The Mother Tree
The Mother Tree3 mins 278 3 mins 278
Pedakka was childless for ten years post her marriage and she conceived only when she offered to tie the thread along my stout trunk and offered seven pots of water to my roots and then I was tagged the blessed holy tree. Mahaboob basha from the village too carried green and red coloured flags parading along with beats of drums and hoisted along my trunk as I was considered a blessed dastagiri jenda for the muslims as well. The same pedakka now taunts me the abode of wandering souls, the villagers fear to pass by me after the sunset.
It was two decades ago that I germinated as a sapling in the outskirts of the village and now that the village has expanded its radius, some philanthropist built a ramp around my base and I became a prominent place to hangout. I grew thick and greener with my kernels tasting sweet, my roots drilled deep into the water table and my branches spread across with lush green canopy giving shade to those resting beneath. Birds nested on my top, kids tied ropes on my branches to swing and women circumambulated around me to realize their wishes.
As the time passed the life style of those villagers changed, they grew selfish, ignorant and hypocrites. They polluted the air with the burning of the rubble and by establishing factories. They contaminated the water table by drilling lots of bore wells and through open sewer releasing untreated industrial waste into steams. They littered the land with plastics, debris and carcass. They were humans exploiting nature but terming it survival and development.
I had to transform myself to adopt the changing environment. The black smoke suffocated my pores and turned my green leaves into grey. I had to shed leaves to stop evaporation and adapt to the dry water table. I turned my kernels bitter by excreting all the toxics generated in me into the fruit, they now call my fruits the forbidden one. Bats took over my canopy and flew all through the dark. My bark grew with lots of wrinkles, ugly to see and more awkward to touch.
It was due to the rising pollution that the transformation of mine was unavoidable and necessary for my survival. I was beautiful they turned me ugly, I was a useful fruit bearing tree and they turned me into a tree of forbidden toxin fruit, I was one with lush green canopy and they turned me into dry and grayish skeleton. Kids once tied ropes to swing and now threads are tied to commit suicides. I was named the sacred almond tree and now I am renamed the abode of wandering souls.
Peddakka’s son is now planning to chop my trunk and I may perish by the time you read my saga.