Krishna was being bullied and he had no one to help him, until the ice cream vendor stepped in.

The ice cream vendor was shocked. A big bully was hitting a small boy. The boy fell down and the bully was just about to punch him. The vendor intervened and pulled the bully away.

The vendor had been selling ice cream in front of the school for many years and he knew most of the boys. He pulled up the small boy asking, “Are you hurt?”

The boy began to cry. He had cut his hand and it was bleeding.

“Akash!” the vendor called the bully. “Get some ointment from the PT room.”

“What’s your name?” the vendor asked the boy.

“Krishna.”

“Why was Akash beating you?”

“He wanted money. I don’t have any!” His sobs had subsided.

“Are you a new student?”

“Yes, uncle.”

“Where are you from?”

“I am from the United States. My parents are doctors. They wanted to live and work in India.”

Friends

John, the ice cream vendor wiped Krishna’s tears and applied the ointment. Then he took out an ice cream from his cool box and gave it to Krishna.

Krishna hesitated. “Uncle, I don’t have money to pay for the ice cream,” he said.

“Doesn’t matter. Take this. This is a token of our new friendship.”

Everyday after school Krishna would go and stand next to the ice cream cart so that the bullies would not get at him. All the children liked John and his ice cream which was delicious, cheap and hygienic. Krishna’s friends were jealous of his friendship with the ice cream vendor. To spite him, they told the ice cream vendor that Krishna had scored only two marks in his Math exam. The ice cream vendor was upset when he heard this.

When he questioned Krishna he said, “I am weak in Maths. I don’t understand what is being taught in class. My parents are busy in their hospital.”

John took Krishna to his parish priest Father Mathews and asked him to allow Krishna to attend the special classes he conducted for the poor children. In time Krishna became friendly with the children in the tuition class. Sometimes the ice cream vendor would join the children and he would tell stories. When it was time for Krishna to go home the house help would come for him.

One day, the vendor was not at the school gate. Krishna was worried so he made enquiries at the church. Father Mathews, on seeing Krishna so worried, Father Mathews decided to find out. So they went to John’s hut. They found him lying on the floor, unconscious. Immediately they called for an ambulance and admitted him to the hospital.

The doctors recommended that he should undergo a surgery as soon as possible. Father Mathews looked at Krishna helplessly. But Krishna had an idea. He borrowed Father Mathews’ phone and called his father. He begged his father to help.

“Daddy, he is my best friend. Please come immediately and help him.”

Krishna’s father understood that his son was upset and came immediately. He was able to save the life of the poor ice cream vendor and Krishna was overjoyed.

When the ice cream vendor opened his eyes he saw Father Mathews, Krishna, the doctor and another man – it was Krishna’s father. He said, “You are my son’s only friend. Your life is very precious to us. We have saved you.” The ice cream vendor was happy.

Celebrate the bond of friendship on August 4.