PDF chapter test TRY NOW

The author stood on the grass on the side of  the road and looked at the old house. The house looked almost the same, and it hadn't changed much. The old house was built with granite, and no changes were made to it. But there was a new outhouse and few trees chopped down. But the author was happy to see the jackfruit tree, which was still there at the side of the building. The tree was casing the shade on the wall. The author still remembered whatever his grandmother said.
There is a blessing on the house if the shadow of trees falls on the house. So, the author is thinking that the present owner is also getting the blessings from the same jackfruit tree. At the place where the author stood was a mechanical gate consisting of revolving horizontal arms fixed to a vertical post, allowing only one person at a time to pass through and as any young boy, he used to swing on it. He played on it till he was giddy. But now there is no turnstile, that opening was covered with a wall. Tall plants with big flowers had grown on the other side of the wall.
Suddenly a voice came up, asking him what he was seeing.
It was a distinctive voice. A girl looked at the man from the hollyhocks. She was just twelve or thirteen, with long black hair and eyes full of energy.
The man asked if the house was that girl's, and that he was looking at it.
She replied that it was her father's and if the man wanted to buy it.
The man asked what her father does?
She replied that he is only a colonel.
The man was surprised to hear the words "only a colonel?" why this word" only"?
The girl replied that he should have been a brigadier by then.
The man laughed out without control.
The girl was telling it seriously. She felt it was not funny and that even her mother felt that her dad should have been a brigadier by this time.
He just wanted to say something but stopped himself from saying as he didn't want anyone to be offended. He intended to make fun of the girl's father as he was still a Colonel. The man and the girl were on either side of the wall assessing each other.
The girl asked again if the man wanted to buy the house.
He said no, he doesn't want to buy the house.
The girl insisted that if he doesn't want to buy the house, then why was he looking at the place.
He told her that he used to stay in that house some twenty-five years ago when he was a boy and grew up as a young man there. Later, when his grandmother died, they sold the house and went away from there.
She was trying to sink in what the man told her. She thought that maybe he wants to buy the house, but he didn't have enough money. The man didn't look wealthy now.

The man told her that he was not thinking of buying back the house and that he just wanted to see the house again. He asked her how long they had lived here.

She said that she lived there for only three years and gave a smile to the man.

She asked if he would like to come in and have a closer look at the house.

The man asked if her parents would allow.

She told him that they had gone to the club and that she was allowed to bring her friends home.

He was still not convinced and said if even elderly friends like him are allowed inside the house.
She immediately asked how old he was?
He said maybe middle-aged, but he was young that day, and to prove that he decided to climb over the wall instead of going through the gate. Though he could climb up on the wall, he had to take some rest, as he was breathing heavily.
The man mumbled to himself that a middle-aged man like him is on a flying on a swing named trapeze.
She gave her hand and said she would help him climb the wall.
He wriggled into the flower bed, upsetting one of the stems of hollyhock.
As the man was walking on that grass, he saw a stone bench under a mango tree. It was the same bench where his grandmother used to rest when tired of trimming roses and bougainvillea. He just wanted to sit there for a while and will get inside the house later.
The girl sat beside the man on the bench.
They both were silent for some time. The man closed his eyes and was trying to recollect whatever happened in those days like the music of piano playing, the grandfather's clock which made a music or sound to indicate the time, the birds continuously chirping on the roofed platform along the outside of a house, his grandfather's car cranking and so on.
Slowly he opened his eyes and said to the girl that he used to climb the jackfruit tree.
She asked if he wants to climb the tree again. She said that her parents would not feel bad about it.

He was not interested in climbing. He said that after climbing the wall of the garden, he wants to sit there for some time and talk. He mentioned the jackfruit tree because it was his favourite place. He showed the tree and asked if the girl could see the thick branch, which was stretching over the roof. Halfway along that branch, there was a small hollow wherein he used to keep his treasures in it.
The girl asked what kind of treasures he used to store there.
The man said that he did not keep anything important he just kept some marbles which he won. The book he was not supposed to read, was hidden there. Also, a few old coins which he collected. Things whichever he liked. He said he was like a crow, collecting all bright objects and storing them here in the hollow. He said that he had his grandfather's iron cross, which was not his grandfather's exactly. His grandfather was British, and in those days, "Iron cross" was given to only Germans as an award of bravery during the First World War. When his grandfather fought in France, he got it from a German soldier.
The girl asked if he still has it.
He peeped into her eyes and said that he kept that in the hollow of the jackfruit tree, so he doesn't have it.
She asked in astonishment if he left it in that tree.
He answered that it might be still there as when he had to leave the place, the man had been very excited to sail on the ship, packing for the journey and saying goodbye to everyone, the man had merely forgotten whatever he has stored in the hollow of the jackfruit tree.
It has been twenty-five years, and it should be still there unless and until someone else has taken it away.
She asked if he would like to go and have a look at the hollow of the tree.
And then he said he can't climb trees anymore.
The girl got so excited that she said if he can't climb the tree, he can sit there and wait, and she will climb up to see.
The girl climbed the tree and found something; she was very excited. She shouted out that she had found something.

She did not wear her slippers. She just ran barefoot towards the man and showed him a rusty old medal.

The man took the medal in his hand and saw it over and over again.

The girl asked if this was the Iron cross, that he had cited.

The man said, yes, this is the one.

The girl said childishly, "Now I understand why you have come. You just wanted to see if the cross was still there in the tree."

The man said that he was not sure why he has come, but she can keep the cross as she had found it.
She said that he could keep the cross as it was his.
He said that it would have been left in that place for another twenty-five years if it was not for her to see in that tree.
But what if he would not have come back to see the house.
On the right day, at the right time with the right person, he was enjoying with that little girl. He gave the medal to her and said that he did not come for that, only to remind himself of his youth.
She did not understand that as she was too young and couldn't relate to it. She just walked along with the man till the gate, and till the road turned, he waved her goodbye. He went faster towards the bus stop. There was something more; the man was more active now.
The air was smelling of mango tree, and he felt more happy and energetic. For a moment, he forgot that he could not climb trees anymore.