It was a mid April - a time when the planet Earth reels under the harsh rays of the Sun. There was a boundless desert in Africa with no trace of life except a little rose. There was not a bird or tree in sight. Just hot, burning sand. The mercury was so scorching the sand dunes became heaps of burning coal as the days passed on. But the little rose weathered the wrath of Sun under such unfavorable conditions.

One afternoon, the Sun, having surprised at the rose's ability to survive, said to the little flower, "Dear Rose! I am the supreme power in this universe. I have the power to give and take life. Thousands of living things succumb everyday, as they are not able to bear with my heat. But, you have been weathering even my harshest rays without any complaint. May I know the source that gave you this immense strength?"

"Oh, mighty Sun," the little rose said humbly, "I don't know much about this desert. But it appears immense and there seem to be no one else in the whole horizon my eye could stretch. I began empathizing with the loneliness of this desert and decided to help it to whatever extent I could. And in this process, I never experienced anything that causes pain to me. My whole concern has been to be a good friend to this desert and ward off its loneliness."

Touched by the little rose's concern for the hoary desert, the Sun showered a bounty - a bounty of million other roses that filled the desert with their sweet fragrances and thus transforming the entire stretch into a great oasis of life.

Copyright © 2001 Murali Duggineni