Sunday, April 15, 2007

Great Job

There was a time when we used to stay in another rural area where my dad had built a house. It was surrounded by fertile land in which trees, palms and a luscious garden grew. We, as kids, used to play all sorts of games and get a lot thrill and sometimes chidings from the elders.

Once when my grandpa came from Madras for a longish stay, he felt obliged to plant a bed of peas or two. The rains came to give a respite from the summer heat and the peas grew into creepers. Soon grandpa got the farm hand to fix support for them. The series of interlocking sticks tied up supported the foliage. To our childish imagination it looked like a make shift shelter, quite convenient to go as our home in one of our games. As weeks passed, we were delighted to spy the pea flowers which were rather bright and attractive! One day we got carried away and plucked all the flowers. Then we had a bright idea. Why not take it to our grandpa. It would surely please him. So, off we went with our precious gift to him, but we got what we least expected. He screamed at us: You mad urchins, you had to spoil my pea garden! Uncomprehending the chaos we had created we looked at each other in stupor.

Later, when mom told us about the botanical truth of the pea, we just accepted we had perpetrated something terribly wrong. Nevertheless we never knew why everyone was so upset about our plucking the pea flowers, which were so, so pretty. Only when I was learning about growth of a plant in one of Mrs. Jacob’s numerous botanical classes much later, did I realize why all that commotion had occurred over the pea incident in our childhood.

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