There is a colossal banyan tree across the road in front of my home. In the morning, when I open the front door, its swaying branches welcome me and its lush-green leaves spread mirth as the
sun-sieved criss-cross pattern of leaves fills my courtyard with beautiful mosaic and motifs. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, indeed.
The tree and I have been companions for decades. As I rush through the morning chores in the kitchen, I listen to the constant chirping and preening of birds on the tree. They fly across the horizon and perch back on its stout and sturdy branches, their home. Some birds perch on its limber twigs and they sway with glee as birds hop from one branch to another. In winters, every twig of the tree gets laden with cerise berries and twittering birds who devour the fruit in sheer delight, as do bulbul, koel, sparrow and squirrel. Squirrels with their flurry, bobbly tails scamper in the warm sun, exuberant in their climb, looking mesmerising.
The tree offers unbridled surprises. Pedestrians take shelter under its gigantic frame being caught in unpredictable rain, roadside vendors strike up conversation sitting under it, labourers partake siesta under its soothing shade. The tree gives a peep into a saner pace of life, away from the constant onslaught of social media updates and notifications.
Passing through it, I came across a large meticulously woven spider web, trapped in it was a beautiful butterfly, fluttering its wings, making enormous effort to disentangle itself from the web of potential death. I had a strong urge to help it, but felt I shouldn’t intervene in the way of nature. The tree has been witness to many a birth in nests and many lives lost in tantalising trappings, torrents and tempests. If I could converse with it, it would reveal umpteen tales and squabbles absorbed into its colossal form, tales of mirth and misery, blissfully shouldering and sheltering many a life and watching silently the loss of many others.
As the dusk sets in, the setting sun begins lifting its golden veil from the tree top. The tree comes alive with agile twittering birds. When the crimson in the sky deepens, the chirping of birds subsides and darkness descends on the horizon, with stars, the moon and clouds playing hide and seek. The tree’s shadows stir silently as if cradling the birds sleeping in its bosom. At night, too, the tree offers its own charm and warmth.
I come inside, looking forward to the morning, harbinger of the mighty and magnificent sun, when the sky on the east exhibits a rainbow of white, purple, blue… golden clouds strewn like tufts of feathers filled with vivacious and vibrant hues. The tree would be suffused with winged chirpy birds, their music akin to tinkling tambourines and clinking anklets of a newly married woman, immersed in jocund joy, heralding a new day, a new beginning, a new hope. Quietly, I share the festive fair and green abundance embracing felicity in its blissful ecstatic ambience.
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