Velan was a poor village boy. He belonged to a village named ‘Koopal’. One day an astrologer predicted that Velan would live in a three-storeyed building surrounded by a big garden. The villagers found it a joke and made fun of him. However the prediction came true about thirty or forty years later. When Velan was about eighteen years old he left his native village as his father had slapped on his face in front of others for bringing his mid-day meal late. Velan felt hurt and left his village for good. He walked for days and reached the town of Malgudi.
There an old man took him took him to assist him in laying out a garden. Velan was asked to clear a few acres of land which was covered by weeds and plants. For days he worked at his task with rare determination. Soon after this the old gardener with the help of Velan started laying the foundation of a big garden. Unfortunately the old gardener fell ill and died. Velan was therefore made the chief gardener. Velan put his heart and soul into the work and created in no time a beautiful garden. Meanwhile the work of the master’s house had been completed. Since the plants were small Velan asked his beloved plants to grow faster and quicker. Nature responded to his call. The flower plants and the numerous trees he had planted grew up in size and beauty. The garden gave a beautiful appearance to the mansion. The mansion came to be known as ‘Kumar Baugh’. Numerous varieties of plants grew up in Velan’s garden. Velan was particularly fond of the Margosa tree which he had planted. The tree was like his own child. He showered upon it his best attention and care.
Velan lived in a thatched hut, happy and contended. Years quickly rolled by. Velan was becoming old. So too his master. The beautiful mansion by now had lost its glitter and charm. The master was ill and bed-ridden. After few years of suffering the master died. When Velan heard about the news of his master’s death, he was greatly perturbed for he knew that his master’s son wouldn’t care for his garden. Soon the sons quarreled amongst themselves and went to live in another house. Thereafter, a few tenants came to stay in a big house but none of them stayed long in the house. Hence the house came to be known as a ‘Ghost House’. Velan continued to live in his thatched hut. After some years the master’s sons entrusted the key of the mansion to Velan. Hence, when Velan’s hut began to leak, he began to live in the verandah of the big mansion. Thus the prophecy about Velan living in a three-storeyed building came true.
One day a group of people came to the mansion and examined the house very carefully. They remarked that the house and the entire garden had to be destroyed and in their place, new buildings had to be constructed. Within a few days, one of the sons of the master informed Velan that the entire property had been sold out to a company and that they were going to construct several buildings on the land. He asked Velan to vacate the place within a fortnight.
After two days, Velan heard the sound of cutting of some trees in his garden. He rushed out to see. He saw four wood-cutters hacking his beloved Margosa tree. Velan pleaded to them not to cut his favorite tree. When they expressed their inability to do so, he told them that he had planted it and it was like his beloved child. He asked them to wait till he had taken his belongings and left the place. Quickly he went back, bundled his clothes and left the place with tears in his eyes. After he had reached some distance, he shouted back to the woodcutters saying to wait a little more till he had gone a little farther. The wood-cutters waited for a few more minutes in respect to the old man’s wishes and felled the mighty Margosa tree to the ground.