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Chandu And The Peanut Tree

Chandu was lazily munching roasted peanuts under the shade of the huge mango tree in grandfather’s garden. Summer holidays were almost coming to an end and like most kids; Chandu was enjoying thoroughly the last few holidays. Grandfather’s little garden was a great solitary place Chandu could enjoy. In the afternoons when the adults in the house would take an afternoon nap, Chandu would find his way to the garden.

When grandfather entered through the gates, he saw little Chandu merrily whistling and munching peanuts. ‘So,’ grandfather thought to himself. “Chandu is a nature lover, just like me!’ He prided. He went to the place where his grandson was sitting, knelt beside him, and taking a few peanuts in his hands said,” Do you love peanuts, Chandu?”

Grandfather and Chandu were very close. Chandu’s enthusiasm, naughtiness and innocence always fascinated grandfather, and grandfather’s gentle ways always attracted Chandu. “I do love peanuts, grandpa. But, can’t we have a groundnut tree in your garden? I would love to see it and collect groundnuts from OUR garden and give it to grandma so that she can roast them, and we all can have so much fun eating them together!” Said Chandu excitedly.

 

Grandfather thought for a moment and said – “ You will have to sow seeds for that, dear! Well, then, get up and fetch some good unroasted peanuts from grandmother. I know a place where you can have the groundnuts grow well.” Chandu loved the idea, and he was back in a jiffy with what grandfather had asked. Grandfather took Chandu to a little shaded place in the garden, where the sun was not too harsh for the little plant to grow. “This place is just right for the groundnuts, Chandu. Sow the peanuts here. Grandfather made a little ‘channel’ in the moist mud and let Chandu gently press the peanuts in and cover them with soil. “Water them daily, Chandu,” grandfather advised.

The little five-year-old kid now had a lovely responsibility. He had to care for something now! Chandu would do his duty religiously. He would water the place, where he had sown the seeds, everyday. Everyday while watering he would say, “Grow little seed, into a lovely plant, and then slowly grow into a tree!” and then wait near the place just to see if the plant has sprouted, as though somehow the little seed would listen to him.

One day, Chandu grew quite impatient, and was almost going to give up, when he saw two little green leaves jutting out in the place. “Hey! Hey!” Chandu exclaimed with joy and ran inside to tell the good news to grandfather. Chandu now had something to care for, something to protect and the little plant growing little by little brought great pride and joy to Chandu. But, the holidays, ended soon, and Chandu had to return to the town where he studied. While leaving grandfather’s home, Chandu sadly sat down near the little plant. Grandfather noticed little Chandu’s sad face among the many happy sunflowers in the little garden. “Don’t worry about your plant, Chandu, I will take care of it. O.K.?” A little assurance, and a few peanuts in Chandu’s hands, brought a smile back on his face.

Soon, enough summer turned to rainy and rainy season to winter season. It was time for Diwali holidays, and Chandu was looking forward to visit grandfather again! Before starting to grandfather’s home, Chandu phoned grandfather- to tell him that he was coming by the train. Grandfather told good news to Chandu – “The peanuts are ready, Chandu, we will take them out when you come!” During the train journey, Chandu wondered about the groundnut ‘tree’. It must be as big as ‘Grandpa’s mango tree’. I would climb ‘my’ tree and get peanuts! He dreamed and dreamed about the lovely tree. As soon as, Chandu reached grandfather’s home, he first visited the garden to see his groundnut tree! He ran to the place where he had last seen the plant. But, alas! Where was the tree?! “Grandpa!” Chandu called out in disbelief and running inside the house said,” there is no groundnut tree in the garden. Where did it go?!”

Grandfather understood Chandu’s confusion. He smilingly calmed Chandu down, carried him out to the peanut ‘tree’ and caringly asked, ”So, where do you think peanuts grow, Chandu? How big will your tree grow?” Sobbing, Chandu managed to say, ”My groundnut tree would be as tall as your Mango tree. And I thought that I would climb the groundnut tree and get groundnuts for you!” “Well,” said grandfather, “you probably have a little surprise waiting for you!” Putting Chandu down, grandfather pointed to the little shrubs. “These are your peanut trees, Chandu!” Gently, pulling out one plant out of the ground, so that its roots came out, grandfather explained – “and these are your peanuts! Will you help me take them out now, dear?”

Chandu’s joy knew no bounds. It did not mater if he did not have a huge tree; it was just the joy of growing perfect little groundnuts that he could share with everybody. When at the end of the day, grandfather and Chandu, finished removing all the groundnuts, they washed them clean, and let them dry. Next day, Chandu showed all his cousins and friends the little peanuts that he and grandfather grew together. In the evening grandmother roasted the peanuts, and everybody had a lovely time priding Chandu and laughed at the innocent story. “I suppose you have a lesson to learn from all this, Chandu,” grandfather said, “It’s not always high up in the sky, that we get what we want. What we love most might not always be as huge as the mango tree. Sometimes, there are little things like the peanuts that matter to us. And often it is in our roots that we find most of the things we want!” Chandu had surely learnt his lesson well!

Contributing Story Teller:  Rao Vandana Parankusam I am a lecturer of Aerospace Instrumentation. I love writing simple stories. I like translating short Russian stories into English too.

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