This is my first stint at Short Story. Stories are useful tool to indicate something, adding meaning to something more important than story itself. Hope you enjoy and give feedback. – Gaurav Sangtani

There was bright moon shining in the sky, sometimes hiding behind clouds and sometimes coming out. Cold wind was touching the face of Munnu who had come for a walk with his Dada (Grand Father). They were sitting on bank of River Ganga and Munnu was seeing the reflection of Moon in the flowing water of Ganga. This was his favorite part of evening walk with his Dada, seeing moving reflection of moon in Ganga. Munnu was four years old and he was very close to his Dada. Munnu was favorite of everyone in family but specially of his Dada.

Munnu used to ask lot of questions about everything he saw around him and his Dada would answer every question with patient in a way which Munnu could understand. He had already asked lot of questions about Moon and River Ganga, so today they were sitting relatively silent. Munnu was also looking at children of flower vendors playing at Ganga Ghat.

Forest Fire HillsSuddenly from view of Moon, Ganga and Children, Munnu’s attention diverted and he saw hills behind Ganga. He saw bright lights in those hills. He had seen those hills many times and had asked lot of questions about those, but this was the first time he was seeing this bright light on those hills. He became curious and asked his Dada:

“Dadu, what is this bright light on hills, it looks like Diwali lighting?”

Dada replied: “Munnu, its bright light but it’s not Diwali Lighting, this bright light is actually created by fire.”

“Fire? How can there be fire on hills?”

“Hills have trees, this is fire on those trees.”

“But Hills are so far, how can we see fire from such a distance?”

“Beta (Son)! this is not fire in one or two tree, this is fire in full forest. That’s why you see a series of light and you can see it from so far.”

“Fire in full forest? Such a big fire?”

“Yes Munnu, these forest fires on Hills are common and continue for many days.”

“For Many Days ! So full forest will be burnt? All trees will be destroyed?”

“Yes, all the trees in the forest will be destroyed.”

“So all the trees which are grown in so many years, will be burnt in this fire?”

“Yes”

“To plant  so many trees so much effort and time is required, to burn these someone must have planned for so many days and must have put lot of efforts to create such a big fire? Such a big fire that can burn full forest.”

“Munnu, its true that to plant so many trees lot of efforts and time is needed but not for burning these. A small act of negligence can cause all this. It is know fact that usually these forest fires are caused by someone throwing burning cigarette or match-stick and dry leaves catch fire and this fire slowly takes a big form and converts into forest fire burning thousand of trees.”

Munnu’s eyes were wide open in sense of amazement. He was just three years old but he could understand lot of things.

“So Dadu, one cigarette or match-stick can burn full forest and thousands of trees inside it.”

“Yes Munnu, remember it is not just one cigarette or match-stick, its one cigarette or match-stick thrown with carelessness by someone.”

“So Dadu you are saying one act of carelessness can destroy years of planning?”

“Yes Munnu, and also remember as one carelessly thrown match-stick can burn thousands of trees grown over years, so is case with friendship and relationship.”

“Dadu what does that mean?”

It was usual for Dada to tell a wise lesson to Munnu through simple examples in his language. Munnu sensed this time also, his Dada had something else to say and he was interested in knowing it.

“See Munnu, you have friends?”

“Yes Chunnu and Mithhi”

“Yes, so you and your friends have between you friendship.”

“Ok”

“You don’t become friend with someone you see first time. Do You?”

“No, you only told me na ki Don’t talk to strangers. But with friends I play daily, I share my chocolate”

“Yes, so friend is someone whom you know for long time, so your friendship is grown with that person over years with daily play and sharing. Your friendship is like those trees which take years to grow with daily water and sunlight.”

“So playing and sharing are water and sunlight for my friendship?”

“Yes, for any relationship, sharing, caring, respect and love are same as water and sunlight for trees. With time and these things your friendship, which elders call relationship, grows.”

“Ok Dadu, but you said elders call friendship as relationship, what’s that?”

“We will talk about that some other day, for now think both are same.”

“Ok, but if our friendship are like trees grown over years with sharing, caring, respect and love, can it also be destroyed?”

“Yes Munnu, that’s key… Now from next year you will go to school and will see world outside your home. You will make lot of friends, just remember this important thing.

Friendship or Relationship are like trees grown over years with sharing, caring, respect and love and like fire in forest, these can also be destroyed by your once act of negligence. It takes lot of planning, efforts and time to grow these relationship like trees, but destroying these doesn’t take much effort or time, just your careless behavior and disrespect towards other person can destroy your relationship for which you had put lot of efforts.

Creation always takes lot of efforts compared to Destruction. It is easy to destroy something in minutes which you can’t build in your lifetime.”

Munnu was nodding his head as if he was getting everything his Dada was saying. Dada started again:

“Munnu, I am not sure how much of it you understand at this age, but this one useful lesson you will need again and again in your life.

For now, if I make it easy for you, take good care in making your friends and but also take care that you keep those friends and don’t lose them from your careless behavior”

Not sure if Munnu understood lot of things, but while talking to Munnu, mostly Dada was also talking to himself, recalling his own experiences and what he had learnt from his mistake. While talking they forgot about time, it was already nine pm and everyone at home must be waiting for them over Dinner. They started walking towards and Munnu started asking again his small questions………

– Gaurav Sangtani

 

One Response to The Jungle Fire

  1. varun says:

    Very well said sir.

    Keep posting such articles, really motivating & a learning for life.

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