The back garden of my home borders Isipathana School (a large boy’s school in Colombo). At first when I moved in to our home I found this quite annoying. Invariably the first quarter of the year we had to put up with an un-tuneful band practicing for the Independence day (celebrated on February 4th) accompanied by a teacher with a grating voice on a loud speaker giving instructions for formation dances etc. They got somewhat tuneful only by about the 2nd of February. Then this was closely followed by the Sportsmeet, so from 7 in the morning till about 4.30 in the afternoon the tuneless band continues along with the teacher on the loudspeaker, plus children screaming and cheering during sports practices. This is not all. We would invariably have cricket balls and footballs sailing over the fence at various ungodly hours and then we would have scruffy children pole valuting the fence to get in to our garden or screaming ‘anti bole’ (aunty Ball). Then we raised the chain linked fence and that got better. Now they just peer through the fence in to our garden and home.
But after sometime I got used to them.
The main attraction of our garden for them, is the mango tree which has most of its branches hanging over the chain link fence in to the school grounds. During mango season I find bricks, sticks and stones thrown in to my garden as they attempt to break the mangoes from their side of the fence. As long as they don’t break any windows in our home I am quite comfortable with them stealing mangoes from their side of the fence. After all I don’t have the motivation or the ingenuity to get to their side and pluck the mangoes from our tree. I figure the mango tree knows who enjoys its fruits the most and therefore has leant more towards the school than our back garden.
Today I observed in marvel two little boys with a stick trying to break the mangoes on their side of the fence.
I marveled at their patience. The stick was puny but not their will. I saw them around 2.15 in the afternoon. I would really like to know why their parents have not come to pick them up from school. But this is not my business I guess. I went back in to the kitchen which faces the back garden around 02.45 to make myself a cup of tea. They have not been successful in breaking the mango. But they were still at it.
It is amazing how focused and committed children can be when stealing mangoes. I wondered with little hope, that this focus and commitment was probably not shown when the parents eventually took them home and asked them to do their math homework!
Then again, from some distant memory I seem to recall that stolen mangoes are much sweeter!!!
Weekly round-up and open thread
6 days ago