The Coconut Tree

Three brothers decided to do something adventurous in their teenage years, not merely thinking of their present, but of their future.

By Cyma Khan
Some years ago, three brothers decided to do something adventurous in their teenage years, not merely thinking of their present, but of their future. One day, one of them came up with an idea that according to him would create an extraordinary life for them or would simply make their death memorable.
“We’ll plant three coconut trees in our backyard, one for each of us,” he said.
The other two brothers, who seemed very confused, said to him, “O brother! Planting trees in not adventuresome. It is something our gardener does on a regular basis. We doubt your plan!”
The brother, smirking at their confusion and disagreement, proceeded further and said, “O stupid people, let me finish first. I’m certain about my plan that nobody could’ve thought about it before.”
The two other brothers stood there silently, looking like total fools from their expression, and asked him again, this time with a little more eagerness, “Then say it quickly!”
The first brother replied, “When we grow old, whoever among us dies first, his tree will be cut down with his death, and so on. Thus, surely our death will become memorable and people will remember us forever. Isn’t it adventurous?”
All three of them agreed to carry the plan forward, thinking that soon they would create history and the nearby residents would remember them and their story even after they had left the world.
They worked according to the plan, very diligently, planting three coconut trees in a straight line in their backyard. It was the duty of each of them to look after their respective tree, making sure that it was growing up along with them.
It is not known whether their family already knew about their adventurous concept or they kept it hidden till the end.
A few years ago locals found that the middle coconut tree was chopped down and only the first and the third one remained. Then, a few years thereafter, the tree standing last also came to its end.
And now only the first coconut tree remains, belonging to the brother who was the mastermind behind the entire plan. He is rarely seen to people and has also become mentally ill.
This feeble old man, who barely seems in his senses, is mostly found sitting quietly on his terrace soaking in the sunlight. His children parted away from him, his brothers died gradually, and his loving and caring wife also left the world, leaving him all alone.
Surely people remember their story and they’ve made their death remarkable but nobody remembers the old man who is alive and lurking in his own little space.
People now wait for the last coconut tree for the time to bid it farewell.
(The writer is based in Asansol (West Bengal) and can be reached at [email protected])

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