Highly Commended Story - Sub-junior Category
“Thanks Giving” by Manya Harsha, Vibgyor High Bangalore, India, is the Highly Commended story in the sub-junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Manikyasiri is a small village in Kovila, surrounded by the lush green forest and a long river flowing across the village. Because of its close proximity to the forest, Manikyasiri is frequently visited by the pack of elephants, deer and peacocks. The villagers wholeheartedly welcomed the animals and lived in harmony with the wildlife.
Since ages, the villagers of Manikyasiri have been the devotees of Mother Nature and The God of rain. Every year the villagers showed their token of gratitude to the Goddess of nature and The Rain God by offering the sacrifice of a hen to cut down negativity and bless Manikyasiri with more prosperity. Like always this year too, the village was all set for the annual Thanks Giving ceremony with grandeur and grace.
Ten year old wise Ramu had visited Manikyasiri for the annual Thanks Giving ceremony with his parents. Ramu’s grandparents Mr and Mrs Nambiar were the head of the village. Ramu’s father Chinna Nambiar lived in town with his family. On the occasion of Thanks Giving ceremony to Mother Nature, the entire village along with their family members, no matter which part of the world they lived, were supposed to be a part it. To Ramu, who always skipped this ritual for some reason or the other, this was his very first time at Manikyasiri.
Ramu was welcomed wholeheartedly by the entire village with love and affection. He was overwhelmed with joy over a grand elephant ride, a dance with the peacock and for the mouth-watering delicacies of Kovila. As the day of thanks giving approached, Ramu found Chikoo, the Hen, which he daily played with ever since he came to Manikyasiri was being the symbol of sacrifice to Mother earth as a part of the Thanks Giving ceremony. His little heart cried for the poor hen. He felt it hard to digest the fact that his mornings would be incomplete without the Cock-O-Doodle-Doo of little Chikoo.
With a heavy heart, Ramu ran to his grandfather, hugged him tight and cried his heart out” Ajja, do you really feel God would be happy over the sacrifice of a poor little hen and bless us! That little creature itself is a part of nature. Killing an innocent life in the name of sacrifice isn’t any Thanks Giving.”
Ajja tried to console the boy and explain to him that it was a tradition followed since ages and that it couldn't be stopped. Ramu continues, “Ajja, Thanks Giving in the true sense would be to plant more trees, save every drop of water, promise to not to pollute mother earth. Please stop this inhuman sacrifice”, cried the little boy in pain.
Mr Nambiar looking at the boy, realised how inhuman was his decision. He then said “Dear Ramu, you have made me realise the true essence of Thanks Giving. To teach and to learn, there is truly no age barrier. Your true compassion for this little creature has made me realise my mistake”. Ramu’s parents smiled in pride. Ramu was full of smiles as his entire family and the villagers had agreed and obliged to his request and respected his thoughts. Here onwards Manikyasiri was blessed with the best rainfall, fertile soil and prosperity. All thanks to the little thought of afforestation and thanks to Mother Nature.
Moral: Live in harmony with nature for a better future.