When I was six years old, we went to live in a place out of town — it was almost deserted, with no shops around and only two neighbours. We lived in my school quarters as my mom worked in the same school where I studied. Our home was within the school campus. Everything was lovely — the silence, that cool breeze, vast empty space . My home was amidst beautiful trees. There were many varieties of trees and plants, like coconut trees, gooseberry trees, and lovely flowering plants. So I could say those trees were my gang of friends as I had no friends of my age there. I can still remember those lovely evenings when my dad would carry me on his shoulders, walking through the coconut trees, both of us immersed in our thoughts. During those walks, my dad would tell me some facts, which now I realise to be very valuable in my life. My dad said that trees can hear our talk and sometimes can even reply. This thought helps me when I am lonely or feel dejected. So it is here that I learnt the important lesson of loving nature. I had a friend there. His name was Thomas and I called him “Thomas anna”. We would play cricket, and I would hit sixes often, guess he must have given me the chance as I was little, not sure, but I loved my sixes. I also had the experience of sleeping under the sky, with my dad beside me, telling me stories. Mom and I would take walks too, though not the same as with dad, but lovely in its own way, Mom had to work very hard and she did not have time to talk to me like dad, but she too taught me many things. I have a sister and we shared many adventures like stealing slate pencils and eating them, plucking gooseberries, swinging in the swing together and performing stunts. Sunday mornings was exploring time as my dad and I would go searching for medicinal plants. So that place was the most wonderful place I have ever lived in and my family made it so. Even though we had no luxuries, my family made that place lovely.

N.NANDHINI, XI A, The Lakshmi Mills Higher Secondary School, Kovilpatti.