Who Am I?
By Lakshmi Menon
“Who am I?” Ms. Celin opened a colorful book and began to read. The class was in complete silence.
“Do you know anything about me? I am orange in colour and can be seen in your kitchen vegetable basket. “
“I grow under the mud as a root, and have greenish top, with dark green leaves.“ She raised her eyes from the book. No one said a word. All the students were looking at her listening to her story.
“My height is about 6 inches.” Ms. Celin continued.
“I am used as a vegetable in your kitchen."
“Some of you just clean me nicely and eat without cooking. Some others will cook me for your tasty meal. Some others take my juice and drink. Still don't you know who I am?"
“I help you grow as healthy children. “
“Now do you know about me?” Ms. Celin looked at her students hopefully for an answer, closing her book.
“Yes, I know. You’re a carrot,” said a loud voice from the back seat.
“Yes, Sonu. You’re right.” said Ms. Celin in the class and clapped her hands, with joy.
“I like carrot,” said Venu who was sitting in the next row.
“I don’t like carrot.” It was Shibu from the first bench.
“I too don’t like it. My mother cooks carrot every day in our house. My sister eats, but I won’t touch it. My mother scolds me for not eating it. But, I don’t like it,” said Shreya showing her dislike on her face.
By then more children got up and said aloud, they too like it and some said they don’t like carrot.
“Silence, ……silence please!” said Ms. Celin, and suddenly the whole class was silent. No one said a word, and all of them sat looking at their class teacher.
“Carrot is a very good vegetable, and we all should eat it. This simple vegetable is good for our eye sight. Don’t you all want a good eye sight? “ asked Ms.Celin.
“Yes, Miss,” said the children together.
“Then eat carrot daily. It is also good for your stomach, for your skin and for your teeth. If you eat carrot daily you will get a beautiful skin. Who doesn’t want a beautiful skin in this class?” asked Ms.Celin.
No one responded.
“So you all want beautiful skin! And, who wants good teeth?”Every one got up, and said, “I want good teeth.”
“Okay. Now who wants good eye sight?"
“I want….. I want….” All the children got up from their seats, and raised their hands.
“So all of you want good eye sight. So if you eat carrot daily you will not get any eye problem . Today when you go home tell your mother to give you carrot daily. Sometimes she will give you cooked carrot in your curry or sometimes she may give you as salad or just as uncooked pieces. Just eat it gladly and thank your mom for giving you your favorite vegetable, “ said Ms. Celin.
She came closer to Shibu’s seat, and asked. “Now would you eat carrot, Shibu?”
“Yes, Miss”. Shibu was in full smile.
“And, you Shreya?”
“I too will eat,” replied Shreya with a shy smile.
That night for dinner, Shreya’s mother had cooked carrot in sambar . Her mother had removed the carrot pieces from the sambar and then gave her. She knew that her daughter would'nt like it.
“Mummy, please don’t remove carrot from my plate. I want more carrot. Our Miss told us that it is good for our health. I want carrot daily now.”
Shreya’s mother smiled and hugged her daughter for becoming an understanding girl.
“Now you’re a very good girl,” said her father patting on her cheek.
“That means I will get less carrot pieces now,” said her sister teasing her.
“Don’t worry. I'll buy more carrots and give you both as much as you want. I’m happy that at least now you understood why you should eat carrots. Remember, we have to eat healthy food to get a healthy body and mind.” Her mother looked at her children with pride.
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