There were other trees in the compound before the house was built, including an old peepul that had forced its way through the walls of an abandoned outhouse, knocking the bricks down with its vigorous growth. Peepul trees are great show offs. Even when there is no breeze, their broad-chested, slim-waisted leaves will spin like tops determined to attract your attention and invite you into the shade. Grandmother had wanted the peepul tree cut down but Grandfather had said, ‘Let it be, we can always build another outhouse.’
     Grandmother didn’t mind trees, but she preferred growing flowers and was constantly ordering catalogues and seeds. Grandfather helped her out with the gardening not because he was crazy about flower gardens but because he liked watching butterflies and ‘There’s only one way to attract butterflies,’ he said, ‘and that is to grow flowers for them.’
Before the bungalow was built, there were many other trees in that compound, including an old peepul tree. It had grown and pushed itself inside the walls of a lonely outhouse, after breaking the bricks with its strongly grown barks. The author says peepul trees are generally boastful. Even when there is no breeze, the leaves spin and move like tops, just to attract us to come into its shade. He has described this part with humour and imagination. He says the leaves have broad chests and slim waists. The author's grandmother did not like the peepul tree emerging into the outhouse; she wanted to cut down the tree. But grandfather had told her that they could build another outhouse and let the peepul tree remain.
peepul leaf.jpg
Peepul leaves - broad-chested and slim-waisted!
Grandmother was not against trees, but she liked flowering plants better. She constantly bought a complete list of seeds for growing flowers. Grandfather also helped her with her garden. More than the flower garden, grandfather liked watching the butterflies that were attracted to the flowers. That's why he helps his grandmother. He had mentioned that growing flowers is the only way to attract butterflies.
Grow flowers for butterflies!
Meanings of difficult words:
forced its wayto move ahead by pushing and making way
abandonedhaving been deserted or left alone
outhousea small building joined to or near to a larger one
vigorousstrong, healthy, energetic
showoffsa person who publicly boasts about themselves/their accomplishments
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-1 English Standard-6. When the Trees Walked - Ruskin Bond (pp. 107-122). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.