…and all it asks for is love!

The sharp edges of that piece of iron supported by a piece of wood smashed my neck. I am one of those tall standing, living things of this Earth.

I was bleeding, bleeding with grief and pain. Bewailing the loss the man was doing to me as well as our mother. I didn’t speak, I thought, they knew how essential I am. I was the one who had given that man and his family selfless love, and all things they wished for. I was bleeding, yet wondering, what wrong did I do?

Whenever he needed to sit and relax, to breathe fresh and cool air, he would place a chair beneath me. His daughter would sit in front of me and would try to draw my green leaves on something that was made out of me. His son would hide behind my thick trunk while playing hide and seek, and the man’s son’s friends would sometimes make me their cricket stumps. His wife would come to pluck some flowers for her daily prayer. His father would get up early in the morning, and would water me and my friends around, and then he and his wife would take the first sip of their morning tea, on their relaxing chair, enjoying the light rays of sun falling on our faces. The house maid would sometimes use me as a hanger to hang wet clothes. The birds around would sit and chirp, entertaining me with their melodious songs. Cooper would come around me just to pee, but he would also sit under my shed when it rains, and would embrace the serenity.
While standing there, I feel, how much love I have earned in all these years. I never asked that little princess to hug me, but she did every day after coming back from school. All of them have been so kind, why are they now smashing me?  I was bleeding, yet wondering, what wrong did I do?

“Dad, why are you chopping it?.”

“Dear, I have bought a new car for myself this Diwali, we don’t have space to park it, and hence I need to remove this thing.”

“How can you remove it just because you have to park a car? You can use the street where everyone parks their car.”

“You don’t need to tell me. Go and do your work.”

The little girl with eyes full of tears goes inside, getting noticed by her elder brother.

“Dad, please stop it. Who gave you the idea of smashing it? Please, dad. Stop,” came the furious boy.

I was happy to see those kids trying to save me from dying. A hope was there, because of their love and altruistic nature.

“Dad, do you even realize that the thing that you are holding in your hand is a part of this tree, maybe the iron is cutting it, but the wood is holding it. The tree still doesn’t complain. Do you realize that the pollution, the car will be exhaling will kill us one day, but because of this tree, we have a surety to survive. Still you think that parking of your car is more worth than this tree? You bought a car this Diwali, and you will kill someone on Diwali, is it justified? The land where you are standing, the air that you are breathing, the shadow that you are getting from its leaves, all this is hers, our mother earth. Why are we making her condition more worse? You sit with friends in person or online, complaints about Global Warming, and what you actually do, you cut down a tree. Like each person makes a difference to a community or a country, each tree does the same. You help Maira to draw a tree on her notebook, you tell its function to her , but in the end what you actually teach, to cut that tree down. I have promised myself to plant a tree this Diwali, I have been telling my friends to do the same, I won’t let you do cut this tree, dad,” explained the boy to the man holding an axe to kill me.

The axe fell from the hands of the man, before saying anything to his son; he sat on his knees, smoothing his hands around the area he smashed. After 3 minutes, the son came and sat near his dad.

“You have always taught us to love the nature, that’s the reason this tree is here for years. Don’t let things burn your emotions, don’t let them affect your kindness,” said the son, comforting the man.

The man then picked up the axe and brought the watering can and watered me, hugged his son and little daughter and promised to plant a tree.

They thought, I couldn’t hear, or feel, but I was. I was overwhelmed by the gesture. I was moved away buy their affection. The birds came and sat on my branches, spreading the fragrance of their chirping. Maira came and hugged me. It was all ecstatic.
I never wish for something, all I ask for is love.

-Kritika Vashist

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