YOUNG WORLD

Radhika visits her aunt

SUSHEELA RAGHAVAN

She wanted desperately to meet her aunt. But how could she go? May be she could walk the distance?

Kuthanoor is a small village situated about six km south west of Guduvancheri. A little girl called Radhika, lived in that village. She was very adventurous. During her holidays, Radhika wanted to visit her aunt, who had come from the U.S.. Her aunt was visiting her old mother in Guduvancheri. Radhika had never seen her aunt and wanted to meet her.

A long walk

She was so determined to see her aunt that she threatened to walk all the way to Guduvancheri. Her mother gave in and rather reluctantly gave her permission to walk. She also gave her a basket with murukku and athirasam and also sent some prasadam from the Vinayakar temple situated west of the village.

Radhika ventured out with a lot of enthusiasm. She imagined herself to be the Red Riding Hood of Grimms Fairy Tales. She did not want to take the main road to Guduvancheri. The road had a church on the eastern side, and a hospital north-west of the church. Instead, she chose to pass by the beautiful village pond with lotuses. There, she asked Kotteeswaran, the shepherd boy, to pluck a lotus for her so that she could take it with her. After passing the pond, she cut through a small scrub forest. In the scrub, she spied a fox and felt a little frightened. But to her surprise, the fox ran away. She saw an Indian lark (bulbul) singing and also a couple of drongos on the telephone wires. Soon, she came to a clearing, where she saw the main road leading to Guduvancheri.

She walked along till she reached her grandmother's house. She rang the bell and a smart looking young lady opened the door and greeted Radhika with a smile.

“Hello! My dear,” she said.

As Radhika sat down with a plate of rice murukku, she told her aunt how she had walked all the way from Kuthanoor.

Her aunt was proud of Radhika and said, “I never thought a young child like you could be so adventurous.” Radhika felt as if she had climbed Mt. Everest like the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

Suggested Activity: Ask each child to draw her/his own map based on the story, marking the directions North, South, West and East.