PS: True stories can be as Crimson as the one imagined. Trees may not know how and when they may get uprooted. Even the roots deep down and dense know that all it needs is just the wind to blow a bit wrong.
When you are grounded you can be uprooted. An axe or a storm, how does it matter? The trees hardly know why. Right before the last tug, they may also try their best to hold onto!! So does the soil, after all, they are together for many years. But then again one never knows, maybe, soil doesn’t bother as any hole left always gets filled up with time.
Time! Unlike time, trees uprooted are not counted and even if so, they are recorded to remember that time. More than 400 trees were uprooted during Amphan, the giant storm. The significance of Amphan lies in its power and on the number of the fallen figures on the way of its path. The trees know that. Even the roots deep down and dense know that all it needs is just the wind to blow a bit wrong.
The line of trees don’t bother if they are glorified or pinned. The shadows are natural and possible only when the sun is up and around. The trees never casted their shadows with any consideration or intention. If only trees could speak, they might have said, ‘Dear traveler, sit under the shadow if you want or simply move on, neither the shadow is mine nor I have much control on it. I, the Banyan, never asked you to write a poem out of gratitude or love, just respect my space and move on if you can.’
The same is true for rain and shade. Whatever passes through the dense foliage, drenches the man underneath and then the ground below. None of the green friends gave an oath to keep the traveler dry when he left home. Even their produce that we all consume is biological. The flowers have their fragrances which is more scientific than a romantic one.
There was a bougainvillea at the Villa number 117. The bougainvillea, with the thickest trunk that one can imagine and his branches twine and intertwined creating a dark cove. The crimson flowers bloomed almost year round for no one, as such, but it bloomed because it was the season, with the right sunlight having the required rain. The villa was known not by its number but by its colour, the colour of the bougainvillea, Crimson Villa.
The boy, if not in school was on the tree, under and sometimes over as well. Many lunches were taken on the branches and I’m not sure about the dinner but I won’t be surprised if the early supper ended up at the trunk. Over the weekends he was usually seen in his jungle Jersey picking all the bugs that an Amazon can boast of. You can’t make a treehouse on bougainvillea as they are not sturdy enough, but here the house was the tree. And then he moved on, as all tenants do.
And the tree stopped blooming. Maybe because that year the owners dug a well right next to it, or maybe because the roots got chopped while doing so. Even possible that the water was abundant because of the well. No one knew why, but the tree stood there for many years as I lived only to leave one day as well. Till then or maybe even now, the tree remained green waiting to turn crimson for someone.
আমার একটা মজার গল্প আছে,
মজাটা এই যে লেখাটা নেই কাছে,
জামার পকেটে গল্পটা ছিল গোঁজা,
একদিন গেল ধোপার বাড়িতে সোজা।
এখন দেখছি গল্পটা ফুটে আছে,
সিঁড়ির নিচেই কাগজফুলের গাছে।
_____ তারাপদ রায়
(Artwork: Piu Mahapatra)
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