My Orange Plant

Atharv Agrawal, Class 7, Delhi Public School, Bengaluru

People pick up tomatoes from me every day. Seeing all the people pass through the fences, each day is very boring. Being sprayed from pesticides and insecticides and hearing people shout and fight, that’s it! I do have some friends. And they think likewise. It’s boring. Seeing the sunset regularly is an opportunity many people don’t get. But we get bored seeing the sunset. Every day, it’s just the same orange sun. What’s so beautiful?

Our owners disturb our sleep by spraying water early in the morning and, even after all these years, I don’t understand why. Why so early? Can’t humans just relax a little?

The kids in that house trouble us by plucking leaves and stems. But of course, no one knows that plants have feelings. Or at least they don’t care about it. And then, pitch black. Strong winds blow and it’s time to say good night.

On another very early morning I yawned, and to my surprise, the pesticides weren’t in my roots. But what surprised me more, was a new friend sitting right beside me.

“Hello, you must be new. What’s your name?” I asked him. He was pretty small, a seedling, most probably.

He yawned. I seemed to have disturbed his sleep. “Oh, hello, who are you?” he talked in a feeble voice. It felt strange. Whenever I was awake, I had the blazing sun facing towards me. It turned out that it wasn’t morning yet.

“Hi, sorry to wake you up so early, I asked you name. Are you new?”
“Yes, I think so, I guess I was sleeping when I was brought here from the nursery. But this place is a lot worse than my childhood home.”
“Oh, you spent your childhood in the nursery, well then perhaps you could sing the alphabet song like those mischievous kids in the house?”
“I am still a child, I am only 3 weeks old if I have counted correctly,” he said.
“That was just a joke, okay? And why are you so small and where have you come from?” I got a little impatient.
He stayed calm, “I first was in a jungle where I had my mom standing beside me all day long. It was a very nice and peaceful place. Then, after a week, when I was as big as a weed, I think, I had come to a place called a nursery. It was a bad place. I stayed there for a long time until I… Ouch! What was that?”
“Bee Express aka Pesticides and Insecticides. I call it that because it stings a lot.” I answered.
“Okay whatever, I was saying that I stayed there for a long time until I came here,” he said. “It was always much nicer in the jungle.”

Soon, we became friends. The others too got familiar with the baby plant. In a matter of time, he grew up and turned out be an orange plant. We all called him orange. He was very talkative. He had a great sense of humour and soon the days that used to be boring earlier became more active and fun. My friends and I could never be as creative as him.

Days passed and our surroundings kept changing. Some of my friends dried out and some grew up to trees. Apple was taken away after he was as much as fifteen feet tall. Mr. Fern dried out. He was the eldest in the garden. Soon, I too was shifted to another garden. It was way bigger and the soil was more fertile and comfortable there. But my old house was better. At least I had friends back there. Here, the whole place was almost empty. I felt very lonely.

A whole year had passed by. I was shifted again. This time to a public garden. After spending a few days over there, I heard a voice. A familiar one. I looked around to see if it was one of my friends. And, surprisingly, it was Orange! I was confused as I didn’t quite recognize him at once. Now I had a great friend, sitting right beside me. In a few days, the garden felt like my old house. It wasn’t lonely.

One fine day, I woke up with the same old yawn, and noticed that Orange was missing. I looked around but failed to find him. Days kept passing by, and he didn’t show up. We all got really worried and sad, so we stopped talking to each other. It got very quiet, and lonely, without Orange. He was the only one who used to bring joy to us and now he was gone. Neither the sun’s shiny rays nor the moon’s beautiful, creamy light cheered me up. All my friends were droopy as well. Whatever jokes they made failed to cheer me up. The garden was nothing but a graveyard for me without Orange.

And one day, we saw a small plant right beside us. He was as small as Orange when we first met him. He looked exactly like the baby Orange who first showed up in the garden.
“My father told me that you were his best friend,” he said to me in a feeble voice.

February, 2024

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