The Neem Tree

Sarada Thompson

Under the neem tree, a baby is born, destined for greatness through an ordinary life. NeemÕs parents perform the lowliest of jobs for their village, outcast and ostracized, forced to live outside society. Even in complete poverty, Neem flourishes under her parentsÕ love, shielded from the cruelness of the society who deems them untouchable. She plays in the shade of the neem tree, confiding her thoughts to the tree, which nurtures and protects her, an ever-steady presence in a life full of challenges. Neem canÕt stay innocent forever and she is faced with the harshness of society in a shocking way, resulting in the death of her parents. By a twist of fate, she is adopted by a respected devadesi and grows up beloved in a cultured, wealthy household. Her foster mother teaches her many skills, including the arts of the devadesi, and NeemÕs accomplishments and beauty lead her to the MaharajanÕs palace. The Neem Tree follows NeemÕs life to the Royal Palace and back to her native village, through danger to motherhood, the achievements of her children, their tragedies and their happiness. NeemÕs spirituality forms and grows, supporting and nurturing her family through many difficult times, just as the Neem Tree supports and nurtures her. From NeemÕs humble beginnings will grow an extraordinary woman of great wisdom, spirit and humility


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