The Mother Of Fruit Trees

“Neera has been a cheerful girl. She loves nature and children but this is her third miscarriage. I just hope she recovers,” said Neera’s mother to her obstetrician and a teardrop rolled down her wrinkled cheeks.

“If she loves nature, take her to some hill station nearby or to a beachside. I can understand. She was in terrible trauma last night. It will be difficult for her. Medically she should be fine in two weeks but now she needs a lot of love and support,” said the obstetrician.

The next day, she was released from the hospital and Aman couldn’t bear her glossy eyes with silent and fallen face.

Nothing worked to bring a smile and so one fine day Aman decided to drive her to Mussoorie. The vibrant colours of flowers shining and dancing under the sun on one side and snow-capped mountains on the other imparted a smile to her grim face after months. Aman thanked God and stopped to take this memorable picture.

As they reached their resort, she saw a small girl working in the garden in a tattered hat and dusty frock. Her face was not visible yet Neera was intrigued. As she approached her, the gardener told Neera that she was her speechless niece who had recently been orphaned in an accident. Neera’s heart skipped a beat and she caressed the girl’s head.

“What’s her name?” said Neera.

“Khushi!” said the gardener, “But unfortunately all her khushi (happiness) has vanished.”

That night she decided to adopt her and Aman felt more than happy with her decision. They were extremely happy to note that her name was ‘Khushi’.

Back home, Khushi started working on Neera’s lifeless garden. Along with flowers, she sowed the seeds of mangoes, berries, jamun, lemon etc. With time the trees started growing. Khushi was growing along with those trees. Neera somehow connected those trees with Khushi. While Khushi joined  school, Neera started taking care of them. She would talk to them, caress them and water them with utmost love. Each and every single tree bore flowers and then fruits.

The fruit trees gave her an idea. She started working on it by planting more fruit trees in her locality. She urged her neighbours to grow fruit trees in their garden. She herself sowed them in green areas.

She started a campaign, “One Person, One Fruit Tree”. Her idea behind this campaign was – greenery, better air, shade and organic fruits with accessibility to poor around.

Aman was happy that Neera had found her happiness. Though some found it weird but many supported her and called her, “The Mother of Fruit Trees”. It is turning into a campaign now. Aman and Khushi often join her in the mission.

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Ritu Gulabani

Author of “From Caterpillar to Butterfly” and a mother of two young boys, when Ritu is not busy with her kids, kitchen or daily chores, she is writing, reading or concentrating on self-improvement through yoga, meditation and healthy children recipes.

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