The car stopped in front of the gate of Nikhil’s house.
Tarun’s friend Nikhil came running out and opened the gate.
His parents welcomed Tarun, Tara and their parents.
“We wanted to invite you some time back,” said Nikhil’s mother, smiling.
“My husband had to go out of Colombo so we had to wait until he got back!” she explained.
The two mothers went into the house after tea.
Both fathers started talking about politics.
Nikhil showed some framed family photos to Tara and Tarun.
There was a photograph of a young sailor. He looked very smart.
Tarun had heard from Nikhil that his grandfather had been a sailor.
“Is this your grandfather?” asked Tarun.
“Yes!” replied Nikhil.
“He looks very smart. Where is he now?” Tarun inquired.
“He is here, let’s go and meet him!” suggested Nikhil.
Three of them walked past a corridor and entered a large room.
There, Nikhil’s grandfather was seated in an arm chair.
He was reading a newspaper.
Tarun could not help thinking how different he looked now.
His face was wrinkled. His hair and beard had turned grey.
“Grandfather, Tarun says you looked smart in the sailor photo!” said Nikhil.
Nikhil's grandfather smiled.
“I am sure you were shocked to see this old and haggard man then!” joked his grandfather.
Grandfather put the paper away and asked Tara to come closer.
He asked her her name.
“Tara, what a nice name you have got!” he said smiling.
Then he took out a box and gave some sweets to Tara and Tarun.
Grandfather had a very good sense of humour.
So Tara and Tarun enjoyed his company a lot.
Tarun had heard from Nikhil that his grandfather had had a tough life.
His wife had died when his children were small.
So he had to give up his job as a sailor.
He had joined the government service and brought up his five children including Nikhil’s father.
Tarun looked at the good-humoured grandfather once again.
How wonderful the people who try to make others cheerful despite their tough past, thought Tarun.
He wished everyone could do that.