“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A celebration of trees

Did you know?
They are cutting down the old trees
Up in the cantonment area
So that you can ride
In contentment
Cocooned in your air-conditioned car.

You wouldn’t know, sir
That I have walked under their shade
For the last forty years
On and off, not everyday
On and off, light to shade
From hot to cool
From peace to strife and back
Among the old trees
As they stretched out their branches
To protect me from the glare
In between.

You wouldn’t know, sir
There were poor folk
Selling their humble wares
Seeds, cigarettes and fruit juice
The old, tired of walking
Wiping their faces with a fraying piece of towel
And looking up and sighing grateful
At the spreading shade of these trees.

You wouldn’t know, sir
That lives about which you never wanted to know
Lived in the shade of these trees.
Like the crows and sparrows
The squirrels, the kites
The tramps, the dogs
The beggars and
The likes of me -
Lives, sir, you really wouldn’t care about.

If you stepped on to the tarmac at noon
From shade to sun
You would feel the heat.
Do you feel the heat, sir?
One day, I am sure, you would
The day everything comes to a halt.
Where is your car going, sir?

************ Balachandran, Trivandrum, 31-12-2008


  1. My you are something,Balan!
    Yes the trees are going away from our lives, like many other priceless things.Let us walk together for them- our tall neighbours and friends

  2. A real outburst, but to no avail. The other day, when I was away, the KSEB people came and razed down the umbrella-like canopy of the cherry tree in the front yard of my house, leaving only the stump of the trunk. The tree needed a little pruning, for the far edge of the canopy was touching the power lines. But they attacked it with a vengence. The birds have stopped singing.

  3. This is one of the most touching poems I've ever read. Ironic that I'm a civil engineer isn't it? And thank you for all your comments in my defunct blog. I think I just got the inspiration to write again. :)


Leave a word, please!