It happened on our excursion to Kerala. We were sipping toddy in the coconut grove playing “ Truth or Dare “ – the game that’s best played when drunk. The dark clouds that we were intentionally ignoring till then broke out to a heavy downpour. We ran towards our resort. No one saw my mobile slip from my pocket. The thunderstorm raged for 2 hrs. I came back with Latika to look for my phone praying that it was water resistant as they claimed and that it had survived the thunderstorm. The coconut tree under which we had been sitting had been struck by lightning and my phone was nowhere near. Just when I was about to give up, Lathika found it with the display ‘battery low’.
Lathika ‘s my best friend and roommate. We knew each other’s worst secrets and stood for each other. Lathika’s the feminist, the college adored. When she believed in a cause, nothing on earth could shake her. She took classes for the poor kids in the neighbourhood on weekends. Her only weakness was that she believed people easily. She couldn’t judge a person even when they showed her their worst. A week later, back in Delhi, we were getting ready to go out for our late night “Vada Pav”, when it happened. I turned on the flashlight on my phone and waited for Lathika to show up. She came out and started looking around calling my name. When I asked her to shut up shouting at the top of her voice as I was right beside, a look of horror came on her face. She turned to sped back, but I turned off my flashlight , held her hand and asked what had happened. She stammered and I could vaguely make out that she couldn’t see me anywhere earlier. Attributing it to her poor sight, we started walking. When the flashlight was turned on again, she screamed. She said she couldn’t see me. Now even I couldn’t see my legs. After a few minutes, we figured out that whenever I turned my flashlight on, it made me invisible.
Running back to room, we began analyzing my phone s weird behavior. We concluded that probably when the lightening struck, the phone had absorbed its power and that when the flashlight was used, this could be utilized. The lightning is so blinding that its beginning can never be seen when it strikes. Also, looking at it, one can never see anything else around for a while.Since it used the lightning’s power, the souce, the phone couldn’t be seen and the wavelength transmitted is too high for normal eyesight to observe. Also, when switched on, it makes only living beings within its 1m radius invisible because of the thermal radiation emitted and anything covered in white- White being the colour that reflects light, refects it off the surface and hence even other objects are made invisible. We decided to keep it our little secret. Soon, we were having fun.
We would conduct magic shows for the kids she taught, sit quietly and listen when the gossip gang gets together, bunk classes after giving attendance (leaving the teacher confused whether we were actually there)… We were up to date on the latest gossips and everyone’s dirtiest secrets and considered ourselves to be the coolest. Lathika, meanwhile ran for the college Student body Presidential Elections. The tide was in her favour. One of the major opposition was Rohan Sinha, the minister’s son. Everyone secretly hated him for harassing and bullying other fellow students but no one had the guts to stand up to him.
We were all preparing in the eleventh minute for our final exams the next day, when Lathika got a message from Rohan to meet him to discuss regarding the election manifesto. Having slept right on my book,I woke up to see terror stricken Rashi s face. She stammered that Lathika had been raped a few hrs ago and was now lying unconscious in hospital. I rushed to her only to find that she had been beaten and had bruises all over her body and that the police had no clue regarding the culprits responsible. I searched for her phone to use it as an evidence against Rohan only to find that it had been smashed into smithereens. I was overcome with rage.
Dressed in a white salwar, I used my phone s invisibility mode and entered Rohan’s room. He was boasting to his gang that he had taken care of Lathika and that now his victory will be unanimous. After a few drinks, his friends left leaving him alone in his single room. Using the Mimic App that imitates a person ‘s voice whatever be the text typed, I called out his name in Lathika’s voice. He floundered around the room trying to get sober. I used the knife on his table to give him a cut in his arms to prove he wasn’t dreaming. I told him that I’ll make him bleed to death. He ran out like a maniac and went to the police who were investigating below and confessed to the rape and submitted his mobile as evidence. I saw them take him away from Lathika’s hospital window. Her blood pressure was slowly returning to normal and the doctor assured us that she will be alright soon.
When Lathika bounced back, she was stronger than before. We both knew that things will never be the same. We no longer used the mobile for silly pranks or for listening in on gossips. We knew that using it, we can use it to get evidence where justice was pending, to disguise ourselves and follow guys who lure naïve girls and teach them a lesson, to restore faith by gifting money anonymously to the poor in the hospitals.. I now understood there was a reason, it was my phone that got the superpower that day.