This post has been selected as a Blogadda WOW post (Dated 25th August).
Sunday, 18th August.
Rishikesh Building: 6.30 pm
The children geared up for another game of cricket. It was risky, because just a month ago, they had been warned by the society, not to play cricket in the garden. Reason? Too many complaints of broken windows. Especially from the Monster – Mrs. Sharma, whose 3rd floor window was always in the way of a good ‘sixer’. Six times, that’s how many times her window had become the target. And she was mighty furious.
Today, she stood there, at her window, waiting for them to start their game. She had decided that if they broke any more of her windows, she was going to find out who exactly did it, and make them pay for it. “If the building secretary isn’t going to do anything about it, I will have to do something about this nuisance myself”, she grumbled to herself.
And the boys, ranging from 6 to 16 years, well…they had a plan of their own. They decided to play a prank on her. How? By constantly hitting the ball on the offside, no major boundaries… just minor runs & only one tappa catches would be declared as out. Sounded simple, no? How could she catch them breaking windows, if they were playing a decent game? They decided to to tease her all evening with this tactic of theirs.
So the team captain Ansh ran the team through the rules once again. The opening batsman, Harsh, had been famous for his spectacular boundaries. He did not like this idea at all. Why should he be deprived of playing a good game, just because of a few complaints. He had made up his mind. After the first few overs, Mrs. Sharma would get fed up of their ‘tuk tuk’ game & go inside. That’s when he would start hitting his big shots.
As predicted, by the fifth over, she did get irritated by their stupid game. Just as Harsh saw her walking in, he decided to go for the big boundary. The team held their breath as they watched the ball fly through the air in slow motion. Yes, his sweet spot turned out to be her window. Again. Except, this time, the ball didn’t hit the window. It flew right through it!
‘Phew, bach gaye’, he thought. They all breathed a sigh of relief. Which was soon drowned out by a piercing shrill, coming from Mrs. Sharma’s apartment. The boys froze. What had happened? Should they go & check? Ansh & Harsh being the oldest among them, decided to do the right thing. They asked the lil ones to stay put & most importantly, stay cool. They ran up to her 3rd floor apartment. They rang the doorbell frantically, and the 50 year old matriarch came limping towards the doors, her eyes welling up with tears. She let them in only cos she needed help. She realized she could yell at them a little later.
They noticed the mess in the house. The mess they’d created. Apparently, Harsh’s super sixer had entered her living room, bounced off her table, knocked over her cough syrup. The glass bottle had fallen to the ground, and she had accidentally stepped on shards of glass.
They were sorry, and their eyes reflected that. They made her sit down on the sofa & immediately ran to the window to call out for help. The watchman couldn’t hear their shouts. ‘Munni badnaam’ was playing out on his FM player. The chillar party sensed the urgency, ran towards him & pulled out his earphones, and told him that 3rd floor wali ‘monster aunty’ needed help.
They all rushed her to the nearest clinic, and stayed there until their parents came to pick them up. The doc had mentioned that the gash was quite deep, and that she would have to walk with support for at least a week or 2.
As they reached the building, they all took turns to apologize to her and promised that they would go to a open ground to play cricket. They also told her that they would like to visit her every evening, till she gets better.
Ansh had noticed that her family hadn’t come by to get her from the clinic. He asked her, “Your family members didn’t come. Where are they?” She remembered that dreadful car accident that took away her husband & her son, brushed away her tears & said, “I’m looking at them, right now!”
She gave them a group hug, planted kisses on their foreheads and just like that, Monster wali aunty found a new reason to live!