The Surviour

Long time ago. there was a tiny island in the Indian Ocean which was called Aranya. The island was ruled by a wise and good chief named Parvat. The island was beautiful and in the centre lay a beautiful garden which had trees and flowers of all shapes and sizes,

The island had an annual ritual Every year on the first full moon after the rains, the people of the island held a grand festival in honour of their deity, Bhumidev. All the people dressed up in their best attire and gathered for the festival. On this occasion, the chief would select the most beautiful flowers in the garden to offer to their deity.

For the past eleven years, the rose had been chosen to be offered to the deity by virtue of its beauty and sweet fragrance. So everyone expected that this year too would be the same as the rose was indeed extremely beautiful with its double shades of red and pink. But the rose had become arrogant. It looked down on the other flowers and never allowed the bees and birds even the butterflies to linger on its petals.

‘How proud the rose has become.” said the butterfly to the sunflower as it sat on its petal one day. Soon the bees and the butterflies left the rose all alone and made friends with other flowers.

The rock behind the rose had a crack in the middle. Out of this crack, grew a plant with big heart-shaped leaves and lovely purple flowers.

No one knew the name or pedigree of this wild flower. Gradually news of this beautiful flower spread and the people of the town flocked to see it.

Like other years, the chief went to have a look at the various flowers in the garden—the rose, lilies, chrysanthemums, dahlias, and sunflowers. The rose was confident that he would be the chosen once again. All the flowers wished that this year they would be the lucky ones to be chosen by the king.

Suddenly, the chief pointed to the direction of the wild flowers and asked the gardener, “What flower is that? I haven’t seen it before.” The gardener replied that it was just a wild flower that grew on its own. The time came for the chief to announce the name of the most beautiful flower to be offered to the deity. The chief said, “Before I make the announcement I would like to tell you the story of a poor orphan called Jwala. Jwala was a very hardworking and intelligent boy who wanted to do something worthwhile in life. On the island, there was a very learned teacher who taught the children of rich and royal families. Hearing Jwala’s earnest request to be educated, the teacher agreed to teach him.

Jwala turned out to be the best and most capable student of all. Jwala emerged winner in all competitions and was chosen as the next chief by the reigning chief,” the chief concluded the story. “And that Jwala is none other than your chief today. I have reached this position by years of hard work and struggle. Like me, this wild flower has also grown on its own without any pampering and care that the rose received. So it is also a survivor like me and I choose it as this year’s offering.”

All the birds and bees leapt in the air and flapped their wings in joy as their friend was offered to the deity.

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