After multiple times trying to reach out to the boy - he was ever 'busy' in either changing tyres or 'greasing' trucks - I decided to put down my foot and bring a solution to this stalemate. I went to the shop at around 8 am and gave him some chocolates telling him 'it was my birthday yesterday.' He came out from a truck with an expression so placid a poker player would have gladly bought it for a million bucks, and took the bar from my hands.
'Shall I come in the evening after your shift ends? And we can study a bit?'
'Yes,' he mumbled, went to the shop, placed the bar on the table, and slid under the truck with the ease of a seal slipping into water from rocks. End of conversation!
I met him at 9 pm that night. 'I have to finish a repairing a tyre puncture,' he said.
I was bored of this answer now.
'Chalo, teach me also how to do it. Let us do it together.'
He was taken back by the offer and for the first time I saw some emotion on his face.
'Come on, either you learn from me, or I'll learn from you. I always wanted to try my hand at repairing punctures, so go on. I'll watch and learn.'
The owner looked at him and nodded his head as if to say 'you go.'
We went into the room where the boy stayed, ate, and slept. A small room with three lorry tyres stacked one on top of the other forming some kind of steps to reach to a bunk bed, where he and two more boys slept and kept their belongings. Quickly we hoisted ourselves up there and I had to sit crouched as the bed was close to the ceiling.
We started with simple sentences starting with 'I am' followed by a present continuous verb. Since we took examples from his own life, some sample sentences emerged as below:
I am changing tyre
I am repairing bike
I am sleeping
I am eating rice
I am playing badminton
I told him to call me on Sundays when he gets some free time to play and that I would also join him. I packed and was about to leave when my first mini victory came about.
Unable to believe my ears, I asked him, 'You want homework, you said?'
Nothing spurs a teacher on like the genuine interest of his student to learn. I gladly gave him some homework and promised to be back the next day, same time.
PS: The second mini victory was today (23/4) morning. I was writing this blog from work when he called. Just to check if he had the right number! :)