The misty surroundings, the early morning cool breeze, intoxicating fragrance of the flowers, the damp foliage, the undulating beauty of the hilly woods was enthralling. The tall trees, like sentinel, stood on either side of the hilly road assuring a safe journey. Bushy vegetation dotted the gentle slopes imbuing the surroundings with an unparalleled grandeur. The beaming sunrays peeped through the mist, soaking the rough terrain with a mirthful warmth. The richness of nature was mystifying yet soothing.
Shattering the tranquil atmosphere, a horrendous shriek pierced through the hills. A rashly driven van screeched to a halt and a limp body was dumped in the bushes. Having disposed of the body the van sped past the tall trees, bushes, mist and the gazing sun.
The limp body shuddered, jerked and then lay still. Neither the beauty nor the serenity of nature could revive the lifeless body. The gentle, compassionate Nature witnessed the ruthlessness of human beings and pondered over their insensitivity.
Suddenly the tranquillity of the surroundings changed into one of mourning and sorrow; the rustling of the leaves, the swaying of the trees, the ghoulish wailing of the birds made the atmosphere intimidating. A sure sign of an uncanny incident. The eerie, nerve-wracking sounds emanating from the woods could have stifled the life out of anyone in the vicinity.
The greenery around felt the agony and suffering of the lifeless body. The pine trees felt sad at their inability to have a closer look at the body that was thrown out so mercilessly from the vehicle. Suddenly the misty air enveloping the hills gathered momentum and the breeze whiffing the foliage rhythmically, took a massive shape of wild wind, howling, growling, as though expressing their ire. The dew drops that had gathered on the tiny flowers now looked like drops of tears, the pleasant ambience turned ferocious. Nature wanted to avenge the brutal killing, if it could.
Just as the sun rays made their way through the haze, yet another van discarded one more body on the slopes of the rugged hill. There was neither a shrill shriek nor a groan, the silent body had no breaths left to tremble or wince. The pine trees did not have to crane their necks to view the scene, it was right under their nose(?). The greenish brown body, stabbed repeatedly, bleeding profusely, spoke about its predicament.
The pine trees thanked their stars that they weren’t ‘born’ amidst the civilised human beings.
Why did humans destroy life-sustaining trees?
It was so paradoxical that they cut the trees and planted saplings!
The dew drops continued to shed tears, the wild wind became fiercer and the hillside echoed with the rumbling of the rocks, to express their resentment at such a hideous act of humans.
The small streams flowing across the road and disappearing at the steep edges of the uneven road, was a breath-taking scenery.
The region seemed to reverberate with the harmonious rhythm of the twittering birds.
Nature was calm and soothing once again.
Killing of tree was declared a punishable offence. Human progress, the G.O declared, should not be at the cost of Nature.
Every year we celebrate Vanamahotsava (Green Day) in the first week of July. Hundreds of saplings are planted, but no proper care is taken to sustain those saplings. On the other hand, in the name of progress trees are cut for civil work such as road widening, flyovers, Metro trains. We chant ‘vruksho rakshati rakshitah’ and fail to implement the same in our lives.
Gieve Patel’s ‘On Killling a tree’ is a poem with multiple interpretations; the predominant theme is cutting down trees. The tone of my story seems to reflect the pain a tree goes through when it is hacked and cut.
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