The boy in the blue T-shirtJul 21st, 2009 | By editor | Category: Delhiwaalah, Young World
Sumit saw the boy in the blue T-shirt as soon as he walked into the park. And something about the boy, perhaps it was the way he was so confidently walking on the slide instead of sitting irritated him. And Sumit immediately decided that he didn’t like the boy in the blue T-shirt.
The boy in the blue T-shirt was sliding down a small slide and as Sumit ran to his favourite slide, the biggest in the park, he laughed at the boy’s cowardice in sticking to a baby slide. From the top of the slide Sumit could see the whole park — all the trees, the children running and screaming, the little knot of big girls giggling in a corner. But Sumit had eyes only for the boy in the blue T-shirt. The boy had twisted his cap around, so that the bill stuck out at the back. Did he have any idea how very silly he looked, Sumit wondered. He watched the boy in the blue T-shirt out of the corner of his eye, finding him silly, foolish and cowardly.
When Amma opened the door, Sumit announced, “There was a new boy in the park today. He was wearing a blue T-shirt!”
“Really?” asked Amma. “Did you play with him?”
“Play with him? I didn’t like him at all. He seems such a coward. And he is a show-off.”
When Sumit set out for the park the next evening, he could not help thinking of the boy in the blue T-shirt. In fact, he had thought about him all day and now he hoped that the boy in the blue T-shirt wouldn’t be in the park again.
It seemed as if his prayers were answeed because there was no sign of the boy anywhere in the park. Sumit heaved a sigh of relief and headed for his favourite slide. A boy in a yellow T-shirt whooshed off the slide, landed at Sumit’s feet and grinned at him. “Want to race?” he asked and Sumit nodded eagerly. They raced each other across the park, collapsing in a laughing heap when they could not run anymore. And it was then that Sumit asked the boy, “Are you new around here?”
“Yes,” the boy nodded, “We only moved yesterday!”
“Really?” Sumit was surprised. “There seem to be lots of new people around here! Just yesterday I saw a boy in a blue T-shirt playing here – in the park, Such a…”
“Hey!” the boy said, sitting up suddenly, “I was wearing a blue t-shirt yesterday!”
Sunit stared at his new friend in horror. Was this the boy he had hated so much yesterday? He realised he didn’t know. He had been so busy disliking the boy that he had only noticed his blue T-shirt and all his faults. He hadn’t noticed what the boy looked like, how well he climbed the bars, or even how fast he ran. “No,” he said hoarsely, “it wasn’t you!”