The postman loudly announced the arrival of fresh mail. Shreya was on her feet immediately. She brought the letter to her mother and asked her to read it. Once she did, Shreya and her mother found the news rather disconcerting.

Shreya’s aunt was coming over with her husband and twins. She lived in Mumbai and had two terrible twin daughters named Nikita and Vinita. Niki and Vini, as Shreya referred to them, were not what she had expected in the first week of her summer vacation. She ran in to inform her sister about the disaster that was about to befall them. Shreya’s sister, Sheetal, was disappointed, too.

They spent the next couple of days cleaning up the house as they prepared for the arrival of their aunt’s family. Shreya’s father went to receive them at the railway station. The two girls were very uncomfortable as soon as they spotted the twins.


Everyone had a hearty dinner. Shortly afterward, the twin sisters went to bed since the long train journey from Mumbai to Kolkata had worn them out.

Shreya’s parents, however, didn’t have a lucky escape. Shreya’s aunt began tooting her own horn, much to her mother’s chagrin. Her uncle continued a steady monologue about the Indian political scenario, until he spotted her father stifle a massive yawn. He said he was really tired and needed to rest.

The girls had to share their bedroom with the visiting twins. Little did they know that it was going to be an extremely long night. It all started with Shreya and Sheetal getting kicked out of their beds. Finally, the two older girls took refuge on the divan in the living room and spent whatever was left of the night huddled together. The raucous snores of their uncle in the other room made sleeping impossible.

The next morning, the girls appeared bleary-eyed. Both Shreya and Sheetal were pleased when their twin cousins announced that they wanted to go out and play in the garden. However, peace remained elusive, for the twins began trampling on their aunt’s flowerbeds. This turmoil left most of the flowering plants uprooted. Shreya and Sheetal’s mother was incensed.

The twins had no regard for books or magazines either. They tore off pages from magazines, making boats out of them. Shreya’s father was enraged when he saw the two sisters mess up his favorite publications. By the end of the week, the twins had damaged Sheetal’s make-up kit as well.

Everyone in Shreya’s family wanted the visitors to leave as soon as possible. This prompted Shreya’s dad to come up with a plan to get the family out of their house the following week. He entertained the twins’ father with all the news bulletins that were being telecast on TV. Shreya’s mother served under-cooked food for the next three days. On the other hand, Shreya and Sheetal scared the twins with an overdose of horror movies.

Two weeks into their stay, Shreya’s aunt and her daughters had already paid a couple of visits to the nearby dispensary. They complained of severe stomachache. Shreya’s uncle had started finding the constant barrage of news bulletins irksome. As a result, he decided to put an immediate end to their stay in Kolkata. When Shreya’s aunt’s family boarded the train back to Mumbai that Sunday, the hosts heaved a huge sigh of relief. They were least bothered by the fact that their guests had had to put with an upset tummy during their short stay at their place.

There was only one long-term change that followed this experience. Shreya’s dad himself became an ardent politics buff. He now discusses politics like a man possessed. Shreya’s mom has been trying hard to find a remedy to this malady without much success.

…now that you’re here

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Pravin Kumar writer at Ameya

As fond of writing a good story as he is of reading one, Pravin is one of the most promising writers at Ameya. He can be contacted at