Giri fell ill and could not go to school. All day he lay in bed and looked out of the window.

Giri was feeling sad. He had eaten ice cream the night before. Now he had a cold and could not go to school.

“I feel so bored sitting at home, Daddy,” said Giri.

“I shall pull your bed near the window. You can lie down and look out of the window,” said his father. “It is nice that your window looks over the street. You can watch the buses and cars that go by.”

Giri lay down and looked out of the window at the neem tree. Flies were buzzing around. A crow was cawing loudly.

Looking out

Thump! A sound came from outside the window.

A boy about Giri’s age ran up from somewhere. He bent under the window and picked up a cricket ball. The boy looked up at Giri and smiled.

“What are you doing?” asked Giri.

“We are playing cricket in the ground,” said the boy. “My name is Velu.”

“Why didn’t you go to school?” asked Giri.

“Pch, we are poor. We have never been to school,” said the boy. “But why didn’t you go?”

“I am not feeling well,” said Giri.

Giri’s mother came in. Velu ran away.

“Giri, don’t talk to them. They play cricket and break our windows. I shout at them. But they keep coming back,” said his mother.

“Ok, mother,” said Giri. But he thought Velu was nice. He could hear them shouting and laughing.

Giri was not feeling well the next day also.

“We should see the doctor. I will go and fetch an auto from the main road,” said Giri’s mother.

“Mother, I don’t want to be alone,” said Giri.

“We have to go to the doctor, Giri,” said his mother. “Your fever is high.”

Thump…thud!

“Those boys are here again,” said Giri’s mother. “I shall go and catch them.”

As Giri’s mother came outside she saw a boy peeping into the window of Giri’s room. It was Velu.

“Here! how dare you…” she shouted.

“Aunty, Giri is sick. You take care of him. My father is an auto driver. He will take you and Giri to the hospital,” said Velu.

Giri’s mother was ashamed of her behaviour. “Thank you,” she said. “I am sorry for scolding you like this.”

“That is all right, aunty,” said Velu. “My mother scolds me all the time. But I don’t get angry with her. I don’t mind if you scold me, too.”

Within a few minutes an auto came to Giri’s house. Velu and his father helped Giri get into the auto.

Soon Giri was well again and he started going to school. Velu and his friends were playing cricket as usual…but Giri’s mother was not scolding them anymore. She let them play to their hearts’ content.