- This story is written by Ram Kumar and translated by Alok Bhalla.
- A family had come to a hill-station to spend their vacations.
- They had booked a cottage with an orchard which had trees laden with cherries.
- The children in the family were really excited about the Cherry trees and wanted to pluck them but the problem was that the cherries’ had not ripened.
- Moreover, their eldest sister had taught them that plucking raw cherries is a sin and can leave you ill.
- None of her younger sisters and brothers could disobey her because she was the eldest and would not punish her siblings by scolding or beating but not talking to them.
- The mother of the family was worried about their eldest daughter’s marriage. She used to discuss it with her father for hours.
- One day a man came to the orchard and started inspecting the trees.
- He had two yellow teeth. He asked the narrator to have him meet his father.
- After he left the children ran to their father, curious to ask him about the contractor.
- The next day an old man came to guard the trees . He set up a lot of provisions to make his guarding easier. He looked quite friendly.
- The children were quite confused at this point of time. They had mixed reactions, they were neither happy nor sad.
- After the cherries ripened , the Contractor’s men came and started plucking the cherries in a really harsh manner, which destroyed quite a lot of trees.
- A bulbul was also killed in the process.
- They plucked all the cherries , put them in cartons, lorries were being loaded continuously with the cartons.
- The contractor’s men had left the orchard devastated. There was not even a single cheery left on any of the trees. The orchard looked haunting to the children.
- That night, the family talked about the events of the day and the incident with the bulbul.
- The elder sister did not even a pay a slight interest to the conversation. She was engrossed in her own thoughts.
- The narrator could not go to sleep!
- The sky shone brightly with millions of stars.
- The stars seemed to be really close to the narrator.
- He went further, near to the woods. He realised that his elder sister was walking there too, quite ahead.
- He had a conversation with his sister but the sister did not reply back.
- Why were the children excited and then soon disappointed on crossing the gate?
Hints – Their previously rented houses didn’t have an orchard – they had one or two kinds of trees – disappointed because none of them could get a fruit – elder sister said the fruits could be poisonous – gave strict orders not to pluck the fruits.
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