They planned a quiet evening with pizzas and movies. But then, they got enmeshed in a war!

It was Saturday evening and the parents were going out for dinner. Plans were made for Megs, Rohan and Sandhya to spend the evening together. They were to order pizzas and watch some movies.

Rohan chose the movie. It was a war movie, and it was in French! As the movie began and gun shots sounded, Megs and Sandhya rounded on Rohan and threatened him with dire consequences. He laughed and ran around the room trying to escape the girls.

Just then the pizzas arrived and the three of them rushed off to get it. They were paying for the pizza when they heard someone talking in the room.

‘Who's that?” asked Rohan, looking a bit scared.

“An intruder?” asked Megs.

The pizza guy seemed a nice sort. His name tag read ‘Praful'. He volunteered to check. He marched ahead, holding the pizzas aloft while the three of them crept after him. He came to a sudden halt at the doorway and the three of them went crash! into him. That sent Praful spiralling into the room and the pizzas flying.

The kids saw a French man all togged out in a military uniform standing in the middle of the room, talking to himself — they presumed in French. When he saw them he looked as astonished. He raised an eye brow and shot off a couple of questions. They looked at him and shook their heads.

“Ze Engleesh? Zoo zpeak ze Engleesh?” he asked. They nodded.

“Zhis is a ztrange country, eh? No speeek ze Fench! Me name izzz Pierre.”

“This is not a strange country. This is India. Where did you come from?” said Megs, irritated.

“I come from the world's greatest nations – Paris,” he spoke like there was a bee buzzing inside his mouth. “I am in ze meedle of ze war and I have loz my way!”

“You have not lost your way, you stepped out of the television!” said Rohan.

“Pleeze you have to help me!” he said rather pitiably.

Rohan nodded and went up to the man and began to push him into the TV.

“Give me a hand,” he said, “this guy is rather heavy!”

So they all pushed and pushed and all of a sudden they heard the sound of breaking glass and loud noise like the roaring of the sea. Before they knew it they were transported to a strange land. It was cold and dark and strange shapes loomed in the semi-darkness. They stood on a narrow gutted road, on either side stood bombed out buildings. Against the pale grey sky the silhouettes looked rather ghostly. Just then they heard the sound of footsteps. Pierre sprang into action, “Quick, quick. We have to hide…” he whispered. “It could be zee enemy!”

“This is too freaked out, man!” said Rohan. “Do you know,” he told Pierre, “we know how this war ends!”

“How?” asked Megs.

‘Duh! From our history lessons…”

“But we do not know which war this is…is it WWI or WWII or any of the other million wars that were fought in Europe?”

They were still arguing when the sound of marching boots came closer. Pierre was getting more and more agitated. And then there was a lot of shouting and screaming and pushing and shoving and very soon they were all up against a wall. They were left in no doubt about what was to happen. They were facing a row of guns.

The commander shouted his command and there was a flash of light and loud, repetitive noise.

The five of them were back in the drawing room — a bit stunned but otherwise safe.

“Phew! Thank God we are fine. And the television is not broken,” said Sandhya.

“And I have to get back to work,” said Praful.

“What about me?” pleaded Pierre. “I need to fight ze war!”

Just then they heard the key turn in the lock and their parents walked in. They saw the room in utter disarray, the television looked like it would fall over any time, there was pizza all over and Praful was waiting to be paid.

“This place looks like a war zone,” said Sandhya's mother. The children heard a feeble voice say, “I need to fight ze war!” They almost giggled.

“Grounded!” said Sandhya's father.

“You too!” said Megs' father.