Danny deer, Meeku rabbit, Gogo giraffe and Jumpy monkey were close friends.
This year, for the Dussehra Mela they had each got `50 from their parents and the four friends were excited about going to the fair. Today was the last day of the fair when Ram kills Ravan.
On the Ramlila ground, tall puppets of Ravan, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad were built on one side. On the other side of the ground, the stage was set where the Ramlila play was taking place. As soon as Ram took out an arrow and shot Ravan with it, all the three puppets were on fire.
After seeing them burn, the four friends went to visit the various stalls. The fair looked lively with decorated sweet, toy, and flower and pottery shops. There were many swings for children to ride on and there was a balloon shooting counter. There were huge cut-outs of heroes and heroines, which anyone could take a photograph with. There was a long queue for the same.
There were chat-pakodi, golgappa, lassi and peppery chowmein stalls, where everyone was eating delicious food.
Some small shopkeepers were selling their goods on the streets by displaying them on bedsheets.
At the fair, Meeku, Gogo and Jumpy were craving to eat the mouth-watering food items.
Meeku enjoyed hot gajar halwa, Gogo had golgappas and Jumpy who was fond of bananas, ate a lot of them.
However, Danny was not interested in food. His eyes were searching for something, but he could not find it.
Meeku, Gogo and Jumpy took a ride on the giant Ferris Wheel. Meeku then bought Ravan’s gleaming sword. Gogo bought Ram’s bow and arrow and Jumpy bought Hanuman’s mace.
“Hey, Danny! Why aren’t you buying anything? Do you intend to save all the money and take it back home?” said Meeku, holding the sword on his shoulder.
Gogo and Jumpy laughed at this. Gogo held the bow on his left hand and arrow in the right hand like Ram. He felt as if he was Ram. Holding the mace on his shoulder, Jumpy felt no less than Hanuman.
Danny could still not find anything for himself. Then he saw Blacky bear, selling clay flowerpots. Blacky was waiting for customers.
As Danny saw the flowerpots, he remembered the day when Environment Day was celebrated at school.
Forest Officer, Jeetu cheetah had visited school as Chief Guest, and had explained, “Dear children, trees give us oxygen to breathe. They provide us with fresh fruits and medicines to stay healthy. Trees are essential to life. But, the biggest enemy of the environment, like the demon king Ravan, is air pollution, which can be defeated only by planting more trees.”
As he remembered the Forest Officer’s words, Danny thought that the true meaning of Dusshera is to fight various evils in the form of Ravan. He thought of fighting the demon ‘air pollution’ by growing plants and trees.
He went to Blacky and asked, “Uncle, how much for a flowerpot?”
“Son, a flowerpot costs `30.”
After bargaining for a while, Danny bought two pots for `50.
The flowerpots were so heavy that Danny could not carry them in his hands. So he held both on his shoulders.
Seeing this, Meeku took out his gleaming sword from its sheath and said, “Danny, are flowerpots to be bought from a fair? Look at my sword. It can cut off the enemy’s neck in a single blow.”
Saying this, Meeku started brandishing his sword in the air. Danny stepped back in fear. But as Meeku twirled the fake sword vigorously, its fragile handle broke away, leaving the blade apart.
Meeku was disappointed. He had no other option but to put the broken sword back into its sheath.
Seeing this, Gogo said, “Meeku’s sword is fake. Look at my bow and arrow. These are real. One single arrow is enough to destroy the enemy!”
Gogo then pulled the bowstring to shoot the arrow. But as soon as he pulled the bowstring, it broke. Poor Gogo was embarrassed and started tying both ends of the broken string.
It was now Jumpy’s turn to show off. Twirling his mace, he said, “Danny, look at my mace. If I hit your flowerpots with it, they will break into pieces.”
Danny was scared as he knew Jumpy was very naughty. He held on to the flowerpots even more firmly.
Jumpy hit Danny’s flowerpots hard with his mace, but to everyone’s surprise, Danny’s flowerpots remained intact and the mace quashed!
It was disappointing for Jumpy to see his mace in such a state. He started fixing his dented mace. After this incident, Meeku, Gogo and Jumpy walked back home quietly. There was no point in boasting, as each one’s weapon had broken, whereas Danny was walking proudly with his flowerpots.
When Danny reached home, his mother asked, “Why did you bring these flowerpots? You had gone to the fair to eat and have fun.”
“Mummy, you prepare such delicious food that in its comparison, I found all the food dishes and drinks at the fair tasteless. This is why I did not eat anything. Now I am hungry. Is dinner ready?”
Danny’s mother hugged him and laid out the dinner.
The next day, Danny planted saplings in both the flowerpots and took utmost care of them. Within a few weeks, both the plants grew taller. One day Meeku, Gogo and Jumpy visited Danny’s house. He showed them the green plants in the flowerpots and they were amazed to see them. They could not stop themselves from taking selfies with the lush green plants.
Now Meeku, Gogo and Jumpy decided that they too will save their pocket money like Danny and buy flowerpots and grow plants in their homes. These plants would not only last longer but they will also help in keeping the environment clean and help in fighting the Ravan of ‘air pollution’.