Games at Twilight

by Anita Desai

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What is Ravi's experience in the shed in "Games at Twilight"?

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As Ravi hides himself in the shed, trying to find an excellent hiding place that will win him the game of hide and seek and protect him from Raghu, Ravi is initially afraid of being in the shed. After all, we are told that "it had a muffled smell, as of graves." Note the description we are given of the shed:

But the shed smelled of rats, anthills, dust, and spider webs. Also of less definable, less recognisable horrors. And it was dark. Except fro the white-hot cracks along the door, there was no light. The roof was very low.

As he begins to feel creatures crawl on him, Ravi feels like a "stranger" in the shed and wonders how many more creatures there are in there. He thinks it might be better to risk being caught than to stay here, but then contemplates the victory and glory he will receive if he wins the game: "What fund if they were all found and caught--he alone left unconquered!" As he imagines himself as "the true winner, a breaker of records, a champion," he finds the strength to stay in the shed for a long time, only going out after some hours have passed. Ironically, of course, he finds that instead of the much-anticipated glory, he has been forgotten by his friends.

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