The tree had grown taller since the last summer. The long stalk and the spreading branches opened the arms to a yet new day as the green leaves rustled, with the embrace of morning wind. Just a few years ago it was a tiny sapling with a stem thinner than Kareena Kapoor’s waist and would dance endlessly to the rhythm of the breeze. On a winter day, it stood silently slowly tilting towards the rays of the sunshine that were breaking out. Everyone in the family doted this mango tree right from its early years. The fertilizer would be added with care and watering done regularly to ensure that it was not deprived of the nutrients in its years of infancy.
It grew at a tremendous pace in the last few years like a teenager who has signs of adolescence showing once it crosses the teens. It grew in height and one had to crane the neck in skyward direction to see the first signs of pollination of the flowers resulting in the tiny mango fruit. The cuckoo would come and sing endlessly while the smaller birds and sparrows danced in delight pecking on the branches as they looked for food. Soon it was mayhem, as two more months passed and the fruits grew in size. The half eaten mangoes by greedy parrots and other birds lay scattered every summer morning. Intruders would jump over the fence to pick the fruits that had fallen on the ground. My father would dash out of the house to chase them away as they indulged in the ignoble act of stealing.‘ Mango people of a Banana Republic----how dare they could do this’. The prized possessions were picked up every morning for distributing to the visitors after showing the tree with pride to them like a child that has just won a prize in the school!
One day as I was getting ready to step out of the house, I heard a din. My father was shouting at one person who was precariously perched on one branch and held an axe in his hand. I recognized that he was the gardener who worked in the neighbor’s house. He had been instructed by the mistress to chop the branches that had encroached in their territory. I mistook that he was trying to chip away the tree that had been the’ labor of love’. I shouted at him as he climbed down. The neighbors too rushed on hearing my raised voice. Finally it was settled and we allowed the gardener to chip away a few branches that had the audacity to creep into the neighbor’s backyard.
The one’s staying right above them one day called up, that winter was just around the corner and the sunlight was blocked by the branches covering their bedroom window! ‘Have a heart! I told her that they had a full rooftop to enjoy the sunshine but the city dwellers somehow only like to do a lip service to ‘Green Earth’ campaigns. The charity begins at home. Let one poor mango tree breathe and survive! So each one has a fancy reason to get rid of the tree where as I love to see a small oasis of green in the backyard where the shade and constant chirp of the birds makes me feel being a step closer to the creator of this universe
PS: Image Kind Courtesy Google