Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

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What are the consequences of Ravi's actions in "Games at Twilight" by Anita Desai?

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Ravi's first major action that has consequences is his decision to stay hidden for a very long time.  The consequence is that all of the other kids forget about Ravi.  Ravi is out of sight for so long, that he simply is out of the minds of everybody else. If anybody remembered that Ravi was playing, they likely assumed that he went back inside.  

Eventually Ravi removed himself from his hiding spot and sneaked back to the den in order to claim victory.  

With a whimper he burst through the crack, fell on his knees, got up, and stumbled on stiff, benumbed legs across the shadowy yard, crying heartily by the time he reached the veranda so that when he flung himself at the white pillar and bawled, "Den! Den! Den!''

The consequence of Ravi waiting so long and having everybody forget about him is that no other children even believe that Ravi officially won.  They think he is trying to cheat his way to victory.  Or they think that he is being a baby about losing and now trying to claim some shallow victory.  

"Raghu didn’t find me. I won, I won——'' It took them a minute to grasp what he was saying, even who he was. They had quite forgotten him. Raghu had found all the others long ago. . . Having disappeared from the scene, he had disappeared from their minds. Clean.

"Don’t be a fool,'' Raghu said roughly, pushing him aside, and even Mira said, "Stop howling, Ravi. If you want to play, you can stand at the end of the line,'' and she put him there very firmly.

Regardless of what the other children really think, Ravi's actions have not won him any respect from his peers.  If anything, Ravi's credibility has been hurt. Additionally, Ravi begins to spiral into a bit of a depressed pity party for himself.  

But he had been forgotten, left out, and he would not join them now. The ignominy of being forgotten—how could he face it? He felt his heart go heavy and ache inside him unbearably. He lay down full length on the damp grass, crushing his face into it, no longer crying, silenced by a terrible sense of his insignificance.

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