CHAPTER 1 VACATION TIME
It was summer holidays, where Rohan, Arun, Anaya and Vishal who were cousins felt very bored with their routine city life. They had just completed their school exams and classes. Rohan was 11 years , Anaya and Arun were 10 years and Vishal was 12 years. They thought they could plan a vacation for themselves and remembered they could visit their grandma’s house. On a video call, Vishal said, “Why don’t we go to our grandma’s house, she will make delicious food for us. We can hear lot of stories, eat yummy food, play in the garden and even on the beach”. They all agreed and next morning they were ready with their packed bags.
Their Grandma’s village, Durgapur was small and beautiful, near the seashore. It had many streams connected which made the village beautiful and green. When they reached Durgapur, the children went running and hugged grandma. As soon as they entered, smell of Puri and Paneer welcomed them even before their grandmother could. Yes! she had made Puri, Paneer sabji and Aamars for lunch. After eating Vishal said, “The food is yummieeeeee!” Later, they went to play in the garden and in the evening for a walk for some time. Soon it became dark and grandmother called them for dinner. Children ate their dinner and Vishal said, “Grandma, I have heard there is a beach nearby. Can we go there tomorrow?” Grandma said, “Not tomorrow… but we will go day after tomorrow once Anaya’s parents come.”
Though grandmother had said no, children were very eager to visit the beach. At bedtime, Arun said secretly, “Tomorrow we will go to the beach when grandma is sleeping.” Everyone said ok. The next day the children packed their sand toys and left. At the beach they enjoyed playing catch-catch. Suddenly, Arun tripped and fell down. Kids went running and helped him.
While Arun was calming down, Vishal and Anaya saw something shiny. They tried to take it from the ground. He called his other cousins and they all tried to clean it
It was a small wooden box, with carvings. They were excited to open it but scared too. Mustering much courage, Arun opened it. When he opened, they saw a dirty piece of paper wrapped in a thread. At the first sight of it, they were very excited to see such a treasure. At that time, they didn’t know that it was a real treasure map!
CHAPTER 2 MAP
As it became dark, they rushed home with the box. At home, grandma was very angry and worried about children missing for a long time. As they reached home, they saw their grandmother sitting at the veranda in her chair. Arun shouted in excitement about the map, “Grandma, see what have we found?” She had a close look at it and said, “This looks like a treasure map. Where did you find it?”
Before they could answer, Anaya cried, “Grandma, I am very hungry”. They all went and had dinner early. Children were very tired after a day long play and fun. They went to bed early. But still each one of them was thinking about the treasure map. They all had read about such maps only in stories. But seeing a real treasure map didn’t make them sleep the whole night.
Next morning, children were sitting in the garden with the treasure map. They were in no mood to play. They took turns and tried looking into the map again and again. There came their gardener Ramaiah thatha. He saw the children and the map. They explained all that happened the previous day. Seeing the map and listening about it from children, Ramaiah thatha recalled all his childhood stories he had heard about the treasure.
He pointed towards a mountain and said, “Yes! Kids, I know about this treasure. My grandfather had told me many stories about it. Look at the mountain there. There is a village behind that mountain. And one needs to cross many struggles before one could reach this Chintu island. I think the treasure is hidden there. The island is filled with poisonous insects and snakes. So forget about this treasure and enjoy your holidays.” Children were very scared after hearing about the insects and snakes. But Vishal didn’t want to just leave it.
CHAPTER 3: FINDING THE TREASURE – JOURNEY TO THE VILLAGE
Vishal packed his bags with water bottle, binoculars, compass, medicines, torchlight, matchbox, batteries, knife and some dry food. He left very early in the morning before sunrise. He walked towards the first clue in the map – the village. He was enjoying his trek listening to music. On his way he stopped several times for direction, food and to take rest. Through the afternoon, he found it very difficult to climb the small mountain. He looked at the map many times to confirm his route and direction.
Meanwhile, grandma at home was worried for Vishal as she understood about his hunt for the treasure. Children were very scared about what would happen to Vishal.
Before sunset, Vishal reached the village. As it was a long day walk and trek, he was very tired. He ate some biscuits that he carried with him and slept at the temple entrance. Next morning, he woke up at sunrise to see a bright light coming from the temple door. He pushed the door open and went inside the temple. To his surprise, he saw a sketch of the map, carved on the temple wall. This gave him more clues about the treasure. Looking at Vishal standing near the map, a villager, Shyama came to Vishal.
Vishal explained to Shyama about the map he had and how he was interested to find the treasure. Shyama listened carefully and decided to help him. They decided to go to Chintu island. They will have to cross a big river to reach the island.
CHAPTER 4 – TREASURE HUNT – CHINTU ISLAND
Both Vishal and Shyama were very eager to cross the river. They hired a small boat and crossed the river. They were excited for all the adventures they would experience but also a little worried about the snakes and insects in the dense forests of Chintu island. They reached the island and realized it was very dark and dense. They both decided to stay on the river bank that night. They finished eating their food, lit some fire using woods and stayed near the fire.
Next morning, at sun rise, they began their journey into the island, following marks on the map. They crossed a cave and then were to cross a cluster of coconut trees. Vishal was chanting Hanuman Chalisa all the way. He remembered his grandma had told him that Lord Hanuman would always save him from any danger.
With the help of the map and directions using compass, they managed to reach their second clue. Vishal and Shyama were excited to see the cluster of coconut trees. They both were determined to find the treasure. They headed north east as per the map. It was post noon when they reached here. Both were very tired and hungry. They had very little food and water. They wanted to take rest for a while before they could walk further.
CHAPTER 5 – FOUND THE TREASURE
They realized that both of them had slept for a long time and had to hurry towards the treasure. In their journey, they came across some insects and sounds of hissing snakes. Though it was a scary journey, both of them didn’t stop chanting their prayers.
Soon they headed towards the cave. Yes! They have reached their final destination! It wasn’t long before they could see a treasure box. Both were excited about their first treasure hunt. It was a small but heavy box and they tried hard to lift the box fighting against several rats, insects and giant spiders. Vishal recalled his experiences from his adventure camps which were now helping him survive this hard situation. Vishal and Shyama lifted the box from the cave and came back to the river bank. They had to stay there again that night.
Next morning, they got into their boat and reached the village before noon. They brought the box to the temple. They both thanked God for helping them in their journey.
Soon the entire village gathered at the temple, learning about the treasure. Grandmother and Vishal’s cousins too reached the village. Vishal went and hugged his grandmother and said sorry for not informing about this.
They all were excited to know what is inside the treasure box. The temple priest came and performed a special pooja on the treasure box before opening. They opened the box. To their surprise, they saw brown-colored small seeds in the box.
A few were disappointed as it was not gold or diamond while a few were curious to know about the seeds and why they were kept hidden as treasure. Finally the temple priest said, “Oh Lord, Thank you! People , these are Amruth seeds. These seeds will give us a healthy long life.” The villagers were happy to hear this. They greeted Vishal and Shyama for their brave act.
Grandma was happy to hear this. She asked the temple priest to take the Amruth seeds under the temple custody and use it to treat people. All villagers praised and thanked grandmother for her generous act. Vishal and his cousins hugged her for her kind thinking.
With happiness in mind, they left for Durgapur. This treasure hunt became an experience of a lifetime for Vishal. Their vacation became a memorable one!
Readers, what do you think will happen with these Amruth seeds? Should he plant it and share with others or save it ? What would you do with these seeds- Will you share it or keep it for yourself?