The summer vacations had just begun. Amol was eagerly looking forward to the arrival of his cousins from Bangalore. His cousins Reema and Gaurav were expected in Mumbai in the first week of May. Amol loved his cousins very much and enjoyed spending time with them. His uncle and aunt were in Mumbai for a very short time and hence Amol was looking forward to making the most of the time available at their disposal.
Amol had planned to enrol in pottery classes and painting classes during the vacations. He was already learning chess. Amol’s parents’ grouse was that Amol was not reading as much as he should have been. Amol was more attracted to watching television, playing video games rather than reading. This was something that his grandparents were not happy about.
The D-day arrived. His uncle and aunt and cousins arrived in Mumbai. The celebrations began. Amol and his cousins played indoor games, cricket and watched television, ate pizzas from Dominos, relished the ice creams, visited the neighborhood malls, and went for a trek in the nearby hills. Before long, Amol realized that his cousins were getting ready to go back to Bangalore. He had loved the time spent with them so much that he had lost track of the fact that one week had passed off so quickly. Gloom set in.
Now, what will Amol do? How will he spend his time? On the last day before his departure, Amol’s uncle started reading him stories from Panchatantra, Ramayana, Amar Chitra Katha. His uncle also gifted him “Gokulam” magazine. Amol had never read such a magazine before. But he along with his uncle and cousins started reading the magazine.
After the departure of the guests, the house became desolate again. Suddenly, out of the blue, Amol’s grandmother asked him, “Amol, will you read me stories ? I am also feeling bored !”. Perhaps, grandmother had heard his uncle telling them stories and was now longing for someone to pay attention to her.
Grandmother’s request moved Amol. Ten years ago, his grandmother was so active that she used to tell him so many stories while feeding him. Later on, her health had deteriorated so much and she also suffered from poor eyesight. It had never struck Amol that he could have spent some time with his grandmother every day to relieve her of boredom. On realizing this, Amol felt apologetic.
Amol’s parents were thrilled to see the change in Amol. In the guise of reading to his grandmother every day, Amol has now become a voracious reader. What more, his father has enrolled for an annual subscription of Gokulam magazine. His mother is sure that Amol’s scores in English language in school will certainly improve. His grandmother who can understand English is so happy to listen to stories from Amol. Even as Amol awaits his departure to Bangalore in the Diwali vacations to spend time with his cousins, he sure has found a way to fight boredom and monotony. Isn’t this a win-win proposition for both Amol and his grandmother ?