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GIANT STEPS

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“……As per the information, tomorrow will not be a working day.” I jumped with joy as I heard about the fact there is no school next day. I quickly switched on the TV to know the cause behind the sudden declaration of a holiday. I expected a strike or a hartal, but the reason was something entirely different.

I heard about the most recent visitor of the district, I was worried and nervous at the same time. As I looked into the TV screen, all I could see were a huge mass of black in front of the throng. I saw the image of what we usually comprehended as an innocent creature who had the greatest ability of patience and who was easily tackled by a man’s skill.

While I read the scroll news displayed beneath it, I realized with a jolt that he was in a very bad temper. I assured myself that it was not the ordinary form of the giant, that I was seeing right now. Because the news revealed that the so-called Tusker has diminished a life.

All my joy vanished in a second. This had happened near our school just after we all had left. I prayed a word of thanks to god because of the narrow escape the students have made. “The whole city is tensed as the single Elephant stomps furiously around the school campus. Roads jammed and shops closed as the Tusker continues his rage.” Said the news.

Watching the news I thought about what the people felt when the fruit trees were felled and forests were destroyed. The elephants or maybe the whole of the wildlife might have faced something worse than what we were facing right now. They might have had their territories and homes smashed. They might have lost their family members.

And now we are gripping with fear as the wildlife wants food and shelter to survive. We are trying to drive them as mad as possible and we never think about how they will drive us out of our home.

 We are less likely to be hated by the animals more than a man, yet we call the animals wild and the people civilized. We should never ever forget that each and every animal has a right to live in this world just as you and me.

The people sit enclosed inside their homes as the Tusker fulfills his hunger and anger.

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HUNGER GAMES

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My ginger cat seems to have had nothing to eat during the past week. He looks weak and skinny and his shiny golden fur had turned into a colorless cream. He meows sadly staring at me with his tired eyes. I rush up to the kitchen and provide him with a glass of milk.

As he laps up the milk gratefully I wonder about instances where I could no longer bear my appetite. Hunger is dreadful. I leave my thoughts behind as I involve in various chores of the day.

That evening I walk through the garden with no particular intention. My father joins me in my walk. I point at Ginger lying down on the grass sleepily looking at me and say “He did not come for a week” to my father.

After a long moment of deep silence he asks, “Do you know when the happiest moment of a human’s life is? “When a person can stay with a person for whom he loves and cares for the most.” I say to him carefully choosing my words. “Well! Not exactly!” he throw an arm around my shoulder and continue, “The most delightful moment in a person’s life is when he gets the thing that each one of us is living for. FOOD. To subside away hunger.”

These words are enough for me to dwindle away into my own world of thoughts. Hunger! A child, a man, birds, animals………all of them are having food to live and living to have food. A source of sustenance for us all. We earn money for making food to contain our hunger. And do all of us get enough food to eat?

I am lucky, to have the food that I ask for. I am blessed to be part of a country that faces no problems in providing food for us. I am fortunate to be a human who can eat food as much as I wish to.

So what about the children who die every day without a grain to eat? What about children who suffer malnutrition? What about people who die of unhygienic food? A flash of innocent faces pass through my mind.

We sit here, having party and having excess food, wasting the food we are provided not even caring a little about the people who die each day out of hunger. We sit here listening to the political parties who promises to yield a better future for the people. And yet again we forget those innocent faces who are wistfully waiting for a piece of bread to eat, a drop of water to drink and to live.

I will try to use the best version of myself as not to waste anymore of the most valuable source of living. I swear to eat only up to how much I ought to take rather than throwing away the food. I wish through these steps I can give those happiest moments of life to at least some children who hardly make the two ends meet.

 

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MOTHER NATURE

Earth-destroyed-due-to-air-pollution
ON WORLD ENVIRONMENT WEEK

 

The sun, the moon, the stars and trees,

The heavy rain and the gentle breeze,

All of these the gift of nature,

Why don’t we save it for the future?

 

With the food and shelter, we eat and nap,

Everything we do in Mother Nature’s lap.

For all of us the nature care,

We destroy the gift is it fair?

 

To live our life, we breathe the air,

And we cut the trees how dare?

To live our life we drink water,

But then we do not care we just litter.

 

Our dear life is in nature’s hands,

But still we befoul nature’s lands.

 

How can we put nature to an end?

Isn’t that a deadly offend

“Oh! Help me dears” the nature cry

To save nature why don’t we try?

 

 

 

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GIRL OR BOY?

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I would like to be a boy,

‘Cause boys have all the fun and joy.

When girls like boys can jump and run,

Why do boys have all the fun?

        You are a boy, do not cry,

        You are a girl, you need to be shy.

        This is what they say

        The entire lengthy day.

