Monday, March 01, 2010

A wise banyan tree stood once in a leisurely town at outskirt of a city, providing a gentle shade to all passer-bys. It's green leaves played with wind and its branches shelter to chirpy birds. Like magic it turned the heat, wind and rain into warmth. Like magic it filled the air with sweet sound, like a mother it cradled the life around it and like god it gave sanjeevini to the life around it.

So the wise men of the town worshipped it like a god and the young men treated it like a god. Their belief about its magic and divinity passed over generations. The tree transformed from a being just a tree to an icon of everything that the town had and the wise people built around it temple as a token of appreciation for it.

Soon the life evolved, the leisurely town was engulfed by a bustling city. First it brought buildings that could make wiser tomorrow and then it brought buildings that would make luxurious today. The life of men was transformed and leisurely comfort under the tree was replaced by materiel comfort of air-conditioned interiors.

We need better facilities said few and wise, we need place to be better gluttons, we need better place to splurge all our riches and we need build better roads to move our wonderful vehicles faster.

Alas, their path crossed where the icon stood. The wise men debated about its importance, the wiser men argued about importance about the progress and wisest of all stood far away from everything.

Finally they agreed to keep the temple and timber the tree. They had a grand celebration, the elected wisest came with all his men, they had huge pictures and billboards to announce their intention.

Then I, on beautiful morning of 22nd day of February in year 2010, passed the icon at the gate of IIT Powai, Mumbai. The Counting crow sprang from my stereo humming Big Yellow Taxi, while out of my window the icon was hacked into logs and its branches probably on its way to celebrate the Holi. Somewhere in background a hoarding screamed about using phones instead of a tree.

And I just kept going … being wiser that I was…..

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