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

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tree Walk in Trivandrum

It is 0700hrs on a Sunday. In the Museum/Zoo complex and the nearby Kanakakunnu Palace grounds, the fitness conscious citizens have their morning jog, walk and yoga. At one of the entrances to the zoo,    a few individuals gather, for the Tree Walk. 

We have been doing it for some years now. Twice or thrice a month the group meet at some part of Trivandrum where it is shady with  trees. We stroll down the road, looking at the trees on either sides, identifying them. We make small talk. Serious tree watchers take copious notes. In a gentle, relaxed way, we recognize and pay respect to the trees that cool our city. Many of them have gone forever, victims to the road widening and beautification. 

In the sun, it is a blazing 37 degree Celsius. Under the shade, it is less than 32. Trivandrum, like the rest of the country is reeling under the heat wave and drought, the extent of which is unprecedented. When, When will people realize the mercy of the green trees? They stand beneath the shade of the trees as they cut them down. Recently near the Court, a large no of trees were cut for road widening. Yes, for those who sleep in air-conditioned houses, who step  into air-conditioned cars and work in air-conditioned offices, it does not matter. The writing is on the wall, yet we turn a blind eye, hoping that technology will always have an answer. 

An old poem on trees... written three or four years back...

Song of the tree

You who stand beneath me,
Look up at me for a while -
While you smell, breath in deep
The fragrance of my little flowers.

Did it hurt when the flower fell
On your head, my humble gift,
Here, I bend a branch of mine,
Hold, pluck the succulent fruit
For your child, a present from me.

Lean on to me, though my skin is rough,
But feel my heart that throbs for you
My veins full of the blood of love.
Here, I fan you with my leaves,
Lest you feel tired in the heat.

Did it hurt when you cut
Chopped off the branches
And sawed off the trunk
Did it pain when in vain
Pulling at my roots with so much strain?
I miss them, Sir,
The birds who nested in my hole,
The songs they sang for my soul.
The squirrels who ran, tickling my heart
Your child who played beneath my shade.

Forgive me Sir, I am just a tree
Fated to die, faithful to men.
When in the night, freezing cold,
As to embers my body burns,
They glow in love, for you alone
And your child, warm, asleep -
Think of me – lest your heart turn to stone.
Balachandran V, 29.04.13


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  2. Tree walk? Interesting concept. You know, there are lot of trees(not as many as there were) in Bangalore. These trees come from all over the world; brought by the British. I've often wondered names of few trees. Tree walk here would be nice.

    The poem - Balan, I have felt that your poem have such emotions attached to them that it brings a shot of pang whenever I read them. This one is beautiful; expressing the angst of a tree. We are selfish, we will give a deaf ear to people who can talk and express in words, do you think man will ever heed to what an animal or a tree is trying to feel?

  3. AG, I read your post. I hope we can get more people to become concerned, and really make trees their (non-profit) business!

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  5. I felt empathy for the trees,when I read your poem.Our ancestors placed trees at an elite level whereas we people mints money from it and throw away unused part as waste.Years back I had read a poem(exact lines in my mind have attained rust here and there.The poet has vanished from my memory also). It goes thus
    "If all the trees were one tree what a great tree that would be!
    If all the axes were one axe what a great axe that would be!
    If all the men.......
    If all the waters ....
    If that great man cuts down that great tree with that great axe
    into the great waters, what a great splash that would be!"

    So now all the men's hearts are one heart, a great evil heart and that will destroy everything.So the end of everything is not too far.


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