, but your parents asked me to pack you up and drag you down here, Master Bookworm.’ came such a chucky reply that even Akshat, who had been sulking since he entered in the journey, had to give away a smile.

Oh yes, Pradeep was different. They've been friends since the age of four when he had moved in his neighborhood. Even after 10 years, Pradeep was one of the kinds in eyes of Akshat �" Light hearted, fun loving and fun to be with- major reason being he never made fun of Akshat’s opinions.

‘We will do a lot of things there. We can...’ his chattered was paused as he saw, through the slits of his eyes, a boy move pass them.

As the young man shifted in to take over an unoccupied seat right behind theirs... ‘Halt!’ Pradeep gave a quick shout making the poor teen jump ‘the seat is occupied.’

‘ah.. But I don’t see anyone sitting.’ The surprised fellow defended his act.

‘shooo.... just go away....’ Pradeep commanded and as soon as the boy left, he gazed down at the empty place ‘It’s okay, Jackie. Be comfortable.’ As he settled down again at his place, Akshat could hear his reaction ‘Sheesh... people!’

Jackie was an important person in Pradeep’s life. He was his soul brother, partner in every sphere of living. However, it was for Jackie that Pradeep was considered weird, mad to be exact, by everyone who knew him. The reason �" Jackie existed only for Pradeep. He was an imaginary brother who was extremely close to his heart. His feelings for him were so innocent, so true, that many times Akshat would wonder if Jackie really was a being whom only Pradeep could see.

‘But, Akshat, I frankly don’t see why you are in such a dismay. It’s not like they stripped you off your books.  Your parents just want you to see what’s beyond them.’ Pradeep finally got to the point he had been trying to get to ‘they mean you well.’

‘First of all, it’s through books that we see beyond this world and secondly,..’ Akshat gave out a deep breath ‘camp means activities, activities mean people and you know how they are.’

‘you know, you’re making me feel like we study in school for children with supernatural abilities put up by Charles Xavier and all the people we meet are waiting with bullets and rifles for us.’ Pradeep gave a little laugh ‘buddy, your obsession with books is going a little eerie. I mean staying up till four in the night to finish reading “Eldest” of the “Inheritance” series, WOW!’

‘That’s normal. Many people do that.’ Akshat answered in a low voice, with a nervous look on his face.

‘Oh yes, especially during night before your final examination of science falling at eight in the morning.’ Pradeep raised his brow ‘and then, consequently, falling in sweet dream nap in middle of the paper.’

Alright, maybe Akshat was obsessed. Maybe he was surfing from a mania. But he liked it. He loved reading novels. He loved the smell of paper filled with the creation of most incredible imaginations, drawn through words, painting a perfect picture of adventure, suspense and drama. The fits of laughter and the wetting of eyes made him feel addicted towards the most fantastic thing mankind had ever invented. As long as it was novel, he liked it. Owing to his admiration was the fact that he had a wonderful library right in his home with exact number of three thousand five hundred and eighty three books, arranged in alphabetical order and perfectly well kept.

‘I had no choice! It was so interesting!  In the name of Shakespeare, You won’t believe how the story turned out to be...’ Akshat’s voice skipped in sudden excitement.

‘You know, you are unimaginably lucky to have such loving parents.’ Pradeep said thoughtfully. He wondered if Akshat knew how much he wanted to have parents like his.

It was rare that he could wake up in morning and greet his mother or father. He had no memories of any summers spent by their side because there were none. They were always at work. His mother as chartered accountant in a multinational firm in US, whom he had been watching through video calling for half a year now, and his father slogging himself as marketing director posted in France, who he rarely talked to because his number would always be busy.

‘So, Norbert would be at home all alone now, right?’ Akshat asked about the old caretaker at Pradeep’s home. Pradeep had spent all his life with the calm, polite person who he had never been seen getting worried about even the direst situations or sweating on his white brows even in utmost horrid cases. Akshat believed entirely that it was from Norbert that his friend absorbed his tension free character.

‘He’ll be alright. I mean, it’s Norbert. Nothing in this world can leave him in worry.’ Pradeep grinned at Akshat ‘by the way, do you have any idea where exactly are we going?’

‘To spend the worst summers ever’ Akshat answered with a discouraged voice. How carefully had he planned about the books he was going to read in two month long vacations!

‘That’s funny; I expected the same reply from you.’ Pradeep shook his head. He took out a mobile from the pocket of his windbreaker. After few types on the keypad, he smiled. ‘got it.’ He passed on the device to Akshat.

Akshat read the result from “Unipedia”, the best internet encyclopedia, aloud. ‘“National Nature Camp” aka “N square C” is an annual program launched by “Indian Children Welfare Society” through collaboration with “Shalini Environmental Institute” ,under which a summer camp is organised in an forest. It is open for all children standing in age group between ten to fifteen years....’

‘We just got in time. After a couple of years, they would have termed us as “Too old to participate”’ Pradeep chattered on.

‘The motto of the camp is “let’s try everything”. Children are free to opt from a wide range of fifty activities and sports without any limit to number of areas one can participate in. New schemes to inculcate discipline and good habits in participants, to give their vacations a meaningful turn, are introduced every year.’ Akshat read on ‘Oh, it all sounds...’

 ‘Awesome!’ Pradeep cheered.

‘Tiring.’ Akshat completed his comment and groaned as he gazed out of the window.

‘When they told me, that Akshat Gupta was in the bus, I almost ridiculed them!’ a shrill, adenoidal voice, having an imbalanced proportion of pride, self importance and confidence, was heard throwing a statement  was at them with the purpose to attract the attention of boys.

‘Oh please, let it be not him!’ Akshat hid his face in his hands, realizing that what kind of misery had just fallen upon him.

‘Okay. It’s him.’ Pradeep informed him in apologetic tone as a lean, pale boy with a circular head placed upon his neck looking equivalent to a basketball made to stand vertical on a stick, made his entrance in the serious conversation among friends. Well- combed and oiled hairs shone over the round face with dark brown eyes, which were nearly veiled by his blue rimmed spectacles, and condescending grin.

‘Hey! Vikram, we had no idea even you are participating!’ Pradeep used the most defensive statement he could.

Even though this was a common phenomena through which they had to go through every time they met with Vikram, they could never get used to the comfortlessness they felt. Vikram was the kind of boy who would register in your mind permanently after a single confrontation, in a horrid manner. He was persuasive, self �" caring and full of pride which was a straight consequence of his uninterrupted possession of the first place since he began to study. All the people who did not know him well believed he was an egomaniac, those who knew him were sure of the fact. Added to it was his tendency of never taking a defeat, a positive value that had attained its negative form.

Unfortunately, it was that very tendency that Akshat had been hurting for over eight years now. The biggest grief in Vikram’s life was he had never been able to secure first place in annual creative writing competition in his school, reason being, Akshat always bagged it. The same was the case with the summer vacation easy creation competition, in which Akshat had always been at the top. These were the complete blows to Vikram’s punctilious winning streak, for which he had sworn lifetime hatred towards our book lover. 

© 2012 Boldpen

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Author's Note

And the journey goes on... now what will Vikram do?
(please point out grammar faults for my progress)
thank you!

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Added on October 4, 2012
Last Updated on October 4, 2012
Tags: Bookworms



Ajmer, Rajasthan, India

Hello, I'm just a modest girl with common interests. Just a normal 15 years old teenager.Writing is a way in which I can speak up for my opinion in this world. That's why It's my life. I love t.. more..

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