Sister's Tree

Sister's Tree

8 mins

There was a lot of hustle and bustle from the evening as the people had started coming. I had to coordinate all activities and see that everything went on smoothly. All guests are to be attended properly with the best hospitality extended to all of them.

Today my daughter has completed one year and her birthday party dinner was arranged in the Colony itself. Exactly at 7 O’clock a neem tree was planted by my daughter right in front of of our quarter.

Guests were discussing amongst themselves on various aspects of the tree plantation on birthday. . Some people felt that it was good for the environment and felt the event would be cherished for a long time. By the time the tree planting, lectures and dinner ended it was almost night. After seeing the guests off we three , myself, my wife and daughter wanted to take some rest.

I was very happy that I could invite all guests for dinner on my daughter’s first birthday and they could enjoy the food. The whole day was spent with great fanfare. My daughter had fallen asleep in my lap so I placed her in her bed.We also slept after a brief discussion about the party and the guests

The time moves very fast .We can’t even imagine how it passes off so fast.. My daughter was now seven years old. Every year, planting a tree was a part of the celebration of her birthday. As the time passed by I was entitled, as per my seniority, to shift to a C type quarter from the present B type quarter.

My daughter had great attachment with the old quarter as she had grown in it. The six trees planted by her, one every year, had also grown big The first one had grown quite tall. We shifted to C type quarter feeling sad for those trees.

Another employee from our office shifted to our old quarter.One day he pruned the Neem( Margosa) tree ,planted by my daughter on her first birthday.In fact he had cut almost all branches of that tree.Now the tree was left with only three thick branches without leaves.

When my daughter came back from her school, she started crying loudly. She told,” The uncle who has come to our quarter has cut my tree.My tree must have been in great pains.He is a bad uncle.” She took a stick and moved towards the uncle’s house.She wanted to beat him with that stick.

“He has cut my tree. He is a bad uncle”. She went on crying for the whole day repeating the same ,even in spite of our attempt to console her. She cried till she slept. We too felt sad that we could not make her understand properly that without pruning the tree, it would have got uprooted by the ensuing storm.

After some days new leaves were seen on the same tree. My daughter became happy to see that.When I came from office in the evening she was waiting near the main gate of our colony. soon as she saw me she told,” Dad new leaves have sprouted in my tree.”Even though I was tired I went along with her to see the tree with the new leaves. Her joy knew no bound. She went on telling the children of the colony that her tree had got new leaves, as told by her father.

Now my daughter is thirteen years old. Much against my expectations my transfer order had come.We have to shift to a new place. When we decided to move to another town, my daughter became very sad. Every day she went near all those trees, planted by her on birthdays, and sat there for a long time.There were in all twelve trees. At regular intervals she told the trees “ Take care of yourself. Hopefully I may not come to this place again. But don’t forget me.I too will not forget you.”

We bought our own house in the new town.Town is big but our house had a limited space .It was not possible to plant trees. So myself and my daughter were worried as to how to plant a tree on her next birthday.After a lot of thinking we came to an agreement to plant a Vilva( Bael) tree in the adjacent park.As usual, my daughter planted the tree by her own hand.

This time my son too planted a sapling.It became a daily routine for both of them to take care of the plants. But it was not possible to plant any more because of the shortage of vacant space. It was not advisable to plant a tree at a far off place and not to take care of it properly. So we thought of planting a sapling every year on the flower pot.

It was almost 7 to 8 years since we had left our last town. By chance, I got instructions to go to Churu on official work.I thought that it was an opportunity to see our old friends after many years. In fact I was keeping in touch with few of my friends but it was only through telephone.

After coming from office in the evening I told that I was to go to Churu on official work for 2 to 3 days.My daughter became happy as she too wanted to go. She told me “ Dad,please don’t go now, as I have my exams .Let us go after my exams so that I may see my trees.I told her “ This is the governmental job and being urgent, it can not be postponed. So I left for Churu by bus next morning.

There were a lot of changes seen in 7 to 8 years. The road going from Fatehpur to Churu was now a National Highway. Buses were going fast.I started remembering those old days when a short distance of 36 kilometers from Fatehpur to Churu took 2 hours. The roads were bumpy and the passengers had to face a lot of hardship. Passengers suffered from body ache because of heavy jerks and jolting.

Now the same journey took only 30 minutes. The development has taken place at a very fast pace. After a five-hour journey, I reached my destination. Seeing the progress I was stunned. Broad roads, dividers on roads, lights etc gave the feeling as if the whole town has changed. I went to the hotel first and deposited my luggage.

At exactly eleven o'clock I reached my office. I was pleasantly surprised to see changes all around.. Those whom I had forgotten were waiting for the first time to welcome me. I could not believe that whom I had not met for many years had not forgotten me. The crows greeted me with their caw caws and came near me as if there was a competition as to who would reach me earlier.I stood still. I became emotional to see the selfless love of 40- 50 crows and started fondling them. I got immersed with the memories of the past days. They were the friends for whom I stood on my roof top for hours.I used to talk to them. They too sat on my shoulders or on my head. People thought that I was mad. They told that sitting of a crow on head was inauspicious. I should do something to thwart the evil effect. Still I ignored them keeping myself busy with those mute creatures , my friends and my family. I had not believed that they would greet me in such a manner..

Hearing the caw caws of the crows, outside the office, the people came out. They could understand the reason for the gathering of crows but they could not venture to come near me thinking that the crows may peck them in anger. To meet my friends in my office I left those mute friends fondling them with love.It was looking strange for the new comers in the office. They could not believe that crows may become so friendly with someone even after a gap of many years.

I felt somehow that the crows were forcing me to go near the tree which was planted on the first birthday of my daughter. I was surprised to see myself that tree had been cut completely with only a stub left at the bottom. It looked as though the crows were complaining to me saying “ See how they have mercilessly cut our Didi’s tree”

I was very sad.How a mute tree could have harmed them? I sat near the tree heart broken Probably the crows were more sad than me but they could not express. Just then the person living in that quarter came out and told me that the crows had killed the worker who was contracted for cutting the tree. They could not take the stub out till today because of the fear of crows revengeful attitude.

After hearing this I showed my gratitude towards those crows .I fed them with the meal I had brought from home just as I used to do every morning in the past. That night I could not sleep I thought that more than the human those mute creatures were intelligent as they had no greed.I could not imagine how the crows could put so much of their sincere effort to protect the tree planted by my daughter. They are the true friends of ours , of the nature and the environment.We may expect only destruction by humans but not by those mute creatures.

For three days I spend hours with those friends. At last the time came for me to leave. It was quite painful to leave them They probably could understand that I was about to leave them. They were not as jubilant today as on other days They were quiet and wished to express their true compassion for Didi's Neem tree silently. Tears filled my eyes while I left them silently without speaking a word.

Original Story :- https://storymirror.com/read/story/hindi/qrrhj3a7/diidii-kaa-pedddh

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