Schools have all sorts of clubs – science club, social science club, maths club, music club, chess club and what not!
We too had quiet a few of them back during my school days. It was not mandatory to to join any of these.these. In fact most of these clubs went into long periods of hibernation and would miraculously wake up from the slumber once or twice a year to get all perked up!
But other than those rare occasions,these clubs had pretty dormant existence!
When I was in my eighth grade, a new club came in to being. It was headed by our PT sir and had a innovative name-Love Green Club.
As the name suggests, the club was formed to promote conservation of environment. The admission was free. Though I was not very interested, I was pulled in by a friend and was forced to sign up. So I went to the inaugural meeting , where in each member was handed a sapling.We then planted our saplings at the location assigned to us in the school compound. Near each sapling, a name tag was proudly displayed announcing who planted it.
The idea was pretty much simple, each students had to water and take care of the sapling they had planted. It was a romantic thought- leaving a trace back in one’s Alma mater- a green majestic tree bearing your name!
But yeah, kids will always be kids! At least most of the kids,including the mighty me, lived up to this expectation . After merely a week, the saplings were left alone to fend for themselves.
I nearly forgot the whole episode and Love Green Club became a dazed memory quite soon.
After a few months, a circular was issued by our PT Sir and co. The whole team of love green Club would be visiting each and every sapling that noon to see how well is it faring! The news caught most of us in surprise.
So off we marched from plant to plant. Nearly half of them had given up the fight and left behind not even a single mark to prove that they had once existed. Some plantlings were adequately watered and looked very healthy. The responsible students were reprimanded or praised according to the mortal status of the plants.
Soon came my turn. As I marched to the familiar corner of the school ground , I was very certain that my sapling had perished.After all, I had not even visited it after the first couple of days.But to my(everyone’s) surprise, there it stood. Weak, but definitely alive. My name was ticked off and the team moved on. But I stood there, rooted to the ground, my heart filled with a warm rush of affection towards my brave sapling.
There she was, she had survived the scorching heat,the lack of water, the trespassing cattle. She was alive. When half of the other plants silently succumbed to death, she fought.She was a fighter. I swelled with pride.Yes, my sapling was a fighter.
‘Survival of the fittest’, my mind whispered.She was a survivor, the perfect marker that I can leave back in my school.’I won’t give up on you ever again’ , I slowly caressed the tiny leaves of my sapling.
I watered her every day after that, three times a day. First thing in the morning,during the lunch break and before I left home!
Yeah, I forgot to say, after a week she shriveled up and died, may be I should have left her alone!