Vinod sat still and looked out of his window. The lockdown was over but his work kept him in the city. His friends were working from home from their hometowns. It was so that his room mate too left him yesterday on long weekend to celebrate Holi with his family on a farmhouse. He had invited Vinod to join them, but Vinod was too occupied with his financial year end work.
He grumbled in his mind as the children below his building squealed with squirts from their waterguns. He had newly moved to this society so he barely knew anyone. He kept looking outside when he saw a water balloon burst near the playing children. They jumped all together and Vinod laughed loudly. He remembered how his brother had played similar games.
There was a splash sound on his balcony. He quickly went to check. He found a neon pink water balloon had burst, splashing the color on his off white floor tiles. He was intrigued and looked for the culprit from his balcony. Soon came another one rushing towards him. He moved just a second earlier and splash. Vinod smiled at his small save and at the mess made on the floor. Excited, he searched all the windows but found no one. Just as he turned around came another water balloon rushing at him. And the pink coloured water burst all over him. He quickly turned and saw someone duck from accross his building wing.
He decided to meet this new enemy. He rang the bell of the house of the opposite wing. He hoped it was the right one. A young woman opened the door.
‘Yes?’ She looked at his pink splashed shirt and pants.
‘Umm, was this damage from your balcony?’ He pointed his hands towards his clothes.
Beyond her he could see someone hiding behind the curtains.
‘Ram come outside.’ Her lips were thin line and eyes shining bright.
A boy around 9 years old, bespectacled, wheeled himself out. This child’s face tugged at his heart. Ram looked guilty and kept his head down as his wheelchair stood still next to his mother.
‘Did you do this?’ She asked him.
‘I am sorry uncle.’ He had this sweet lulling sound as he spoke.
‘Good aim.’ Vinod smiled.
Ram immediately looked up and smiled. He had large dimples on both cheeks and he looked most harmless adorable boy. They shook hands. Ram’s mother invited him inside. Over a cup of tea, they bonded and now on Holi; Vinod had an invitation for lunch and fun time with his new found friend.
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