I held his hands as we walked across the field towards the trees inside, moving his firm old hands in systematic swings and singing the rhyme out loud as he requested. Passing across the long grasses and occasionally kicking them midway, we went on. Giving me a firm eye whenever he noticed me doing that to the “poor grasses”, Dada and I went ahead only for me to scream out in surprise at the berries hanging down the trees. I left his loosely clenched hands and ran towards the tree.
As I jumped to catch the berries, I realized that I just could not catch hold of even one of them. Making a face that exactly resembled that of the present-day “sad-smiley” and looking at him, Dada approached me with a big grin on his face. He just brushed up my hair, “buddhu kahin ka”, and just did the same to the tree by lightly shaking one of its branches.
All of a sudden, just like some magic, the berries just fell all over me. Some even hit me, right on my head. Suddenly the sad face of mine, gave way to a big grin, more than what dada had on his face. His face, as I can recall, had a content-filled smile spread all over it. In a way, he found joy in making me feel happy.
Just when I had collected almost all the berries and having eaten some of it, while collecting, I asked for more. Who knows, when will I get an opportunity like this again??
Then one very important thing is what Dada told me. He told me not to rush, it is enough for the day, explaining to me how we should not take away everything that the tree has to offer us, and just wait for it to be ready to give it to us. Although I wouldn’t say I understood all of what he said that day, in retrospection, I did most of it anyway.
Especially when teachers taught us how even plants are living things and how beneficial they are for our survival. Also looking at it, the buzzword of sustainable development, which we now hear so often, we have been exploiting the nature and overusing the resources that are given to us as a gift by the Almighty is what we have been doing, but is something which we should have been very careful about in the first place.
That same day, when walking back, instead of kicking away the long grasses, I just looked at them as to notice what are they going to offer to me later. Meanwhile, I was again back to swinging away from my Dada’s hand like before, carrying a bag of berries in my other hand and singing away the rhyme like before.