My routine for sometime now has been waking up really early, waving my parents off to work, and hurrying back to lock the door and sulking away the morning hours in the unbearably hot sun. But this is by no stretch a precaution against the loose robbers who loved taking a walk in the quiet afternoon streets. No, it was more of an attempt to ward off the little boys playing cricket down my street. Their high spirits could neither be crushed by the boiling heat nor could the state topper’s feat gain a second thought from them as they stood there setting the stumps.
There was a boy of seven desperately trying in vain to imitate Dhoni’s famous helicopter shot. Another was swinging his arms in wild action trying to bring out the Malinga in him and in the act missing the batsman’s head by a hair’s breadth and saving himself from a saucepan blow from his mother. These boys hit the ball with such fury that they lose it much too often. Without as much as a minute’s break, you could hear them scurrying for the ball in your well-maintained garden as if they were looking for lost gold! Trampling the plants that blocked their way was among their favourite pastimes. One day with my anger ebbing to a threatening level, I shouted at them, “Why don’t you go to the playground or something?!” The boys replied, “And get bullied by those big annas? No thanks!” The other day I caught them unawares sitting on the wall and discussing strategies for CSK to win the finals! I couldn’t hide my laughter as these were kids who were still in the process of learning to hold their bats properly.
Fun in the sun
But when I sat back to think about these crazy little creatures, I knew that I found them annoying but I couldn’t help but pity them, for their summer vacation was approaching to an end and they would soon be engulfed in the ever-increasing load of schoolwork. After all, how often do we see kids leaving behind the “idiot box” and doing something out in the sun with as much enthusiasm?As minutes melted away I found myself walking up to the door and unlocking it. I could hear the lock heave a sigh of relief for being saved from a gruelling day in the sun but not the boys who stood there before me, a broad grin across their faces and ready to scurry into my garden for their lost gold.
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