Being the girl is the best,

‘Cause they are the one really blessed.

A girl shows everyone concern,

From which boys have a lot to learn.

        The women shows power

        When men take dower.

        When boys are empty

        Girls talk a plenty.

What is the trouble being a girl

They are as good as a Pearl.

        It doesn’t matter a boy or girl

        Everyone in God’s eye is equal.

All of them are from the womb of mother,

Then why should we differ one other?

All of them has the right

To be as strong and equally bright.

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FIRST BELL

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The vacation was the lone solution for the everlasting term-end examination. All my classmates including me were equally anxious for the term end that we squandered our time planning our holiday rather than scheduling the exam time table.

At last the last day came and the entire school was on chaos. The last school bell rang and the children were running helter-skelter to home. I came home and settled peacefully on the sofa which was supposed to be the thing over which I spent most of my hols reading and writing.

The suddenly vacant timetables made me content. No school, no homework, no exams…..I slept until the sun touched my toes, I read until my eyes hurt, I sang ’til my throat was sore, I wandered until the twilight came. I enjoyed the chirping of birds, mooing of the cows and the gentle sways of the plants (these all which I hadn’t noticed during working days). I relished the hols as anybody would.

After about 2 weeks, the emptiness in my timetable started taking toll of my mood. I started feeling quite disturbed due to the absence of my friends. Gradually I started realising the impact of my school in my life. There is nothing that can replace the school days- I thought to myself. The fun at school cannot be substituted by the holidays-nothing can.

The home works and assignments had kept away the idleness within me. I thoroughly crave for the company of my friends who are real mood turners. I mostly miss my teachers who never fail to give home works. Today, more than ever I yearn for the reopening of my second home.

The knowledge, values, social awareness, friendliness……………I miss them all.

I stare into the blank, cloudless sky, turning blue as twilight approaches and now eagerly wait for the school to open again which would let me fly high to the top. I am zealously waiting for the first bell.

 

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UNIVERSAL BOND

DEDICATED TO MY PARENTS
         ON MOTHER’S DAY

 

The sun has the might,

For he gives us power and light.

Father is the family lead,

For he gives an ear to our every need.

 

The tree shows us the heed,

For they provide shelter and food to feed.

Mother is the one who nurture,

For she makes her child bright for future.

 

Father gives us enough wealth,

So we can enjoy good health.

Mother shows us how to be kind,

When others hurt our delicate mind

 

There is a bond between the sun and father,

There is a bond between the trees and mother.

 

Mother and father are our dear,

They are the guide to fight our fear.

The love towards them cannot be expressed,

Nor can they be merely guessed.        –                              

 

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MY ILLUSION KINGDOM

 

 

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One of the frequently visited places include the dentist’s. The long drawn wait for the doctor is almost immediately utilised by my long lost imagination. On a regular busy day at the clinic while expecting the doctor my thoughts wandered into the clinic gardens which were fully occupied by different species of animals involved in their own antics. I caught sight of a bird almost bursting out trying to communicate with the other members of its tribe.

Just like a stroke of lightning an imaginary world unfolded in front of my eyes. Suddenly it seemed to me as if the people had converted into all sorts of animals.

I presumed……..

The squirrels were busy blabbering to each other about how difficult it is to maintain an ever-growing tooth. The birds confused and disapproving at the sight of the signboard newly painted with the words, ‘NO TEETH, NO SEAT’ at the threshold of the clinic. It is rather tough for the roosters who instead of their cock-a-doodles say ‘good morning everyone’ in a sing song voice.

The currently moved in mongoose captured my attention. The beautiful set of teeth of the animal reminded me of the age old practise of disposing the plucked tooth by pleading the so called mongoose to give one of its pretty teeth. Though I had faith in the ancestral practise the result was entirely the opposite of what I had asked for. Thanks to the animal, I have got a nice place to visit every month. The animal moved out with an enormous smile, certainly making the others jealous.

The chime of the nearby clock tower brought me back my senses. The time slipped away too soon as I shared my thoughts to my mother who always encourages my weird thoughts.

My turn is nearing and the illusion animal kingdom had to be obstructed.

 

 

 

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THE SPEAKING TREE

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“THE SPEAKING TREE” is an everyday article in ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’. The first time I caught my eye in this article, I assumed that it was based on a tree that can talk. I hastily started reading it, but to my utter disappointment it had nothing to do with a talking tree. My mom considers this article as if it is a precious flower vase, though I think it is a doleful read.

Whenever I read the writing, my mind wanders off into the great unknown. “What if a tree could speak?” One day I asked myself. “Would the trees be selfish just like humans?”

