Taru

Jivas and his wife were poor and he earned his bread cutting crops. Soon after their marriage, they were fortuned with a daughter. They named her Taru (mother tree). They loved Taru and taught her well. One day while playing in the yard Taru found a seed and asked her mother what it was. The mother explained Taru how a seed gives life to a tree and how nature allows them to live. Hearing this Taru went to the entrance of the village and planted the seed. She walked every day to water the seed. She used to sit near it to watch it grow.

As Taru grew older so did the tree. She even fetched the dry leaves and branches of the tree to burn for the stove. Taru came of age and her parents got her married to a wealthy landlord’s son. But as fate would have it, her married life was a complete disaster. Her husband was cruel and would beat her at every little mistake. Sometimes he would just beat her to let out his frustration from work. Taru was helpless in this unknown village and missed her parents a lot. One day she lost all her patience and as she was being beaten, she ran out of the house. He chased her but she ran as fast as she could. She ran to find a place to hide. She reached the village entrance and saw the tree. She stood there in fear. Suddenly she saw a burrow under the tree and hid in it until he passed.

After the dark night, the first rays of sun hit the tree. There was a commotion as the village people gathered to notice Taru sleeping in the burrow. They asked what she was doing there. Taru narrated the incidents and the villagers ordered for the panchayat gathering. The panchayat (heads of the village) punished her husband and ordered him to take care of her and take her back with dignity if Taru still wished to go back.

The tree restored village’s faith in nature and became a symbol of life. Since then every village has a huge tree at the entrance where kids would play in the evening and the elders would socialize.

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