There was quite a crowd.
Since it was the school holidays, most of the boys who lived down the lane had gathered together.
Tarun, Nipun and their friends Nadun, Shalila and many others were there.
The abandoned plot of land at the end of lane was their playground.
The boys divided themselves into two teams for a game of cricket.
“One rule, don’t hit the ball too hard that way!” said Nipun.
Everyone looked at the direction he was pointing towards.
There stood a pink coloured house.
“Yes, the people who live in that house do not like the ball going into their garden,” reminded
The others nodded.
The game was on the way.
There were shouts and screams.
Shalila was batting.
All of a sudden he forgot the rule!
He hit hard towards the pink coloured house.
The ball hit their gate with a loud din.
Everyone got scared.
They gathered around Tarun.
Tarun held his head with both hands.
He did not know what to do.
The ball bounced back towards the pitch.
Still, Shalila walked towards the house.
The gate was opened and an elderly gentleman came out.
The others saw Shalila talking to the gentleman.
The conversation between the two took a few minutes.
The others got curious.
Finally, Shalila returned.
“His wife has returned from the hospital a few days back. She panics for the slightest sound,
apparently,” said Shalila thoughtfully.
“I apologized profusely. It was my fault. I forgot the rule!” he said with a dry smile.
“That’s nice of you to have done that, Shalila” said Nipun, putting his arm around his friend.
“I still feel bad though. I feel sorry for the elderly lady..” he said, looking glum.
“Let’s remind everyone of the rule at the beginning of each over,” he suggested.
“Yes, and no loud screams and yells!” added Tarun.
The others agreed.
What was the reason for the big crowd of boys gathering together?
What had Shalila done when the old gentleman explained his wife’s condition?
What did he suggest to his friends?