“Rajeev, tidy up your room before you go to sleep”, he could hear his mother call out from the hallway, just outside his room.

“Yeah, mamma, I will surely do that”, the cherubic little boy yelled back through the closed door of his room.

Rajeev stared at the huge poster of Superman, taped to the back of the door. Wouldn’t it be great to be him, he thought.

“OK, don’t spend too much time on the computer and go to sleep early”, she replied, walking back down the stairs towards the kitchen.

It was a Saturday and so he has allowed the liberty of spending some time on the internet before he went to sleep. Infatuated with superheroes, he clicked and browsed the site that he had bookmarked and kept last weekend: superheroesforreal.com.

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image

Good at studies, though not the brightest student in college as far as academics was concerned, Hannah was still the most sought after by the teachers and peers alike.

There was nothing that she could not do and that was what attracted everyone towards her. Be it college projects or organising college fests, she would have the most brilliant ideas and suggestions.

It was not just at college that she was sought after. Popular with their friends and neighbours alike as much as at home, her teen-age immaterial, people of all ages, some even elder than her grandpa would consult her and seek her advice for subjects as diverse as cheese and chalk.

Having earned the reputation of being the trouble shooter for anyone who came to her with their woes, be it professional, academic or even personal, even for those who shied up from approaching her, it was as if somehow she could sense their troubles and there she would be, taking that extra effort to hold their hand to wade them through distressed waters.

Hannah was acknowledged as the girl who knew everything.

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the-fire

Vinita sniffed the smell of burnt cloth and casually dismissed it as emanating from the neighbour’s window. It was quite common for them to leave a dish unattended on the gas burner ending it up charred. Yet again, she shrugged as she dug herself back into the book that she was deeply engrossed in.

It wasn’t always that Vinita gets so intensely immersed in reading. The events of the previous evening had set her thoughts wandering and she had decided that being profoundly gripped in the book was the only way she could keep her mind away from thinking about what had happened.

The screams were what startled Vinita and she saw the entire room engulfed in fire. She was surrounded by an inferno all around and even the doorway leading her to out of her house was fully on fire leaving her no chance to run out.

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