The Garden Guard - A Short Story

The Garden Guard


The Garden Guard - A Short Story

  "Mohan uncle, what are you doing now?", asked Nandalal when he met him after a long time.  Mohan was the guard of a fruit garden of zamindar Mishra Seth. The fruit garden was the favorite of the local children. They used to sneak into the garden to get some fruits to eat. The locality was composed of middle- class people, mostly laborers. Mohan stood guard all the time. He used to sleep in the garden - both day and night. He did not have a family as the people knew because they never saw or heard of his family. Besides, Mohan would eat at the Zamindar's house and slept in the garden. So, people took that Mohan did not have any family. The zamindar had many gardens, many acres of agricultural land and other lands also. Like all zamindar, he disliked the local poor people and their children. Mohan only guarded the fruit garden that was in the locality of Nandlal, a village boy.


                Nandalal was in class V in the local school. His father was a farm-laborer and his mother was a housewife. Rasikpur was his village. In the afternoon and at noon on holidays, Nandlal used to play in the field close to the fruit garden, which Mohan used to guard. While playing they often sneaked into the garden and threw stones at the hanging fruits, especially Khoksa and ran away with the fallen fruits when they saw that Mohan was not there. Sometimes, Mohan came in when the children went into the garden to collect fruits. He chased them. The children ran and hid in different places. That happened nearly every day, but Mohan never complained to any guardian. Perhaps he liked that.


            Days passed. After clearing local school education, Nandalal went to a town college for higher education. Meanwhile the zamindar fell all the fruit-trees of the garden that Mohan guarded. He did not give Mohan any alternate job. Mohan became jobless. The local people felt sorry for him. Mohan left the locality. He seldom came there.


          After college education, Nandalal came home. He became smart and tall. Hearing Mohan's sad story, he felt very sorry. One day, while going to his relative's house in Seemapur Nandalal accidentally met Mohan and he was so concerned about him that he asked, "Mohan uncle, what are you doing now?"  Mohan did not answer him, but his torn clothes answered that he was then jobless. 

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The Garden Guard - A Short Story


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