The story revolves around the concepts of duty, responsibility, perseverance and pride. It hasnarration in the third person.The seedRakesh, the protagonist, digs the ground with a spade and plants a seed of a cherry tree hisgrandfather’s garden in Mussoorie. The plant is in the corner of the garden protected from windand snow. However, soon Rakesh forgets about the seed and gets busy listening to hisgrandfather’s stories and reading newspapers for him.
The TwigMeanwhile the seed continues to grow. Winter passes and spring arrives. One day, Rakesh isobserving the bird when he suddenly notices the plant which has grown into a twig with one ortwo leaves. He realizes the cherry that he had planted a year ago. Rakesh shows his grandfatherthe cherry twig.Grandfather advises Rakesh to take care of the plant now and water it Rakesh also circles theplant with some pebbles for protection.
Now, Rakesh’s interest is stoked. Every morning heobserves the plant’s growth but is left disappointed with its slow rate.The PlantNow the monsoon season approaches and the cherry plant grows faster and it makes Rakeshexcited. The following summer Rakesh goes home to his parents. He works on his farm andhelps his parents in sowing and planting crops.By the end of the monsoon, he is back with his grandfather.
He has grown up and so has hischerry tree. It has come up to his chest. Rakesh is getting more attached to his tree now andwaters it every day.Once Rakesh witnesses an insect on the tree but he doesn’t try and swat it away as he consideredit the tree’s first friend. Next he sees a hairy caterpillar feeding on the leaves of the tree. Rakeshhauls it and places it on some dry leaves to protect the cherry leaves.When winter arrives, the plant bulges under the weight of the falling snow. It snows so much thatthe road from the valley gets covered with snow for several days.
Grandfather grows frustrated because he could not get his newspapers as the roads are blocked.Consequently, his stories also have sad endings now.The FlowersRakesh turns nine in February and the cherry tree turns four years. It almost reaches up to hishead now. One day, his grandfather sees some pink flowers on the cherry tree. For Rakesh it isnothing short of a miracle.The next spring there are more flowers.
Birds and bees start drinking its nectar and the treegrows taller than him. Soon, Rakesh turns 10 and the cherry tree turns 5. Rakesh starts enjoyingbooks along with his grandfather’s stories. There are more birds came and even more flowers.
The FruitsFinally the next summer brings the first fruits. But when Rakesh eats them, they were sourinstead of sweet. Grandfather consoles Rakesh and tells him that the cherries would develop intotastier fruit the following year.One evening Rakesh asks his grandfather about the thing that made the tree. His grandfatherreplied that the efforts they put in to nurture the plant made it special.Rakesh admires the bark and leaves of his cherry tree, his own creation. Rakesh was somesmerized by it that he considers it to be a manifestation of God. He imagines that it was whatGod must feel about his creations.
Key Thoughts:The Cherry tree is a symbol of survival and it escapes almost eaten by a goat and being cut withthe grass. Just as human beings struggle in life so too does the cherry tree. But the cherry treeshows resilience and the ability to withstand adversities.
The bond between Rakesh and the treeis of care and nurture, just like a family who are care for each other. He never abandons his treeeven when the conditions become tough which highlights the dedication it takes to developstrong and binding relationships of affection and compassion.Rakesh is a guardian to the cherry tree. He fulfills his responsibility and in the end is rewardedfor his efforts. The cherry seed matures into a fruit bearing tree just like children grow intoadulthood and look after their parents in old age.
Furthermore, Rakesh’s grandfather fulfills his responsibility towards Rakesh in advising himabout living a healthy life. He is the light that Rakesh needs to walk on the right path in life. Heis nurturing Rakesh just like he is nurturing his cherry tree.Another theme of the story is the ability to start something new and help it to reach its potential.
Through toil and determination, Rakesh helps the cherry tree to grow stronger. Rakesh feelsproud of the cherry tree just like a parent is proud of his/her ward.