Faults and merits are inherent in me, thereby making me one of those beings who live to die. As I’m unknown or aloof or helpless in saving whole humanity, I consider myself unremarkable. It has dawned on me long back that sympathy or words or even empathy are not the exact solutions for the weak and suffering.
Why am I ranting and rambling aimlessly? Because I’m angry – an anger that arose from sadness. And who am I?
Well, I’m an introverted nobody. Though not a compliment, I have to admit that though I never mind listening, I rarely open up to someone. Of course, it’s indeed frustrating to keep inside all that emotions suppressed.
But then, I’m an introvert. Now, when I’m finally opening up, it’s not about the pandemic, or poverty or any of the valid human concerns surrounding us. It’s about some tall, old trees. So here I am, a damn introverted, self-righteous snob. But, hear me out, please.
We lament over the repercussions of afflicting Mother Nature. What is the extent to which we regret our actions? I may be naive; however, I do understand our basics- food, shelter and clothing. As we are technologically more advanced and progress is our motto, we have more skyscrapers and machinery and smoke and plastic and brains. In short, we’ve taken more than our share.
Whatever their reasons, there are some, like me who often tend to be in the company of things(or beings)that are taken for granted(in general) – things like trees, trees that provide shade, trees which house birds, trees that decorate itself with the most beautiful blossoms – of course, this is all perspective. One can argue that it weakens the concrete ground, make walls crack, shed leaves that one may consider litter, has sturdy branches that can fall on someone or worse damage their cars. So the bold and intelligent decides not to trim off the tree branches but to chop and cut away those trees- nearly 10-15 trees. And they did.
So, who’s right? What’s right?
Definitely, not this self-righteous snobby introvert.
The first day I heard the chainsaw, I thought it was the yearly trimming in progress. Unfortunately(for me), it was not so.
In my modest view, we all have defined certain ‘constants’ in our lives. It may be illogical, but still, we have, or, I do. For some, it may be our best friends, parents, siblings, anyone and in my case the presence of these old, silent, grand trees sheltering all, blanketed in beauty. Before you criticise me saying I’m another one of those hopeless romantics, let me tell you I never even sat beneath any of those fallen trees. I never sang or danced around it. However, a large chunk of its flowery branch used to graze against my balcony. I’ve lost count of the moments when I just sat in my balcony beside it listening to the windy whispers of their leaves; and the trees listening to my silence. If I have to define what this means, I’d say, it was peace. Yeah, you’re right. I felt peaceful in having a tree to confide in silence.
My constants do not stop here. I’m not exaggerating here. I get daily visits from a few birds, out of which one crow is a regular. He (assuming it’s he) comes in the morning and makes a peculiar cawing sound- as if it’s for me. The moment he sees me, he becomes silent and watches me pruning the leaves or watering my plants, waits till my work is over. Though he comes close(only if it’s me), he never allows me to pet him. You might be wondering what’s he doing watching me? I keep a biscuit, which he takes from my hand when I call him to take it. You might feel this senseless in this new world. I also tried to think so- it’s just a tree- we can plant again, those are a hundred birds- they won’t die, they’ll fly off, those are some nests- they’ll build it elsewhere.
The intelligent society could understand all of this, but sadly, I couldn’t.
Because today morning, I did not hear any sparrows chirping or parrots screeching or rustling of leaves. But, the crow came; it was sitting there without any cawing. The moment it saw me, it flew off- without the biscuit. Maybe, it forgot or got something worth than a biscuit elsewhere. But, it was my ‘constant’.
I am just wondering, did those trees and birds also see me as a ‘constant”. If so, didn’t I fail them hopelessly? Even though I was totally against stealing their home, wasn’t I also a part in betraying their trust?
There’s folklore in my place about a skilled carpenter/woodcarver who was pious, highly principled and exceptional in his carpentry. His son, though talented, overlooked traditional values.
When people tell the master that his son’s woodwork, though exquisite, lacks his father’s lustre, he goes and asks his son if he knew why people say so. And the father goes on ” you’ve cut trees for carpentry, for sculptures. But before cutting, did you take the permission of the tree? Did you request the arboreal beings to move to another place? Did they grant permission? “
I’m not delving deep into the rationale or anyone’s analysis of the legend. All I ask is whether right or wrong, did we, the human race, seek permission? After all, it is not ours.
Dear readers, you may judge me now. As I’ve said, I’m perfectly flawed.