Mohan loved his Baba. He loved his mother and father too. But he was happiest when he was with Baba, his paternalgrandfather. Baba told him stories and never ever scolded him. One day Baba got a basketful of mangoes for Mohan. Mohan was thrilled! Baba washed the mangoes and then both of them sat down to relishthe sweet fruit.
“Baba,” said Mohan, “I wish we had a mango tree in our garden. Then we could pluck and eat the mangoes whenever we wanted.”
His grandfather nodded. “But do you know that a mango tree gives us many other things too?”
“Like what, Baba?” asked Mohan.
“My child, as the tree grows, it gives us shade. We use its leaves to make garlands for festive occasions.”
Early next morning Baba brought home a mango sapling.
“Mohan!” he called as soon as he returned, “See what I’ve brought for you! When this mango sapling grows into a big tree, parrots and koels and mynahs will sit on its branches.”
“Most birds nest in trees,” continued Baba. “Trees are good friends both of birds and people.”
Mohan was puzzled. “But trees can’t talk,” he said. “Baba, how can they be our friends?”
“Because they help us, my child, like friends do, even if they can’t talk to us.”
Mohan looked even more perplexed.
“I’ll explain,” said his Baba. “Trees take in a poisonousgas named carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in exchange give us clean air or oxygen.
Without oxygen, we would not be able to breathe! We would not be able to live!”
“But Baba, then why do people cut them down?”
“Some people are greedy. They want to sell the wood and make money. They don’t realise that trees keep the air clean for us to breathe.”
“I understand, Baba,” said Mohan. “Trees are our best friends.”
Baba planted the mango sapling in the soil in a corner of the garden.
“Baba, I’ll water it every day,” Mohan assured him. “And when there are mangoes on it, then you and I will eat as many mangoes as we want!”
“My child,” said his grandfather with a smile, “your Baba may not be able to, but you will surely eat many delicious mangoes from your tree.”
“But Baba, why won’t you eat the mangoes?”
“Because your Baba is already an old man!” his grandfather laughed. “But you will surely enjoy my gift to you for many years.”
“No Baba, you have to eat the mangoes too,” Mohan insisted. “We will eat them together.”
Baba stroked Mohan’s head. His eyes twinkled with affection.
“May God always bless you, my child,” he said. “Love this tree as you love your Baba.”
Time passed. Every day Mohan watered the mango plant. Slowly it grew into a tree with shiny green leaves and then yellow-white blossoms. “Kuhu! Kuhu!” sang the koel as it perched on the branches of the tree. Other birds too made the tree their home.
Mohan was very happy. But then, one day, god took his beloved Baba away. Mohan wept bitterly. The koel called. He remembered Baba’s words: “Love the trees as you love me.”
Edited version of A Bond of Love by Pushpa Saxena
A) Please make your own sentences with the following words. Your sentences should show that you understand the meanings of the words.
paternal – on the father’s side of the family
relish – enjoy greatly
sapling – a young tree
puzzled – confused about something
perplexed – confused and slightly worried
poisonous – causing illness or death when taken in by the body
insist – to hold firmly to an opinion
stroke – to pat or touch gently, as a sign of affection
twinkle – to shine brightly
B) Discussion Points:
- Please describe the relationship between Mohan and Baba.
- Talk about the benefits of trees.
- Name two or three benefits and uses of the neem tree.
- Why did Baba say that he would not be able to eat the mangoes from the tree?
- Tell us a little about your paternal grandfather, as well as your maternal grandfather.
- Please write a few lines of dialogue between:
you and your teacher/boss/father/sibling.
Make the dialogue about a subject close to your heart.