a poem by Sheela Chalapathi ramananda, India

Absorbing love and nutrition from the earth
Fanning the world with a cool breeze
Spreading branches to umbrella the life below
Roots making the brown earth stronger
Quietly purifying the polluted air
Aware of man’s unfair share
In damning the precious Nature
Stands proudly a hoar peepul tree.

A witness to the changing landscape
From green woods to lush green fields
To macadamized, even, tarred roads
She has lived for years uncomplaining.
But when selfish technology comes
Wriggling like a metal caterpillar
Eager to uproot her callously
She stands her ground firm.

Sensitive to modern man’s guile
She knows resistance is futile.
Seething with anger as the sap
Within her boils dangerously
She sees the grass shudder nervously
At the thought of the metro rolling by!
The sharp axe flashes mercilessly
Silencing all the neighborhood trees.

But as the gleaming, flashing blade
Approaches the majestic peepul tree
The hand that holds the axe shivers
For there on the tree’s hardened bark
It recognizes a shape sacred
Revered by the devout masses.
Strange are the ways of Nature
Which always teaches lessons to us.

{With the Metro Rail Project getting the green signal hundreds of trees are felled to accommodate the metro in Bangalore metropolis. The peepul tree is worshipped by the people as it is considered to be sacred. Here is a poem from the tree’s point of view.}

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