That evening I climbed over a branch on the mango tree to get a better glimpse of the sunset, the branch was too tender to carry my weight that I slipped down over it and fell down with a bump over the heap of dried leaves. My mother mocked at my fall. “What is so funny about it? Have you ever tried sitting on one?” I asked angrily. “Tried sitting on trees? The trees were study tables when I was small. I use to read, write and play sitting above them…….Good old days.” She stopped and continued watering the plants.

I leaned on to the mango tree. I closed my eyes and once again the questions arose in my mind. I silently shared my doubts with the tree. It was twilight and the trees were listening mutely to my question, or so I thought. A profound silence had spread over the nature and I felt as if the plants were all staring at me. Then suddenly a voice boomed from somewhere above the branches.

“Once when the earth was young and we the trees where in abundance, people lived in amity and harmony. We bequeathed them with food and shelter. As time went by, the lush green earth transformed into gorgeous villages, towns and cities. Only a few lucky trees were chosen to live in huge cities, I was among one of them. Smoke and dust rose into the air in the cities but we were stout enough to engross them. Each morning when I woke up, one of my friends was gone. The fact of how they died remains a mystery for us. As days went by I was the only one who was standing. But there was now a sudden rise in temperature and humans were struggling for their survival. So I persuaded the sun to reduce its heat. But he replied, “I am blazing the same way as I scorched when the earth was young”. The earth’s protection was slowly wearing away, and I did not know how. My branches were taken and brought in this place.”

The tree’s version of speaking seemed to penetrate deep into my heart. How selfless they are. The trees around me swayed a little in the breeze as if they were nodding in agreement to the trees words. How true…..they have always been to protect us and in return we gave them pain and sorrow. But still, just like parents who are dumped in old age homes and not even looked after, just like parents who are abandoned, they care for us. They say not even a word of their agony.

I slowly become conscious that everything has happened in my head. “Trees have the same nature as that of a mother” I recalled these words that once my mom had said. I looked up at the trees that were around me, I touched their branches and I could feel the blood flowing through them and their warm beating heart.

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THE EARLY VISITOR

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It was an unusually beautiful morning; I could hear distant chirping of early birds who were up early for catching the worms. My window pictured the blooming roses which faced towards the rays of light spread across the vast sky which was slowly dawning into a new day.

Along with the nature’s diverse sounds I heard a muffled voice from the sitting room. First, I thought I was imagining it, but then I was sure it was quite a sound. I stood up shakily from my bed. My mother was fast asleep and so I walked to the sitting room in an attempt to welcome the early visitor.

Slowly I unbolted the door, now I was able to hear deep intake of breathe from behind the door. It somehow seemed less human. I was sure the early visitor was up to no good. I armed myself with the nearest flower vase and steadily open the door.

The next thing I saw made me stand rooted to the spot. It was a strange scene, I, who was armed with a flower vase standing before a six foot body, its face lined with tangled mane and wearing a very humanoid expression. Yes, it was the king of the jungle on my door step. “Hi” I said without even knowing I had spelled it. I almost expected it would say “hi”, but he gave a sudden uproar. He started yelling at the top of his voice, “Wake up! Wake up!” I stirred for a moment and woke up to find it was all a dream.

Though I am a constant dreamer of weird hallucinations, this dream seemed somewhat linked to my life and sure enough it was.

After a few days I woke up earlier than the others. The morning was very foggy and cold. I stepped out from the bed and walked straight to my living room to open the door and catch a glimpse of the icy morning. I opened the door and suddenly a gush of icy wind followed by a shrill cry came to view. I looked left and right in order to find the source of the sound. There was nothing except the fog visible. I looked down on to my mat where usually the paper boy drops the paper.

The sight that met my eyes made me jump. It was a small body with no mane but white whiskers. It gave a wide yawn which displayed the sharp canines in its mouth. It had stripes on its body unlike the lion that I saw in my dream. There in the mat lay the miniature form of the king of the jungle. It was a lithe, pale but a cute little ginger cat on my mat. This time I did not wake up to find it was a dream. It was REAL.

I thought it would suddenly break into a run on seeing me but instead it started meowing really human like. From its look I realized that it was very hungry and so I rushed to the kitchen got a vessel in which I poured milk and was about to give it to the cat, when he suddenly broke into a run and vanished behind some bushes. However I placed the vessel and closed the door. I was sure even if that cat did not drink the milk some other animal will. I did not dare open the door. I went back and proceeded with my activities.

I never expected the cat will return again but to my utter astonishment he came again the same he came the last day. After a few days of continuous feeding of milk and snacks, he looked more lovely and cuter than any other cats.

His early visits played a dramatic effect in my friendship with the animals and a certain love for them rose somewhere in my heart.

Ginger has become the part of our family.

                                                                                                                 SHREYA.M.NAIR