The tall story of a coconut palm & a mango tree.

Once upon a time there was a mango tree growing in a garden. It was a nice healthy tree that bore healthy fruit. Nearby, there grew  a tall coconut palm, its fronds touching the sky.  Every time the wind blew, the mango tree would look at the palm bending gracefully and sigh “I wish I could be like that – tall, lissome and flexible.”

One day the mango tree found a little sapling growing nearby. One of its seeds had taken root. The mango tree looked at the baby and said,” You must grow tall like the coconut palm, my child.” But the mango tree never grew any taller than it was meant to be.

The moral of this story is that a mango tree can never hope to be as tall as a coconut palm and that height is genetically determined.

However, hope springs eternal in the human soul and despite having a lineage of sub 152 cm tall female ancestors from all sides of the family, my mother tried her level best to beat nature as far as I was concerned. She was determined to make me eligible for competing for Miss India.  I was told to eat beans at every meal  to grow tall, hold on to a bar fixed on my bedroom door and swing like a monkey each time I left or entered the room, run ten rounds of the football field, even do yoga to stretch out all the gaps between the vertebra that refused to expand. Sadly, I never achieved her dream. The minute I reached the 152 cm mark, my body just refused to grow tall. The only thing that increased my height was the high heels that I wore.

But my mother is not alone in thinking that every tree can become a coconut tree.

This morning’s paper had an advertisement inviting young children to do Yoga by the Bay so that they could grow taller. While I’m all for learning Yoga as a child, I think that marketing it as a means of growing taller is a real tall story.

Definitely Do Yoga by the Bay. In fact, I’d advise everyone to do Yoga everyday . But if you want to be a coconut tree, buy high heels instead !


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