Recently, a Speaking Tree Summit was held. Trees of different countries took place. As the trees cannot move, the summit was held through phone conversations. As they don’t know how to use phone, volunteers from the human community who understand the language of trees were invited. I happened to be one of them. Oops! The secret is out that I speak with trees. I am not mad, believe me. It is a God’s gift to few people like me. Don’t get jealous. I am sharing some opinions shared by the trees during the event. Names of the trees were excluded as they wanted us to respect their anonymity.
“I am a tree, who was planted by some good people near the Highway, so that it looks good. People felt good passing by that highway and enjoyed the beauty. But, now the govt. is expanding the road. When plans were made, we used to spend our days (and also our nights) with the fright of being cut down. Thankfully, we were safe. But, the life after that has been worse. The construction is taking time more than it should have taken. The weather also is acting funny. Rain was very scarce last year. The whole area is covered by dust and I don’t know how to clean myself. Every time a vehicle passes, it drives all the dust to me and my friends. I am so dirty. God! I need a shower.”
“I am a tree, who was planted by the govt. for the beautification of the city. I felt honored, when they took this step. No one in my family has ever been to a metro. But, obviously nothing comes for free. There is so much of pollution, I cannot take it anymore. I knew that I was supposed to decrease the pollution but even we cannot take beyond a certain limit. I want to go back to my family. But, I cannot. I will be dying soon if they don’t do something about it.”
“I am a tree, actually half a tree. I was very happy as a kid. I had no complaints for 15-20 years. There was power line going above me. But, as I grew, I started to mess with power line. But that was unintentional. I tried my best to avoid it. But, sometime ago, I was cut down half vertically to make way for the power line.”
“I am a tree and was very happy till last year. I am situated in village home. Children of the house used to play around me and there is a swing hanged to one of my branches. So, children often used to be around. But, now the children don’t have time to play. They need to study and focus on their career. The landlord of the house is also planning an extension of the house and it is towards where I stay. They are planning to cut me down. They don’t want to cut me down but, they don’t really have a choice. They even considered an expert if I could be relocated, but that also did not work. So, with a heavy heart they decided to cut me down next Sunday. I wish I could be present in the marriage that is going to happen in the house soon. I have seen him grow, and I love him. Perhaps my life will be a gift for his marriage.”
“I am the Royal Poinciana (Krishnachura). I stay with a whole bunch of my friends alongside a big pond built by one Ahom King. Great poets write great poems about me and keep flattering me. They still come, but of late their number has decreased. I see more of young couples since the government had fixed benches under my shadow. I like when people get in a romantic mood due to my presence but I don’t like when students bunk their classes to date under my shadow.”
Then there was a baby voice. “Hi, I am sapling. Since there is so much of hue and cry about global warming, government plants thousands of us in cities and suburban areas. They forget all about me after planting us in the highways and suburban roads. We starve for water and cough so much due to vehicular pollution and most of us die soon orphaned”
“Sorry for me coming here. I am not a tree, but a fern. I can be found anywhere. I am very common in warm temperate regions. I grow as wild but, people do eat me and I am the cheapest of vegetables as nobody cultivates me. Sometimes poor people collect it themselves when they have nothing to eat as a vegetable. People also make curry out of me. I had no problem with. Recently, my protein content has been widely popularized by the scientists. It is being said that I am more nutritious than a pack of soybeans. Now, I fear that people might eat so much of me that I might get extinct… Please do take care of me. I am a very useful plant.”
Well, there were many other issues that were covered in the summit, but I am feeling very sleepy now. I will tell you some other day. Till then check some pictures I found in one old calendar by CRY.
(Half Tree Picture Courtesy: People for Trees Link: http://www.peoplefortrees.com/treehunt.cfm)
(This post was first published in Ginger Chai.)