One day Mr. Bose was sitting on a bench in an abandoned park. He was staring to a yellow oleander tree. Beside him was seated a little girl whose eyes were also directed in the same way. Only her gaze was on another branch of the tree with withered leaves. She was not smiling. She was pale.
“Why are you so sad looking at that?”
Without answering she slipped away from the bench in certain direction. He tried to follow her. Just then a middle aged man came in the way.
“My daughter is suffering from a vital disease. Before being diagnosed she used to play around that tree. I bring her here every day so that she can refresh her memories. But she never plays. She just sits on the bench and stares it. She is not even responding to treatments.” The man said.
Mr. Bose looked at the withered leaves. He asked the man to bring some oil paper, colour box, paint brush and glue.
The next day when the little girl came she didn’t sit on the bench. She walked straight to the oleander tree and looked it carefully. She made a full circle around the tree. She came back to the bench… sat upon it. Then again went back to the tree. And then she smiled.
She started smiling a little louder. Soon it transferred into a joyful laughter. She started playing. Her father who was observing her came to Mr. Bose who was doing the same from another Corner with a grateful face. He thanked him for bringing back his daughter’s smile. He asked, “What did you do yesterday?”
“Tried to make green.” He patted on the back of the man and went away from there. The man remembered once he had heard someone calling Mr. Bose as ‘Smile-saviour’.
Mr. Bose had noticed that the withered leaves were the eye catcher for the girl because she was personifying them with her life. With the greying of the green leaves the tree was decaying day by day and soon would perish completely. Similarly her life would perish with the growing disease. She looked at the tree as a projection of herself. She started ruminating the death of herself and her projection. With the increase of the dead leaves she started to feel the spreading of disease in her own body.
She needed to believe that her disease is curable. Mr. Bose took the tree to inform this to her. He made some artificial leaves with the oil paper and painted it green. With the help of glue he replaced these with the dead leaves in such a way that they looked real to the amateur eyes of that girl. No wonder that she smiled as she had realized that she is going to live again. A hope emerged. After all we all survive because we hope… it is hope that makes our life worth living.
Mr. Bose looked back. The man smiled. He understood.