The Ice Breaker


© Copyright 2018 by

Photo of a soccer ball.
I regularly visit library and had a chance to interact with old people. They used to share their memories and experiences with me. One old man in the late 60’s was a popular writer. He never talked with any one in the library. People coming to library also never talked to him and used to spread rumors that he was a man of head weight and showed attitude. I initially started to believe others and showed aversion to the old man but still my mind lingered that the old man might have an interesting story to tell.

I got curious about this old man and made an effort to talk with him. He was very gentle and we had a good conversation. He was simple and never showed any sign of a national award winning writer. I understood that all the comments passed by other people in the library about this old man were just rumors. He laughed on hearing such comments about him. He told that “I am used to hear such comments and that is one of the reason that I am alone most of the time”. I asked him about his writing life and experiences. Paul, the old man shared with me one of the best experiences in his life time.

Paul was a normal writer working for a reputed concern. He had friends like every one do but five years ago, he received a national award for one of my article. After this his life changed altogether. His friends and neighbors started maintaining a distance making their own perceptions about him. Eventually, he became lonely and started to concentrate on his writing. He tells with deep regrets that he had lost himself in the process. A small boy changed everything and he broke the ice in him few months back.

Paul, the old man shares his experience with the little boy in a conversation style.

Alex, a boy in the age of 6 came into Paul’s home in search of his football. The boy was scared to take the ball from the home. The boy heard a commanding voice from Paul, the old man enquiring and approaching him with anger and football in his hand. Now the conversation begins.

Old man: Who are you?

Boy: I am Alex

Old man: Why are you disturbing me with your stupid balls?

Boy: I am sorry, sir, accidentally the ball came in

Old man: Where are your parents?

Boy: My parents went to work and I am playing with my friends

Old man: Where are your friends?

Boy: They are waiting outside and are afraid to come in

Old man: Why are they afraid to come in?

Boy: People say that you are evil

Old man: That’s all rubbish Alex. Pineapple is thorny outside but juicy inside

Boy: I do not understand but if you give me Pineapple juice, I will drink

Old man: Laughs..

Boy: Ok, then why are you alone in this home?

Old man: Well, it is a long story

Boy: Tell me your story shortly as my friends are waiting for me outside

Old man: Ok, my parents died when I was a child and I grew up in an orphanage. From then, I prefer to stay alone. I do not have family. I had a few friends but recently I received an award and they also stopped talking with me. I hate this society very much and stopped talking with them along time ago.

Boy: So sad, don’t you have any friends?

Old man: Books are my best friends

Boy: How can you play with them?

Old man: Well, I read them

Boy: Books are boring

Old man: Have you read any books?

Boy: I hate school and I hate books

Old man: Ok, then what you like?

Boy: I love playing with my friends

Old man: Ok, here is your ball. Go and play

Boy: I am tired, can you get me the Pineapple juice?

Old man: Laughs.. Are you serious? I will give you water this time, next time you come I will give you Pineapple juice

Boy: Ok

Old man: Gives water. It was really good talking with you Alex

Boy: You are not all that bad. You are very kind. Thank you for the water

Old man: That’s what I said Alex “Pineapple is thorny outside but juicy inside”

Boy: Lets be friends, shakes hands

Old man: Well, You will be my first real friend. Thank you for talking with me.

Boy: Bye. See you friend. Don’t worry, Be happy. I will bring all my friends tomorrow. Ensure that you have enough pineapple juice

Old man: Laughs.. Sure Alex, My doors are always open for you

That little boy broke the ice in the old man. I listened to his story patiently and felt sad for the old man. He has been longing to speak to humans for a long time. I requested to make him my friend. We were good friends from that day onwards and often met in the library to have a chat. I introduced some of my friends to him. I was eager to see the small boy Alex. The old man invited me to his home. I went to old man house and was shocked to see many kids playing football. I also watched the football match along with the old man with Alex taking the lead and scoring a goal in the garden of the old man. The old man was kind enough to give juice to everybody the entire summer.

I had a chat with Alex and Paul after the football match. It was astonishing to see the small boy commanding Paul, the old man to bring more juice as he was tired after playing football. Alex treated the Paul just like his other friends. Alex and his friends called the old man as “Juice man”. They all loved him. I wondered how a six year old can bring such a change in the mind of a popular old writer. Ultimately both were happy together.

I have 11 years writing experience including two years academic experience teaching Business School (MBA) students and nine years Industry experience. I have a passion for competitive exams. I have qualified TNPCEE, TANCET, NET, IBPS, SSC CGLE and UPSC Civil Services Prelims exams.

I received a National award for my Article “Information Technology and India” published in Competition Success Review Magazine, October 2016 issue. I was announced winner twice at Civil Services India Magazine, January and February 2017 issue. I received greetings and recognition from Prime Minister Office (PMO) for my Blog “Life of a poor and sincere Government Job aspirant” on 19th October 2017


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