When the Trees Walked
Listen to your teacher read the first part of the story. Many things described in the story can be seen in the picture. Find and name them.
One morning while I was sitting beside Grandfather on the veranda steps, I noticed the tendril of a creeping vine trailing nearby. As we sat there in the soft sunshine of a North Indian winter, I saw the tendril moving slowly towards Grandfather. Twenty minutes later, it had crossed the step and was touching his feet.
There is probably a scientific explanation for the plant’s behaviour _ something to do with light and warmth perhaps _ but I liked to think it moved across the steps simply because it wanted to be near Grandfather. One always felt like drawing close to him. Sometimes when I sat by myself beneath a tree, I would feel rather lonely but as soon as Grandfather joined me, the garden became a happy place. Grandfather had served many years in the Indian Forest Service and it was natural that he should know trees and like them. On his retirement, he built a bungalow on the outskirts of Dehradun, planting trees all around _ lime, mango, orange and guava, also eucalyptus, jacaranda, and Persian lilacs. In the fertile Doon Valley, plants and trees grew tall and strong.
There were other trees in the compound before the house was built, including an old peepul that had forced its way through the walls of an abandoned outhouse, knocking the bricks down with its vigorous growth. Peepul trees are great show offs. Even when there is no breeze, their broad-chested, slim-waisted leaves will spin like tops determined to attract your attention and invite you into the shade. Grandmother had wanted the peepul tree cut down but Grandfather had said, ‘Let it be, we can always build another outhouse.’
Grandmother didn’t mind trees, but she preferred growing flowers and was constantly ordering catalogues and seeds. Grandfather helped her out with the gardening not because he was crazy about flower gardens but because he liked watching butterflies and ‘There’s only one way to attract butterflies,’ he said, ‘and that is to grow flowers for them.’
Do you know
India has more than 17000 species of flowering plants. Tamil Nadu with more than 5000 species - nearly 1/3rd of the total flora of India probably has the highest diversity in India.
Discuss and answer.
1. When did the garden become a happy place for the author ?
When author's grandfather joined him the garden became the happy place for the author.
2. What are the two reasons the author gives for the plants moving towards grandfather?
Light and warmth.
3. Why does the writer think that the peepul tree is a great show off ?
Peepul tree are great show off, even when there is no breeze, their broad-chested, slim waisted leaves will spin like tops determined to attract one's attention and invite into the shade.
fertile - able to produce a lot of plants or crops
abandoned - left without care
vigorous - healthy and strong