Ever since I read today’s prompt, a short story by Ruskin Bond “The Cherry Tree” has been on my mind. I remember reading the story during my English Class in school and I instantly fell in love with the story, the author and the mountains! So much so that I wanted to live in Mussoorie and have my own garden of cherry trees. Each story of Bond has made me fall in love with him and his portrayal of rural India.
“The Cherry Tree”, “Woman on platform No.8”, “The Night train at Deoli”, “Our trees still grow in Dehra”,”The room on the roof”, “The tiger in the tunnel” and so many more…This love affair with the mountains and Ruskin Bond continued to grow with each new story that I read!
His books have plots and story lines that are so simple and meaningful. You will simply fall in love with India and the mighty Himalayas. He is considered to be an icon among Indian writers and was awarded the Padma Shri in 1999 for his contribution to children’s literature.
“It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape.”
― Ruskin Bond,
This story “The Cherry Tree” is a typical tale for kids and revolves around the life of a young boy named Rakesh, who lives on the outskirts of Mussoorie with his grandfather .
The story starts with Rakesh eating cherries and deciding to plant a cherry tree himself. We are literally transported into his world as we read his struggles to plant, grow and protect the tree from natural predators and humans. Seasons come and go and as Rakesh grows so does the tree. And one fine afternoon when Rakesh is resting under his very own Cherry Tree, he realises what it really means to Create!
It’s a very beautiful story and gives me goosebumps every time I read it.
Here’s an excerpt:
‘There are so many trees in the forest,’ said Rakesh. ‘What’s so special about this tree? Why do we like it so much?’
‘We planted it ourselves,’ said grandfather. ‘That’s why it’s special.’
‘Just one small seed,’ said Rakesh, and he touched the smooth bark of the tree that had grown. He ran his hand along the trunk of the tree and put his finger to the tip of a leaf. ‘I wonder,’ he whispered. ‘Is this what it feels to be God?’
Here’s a link to the full story from some blog that I found – I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share – so…anyway, I hope you enjoy the story as much as I do.
© Ashwini Nawathe, Kaleidoscope of My Life
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