It was a warm and sunny day and the kids were playing a game of cricket. Little Ajay's dad couldn't afford cricket gear in his meager income. But he would have loved to have a bat for himself. He was having to borrow the bat from his friends. And most days he never got a turn at batting.
Rohit called out : Ajay pick up the ball fast.
Ajay picks up the ball half hearted and throws it to Rohit. Meanwhile the batsmen Krishna and Sanjay have run 4 runs. Rohit is mad at Ajay for being so careless.
Rohit: Don't come to play with us if you wont pay attention.
Ajay: I want to bat too
Rohit: Then get a bat of your own.
Ajay walks away dejected. His mom has been watching all this from a distance. Ajay walks home and sits down on the doorstep. His grandmom sees him and approaches
Grandmom: Ajay why aren't you playing?
Ajay: I don't feel like playing
Grandmom: Why? Are the other boys troubling you?
Ajay: No no.. its too warm to play out.. I am tired!
Grandmom: Oh you poor boy, come let me get you something to drink.
Ajay follows his grandmom into the house.
That evening, his dad Ranjit comes home from a long day at work. Ajay rushes to greet him.
Ajay: Daddy did you have a good day
Ranjit : Yes Ajay I did, how was your day
Ajay: I played cricket and then played at home for sometime
Ranjit : Did you not study today?? Go pick up your books and read for a while before dinner
Ajay walks away looking forlorn
Ranjit : Radha do you know whats wrong with this boy. Why is he looking so upset today?
Radha (Ajay's mom) narrates the whole incident to him.
Radha: I think you should get him the bat. Poor guy!!
Ranjit : Do you think I don't want to buy him a bat. It will cost 200 bucks, I can't spare that much cash.
Radha: You call yourself a teacher at a govt school and if you cant spare that cash who will? The dhobhi next door buys so many toys for his son, and you can't buy anything for yours.
Ranjit : Don't say that.. you are being unreasonable....
Radha (interrupting him): I have work to do..
She the walks away!
The next day as Ajay returns from school, there is a shiny new bat waiting for him. He is so excited. He runs to his dad and hugs him, thanks him and runs out to play. Radha is also beaming.. neither notice the missing watch on Ranjit's hand.
(To be continued ...)