The Cherry Tree: A Study


About Ruskin Bond:

Born in Kasauli in 1934, Ruskin Bond is an eminent Indian author of British descent. He is one of the most loved authors of our country. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards for his literary contribution. In 1992 he got the Sahitya Akedemi Award. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2014. He now lives with his family in Landour near Mussoorie. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, received the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys award in 1957. He has written many novellas, stories, essays and poems. Most of his works are influenced by life in the hill stations at the foothills of the Himalayas, where he spent his childhood.

Summary of The Cherry Tree:

The protagonist of the story Rakesh plants a seed of a cherry tree and forgets. The seed continues to grow. One day he notices the plant and remembers that he had planted it a year ago. The plant has grown into a twig with one or two leaves. He shows it to his grandfather who suggests him to take care of it. Rakesh follows the suggestion. The monsoon arrives and the plant grows faster. The cherry tree has to face many difficulties. It is destroyed thrice. Once it is eaten away by a goat. At another occasion a grass cutter woman cuts it. At third time a hairy caterpillar eats the leaves. But despite these attacks the tree revives. After some time one day the protagonist finds flowers on it. For him it was a miracle. Birds and bees start drinking its nectar and the tree grows taller than him. Finally the protagonist of the story gets sweet cherries and ‘I wonder,’ he whispered. ‘Is this what it feels to be God?

Themes of The Cherry Tree:

Narrated in the third person, The Cherry tree is a beautiful and inspiring story by Ruskin Bond. It deals with the theme of struggle, resilience, dedication, conflict, growth, responsibility and pride. Here the cherry tree is a symbol of survival. Just as human beings struggle in life so too does the cherry tree. Here the cherry tree shows strength, ability, resilience and persistence against all the adversities. The story clearly emphasizes the importance of all these qualities in human life. The bond between Rakesh and the cherry tree is of care and nurture. He plays the role of a guardian to the cherry tree and at the end he feels proud of the cherry tree as parents are proud of their children. Another theme of the story is the ability to start something new.

I. Match the Words with their meanings:

i. Stem: Part of a plant coming up from the roots.
ii. Twig: Small shoot at the end of a branch.
iii. Foliage: All the leaves of a tree in a plant.
iv. Shoot: New, young growth in a plant
v. Blossom: Flower on a fruit tree

II. Objective Type Questions:

i. Who is the author of The Cherry Tree: Ruskin Bond
ii. Who is the protagonist of The Cherry Tree: Rakesh (Raki)
iii. When was Ruskin Bond born: 1934
iv. When did Ruskin Bond receive the Sahitya Akedemi award: 1992
v. How many times the cherry tree destroyed: Thrice

III. Short Answer Type Questions:

i. How did Raki distribute the three cherries between him and his grandfather?
Ans: Raki took two cherries and gave the last one to his grandfather.
ii. How would the cherry seeds prove lucky?
Ans:The cherry seed were lucky as they were planted into the soil.
iii. What did Raki find one spring morning?
Ans: Raki found a cherry tree one spring morning.
iv. Why was cherry tree so special?
Ans: The cherry tree was so special because it grew.
v. What does Raki think on looking at the full grown cherry tree?
Ans: Raki feels godly on looking at the full grown cherry tree.
vi. How many times was the cherry tree destroyed?
Ans: The cherry tree was destroyed thrice.
vii. Who ate the cherry tree?
Ans: A goat ate the cherry tree.
viii. Who cut the cherry tree?
Ans: A grass cutter woman cut the cherry tree.


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