Concept, idea and content by: Ashapurna Das, Student- (BA) Applied Psychology Honors, Delhi University
Edited and re-worked by: Vidusshi Pathak, Intern (TOHRI) and Student- (BA) English Honors, Jamia Milia Islamia
Illustration by: Ashapurna Das, Student- (BA) Applied Psychology Honors, Delhi University
Shirish stood in the midst of forest, all alone, waiting for a sign of life. His friends from the forest were brutally killed, and their body parts sold for a good price. He wondered if he'd see his friends ever again.
We never see trees wailing, but it doesn't mean that they don't cry. Shirish, 'A tree' stood up to be just a helpless lonely tree; all his friends were gone. He missed the days when light breeze would blow and all his friends would smile in array with him.
Shirish was the most aesthetic tree among his friends, he was the most deciduous and apparently the most friendly in the forests of Raipur. He loved the little humans who would climb up and sit on his branch and enjoy the view of the green forests. Until one day, when he realized that the little humans grew up to be more selfish than ever.
Rakesh wanted to build his industry at the place where he spent his childhood. He loved Shirish, but wasn't emotionally attached to other trees. With the growing demand of wood, Rakesh thought about his business and so he cleared up the land and sold the pile of logs for a good deal. Shirish experienced solidarity for the time. He witnessed the logs of wood being loaded in huge trucks, for him, this wasn't less than witnessing a slaughter; the bodies of his friends frightened him. For Rakesh, Shirish was merely a tree which instilled in him nostalgic feelings of his childhood, but for Shirish, Rakesh became equivalent to a child who doesn’t appreciate his own mother, the one who has brought him in the world, the one who has taught him how to speak and eat, the one who has taken care of him and loved him unconditionally.
It had been a month since Shirish was standing isolated in the middle of the industry. His beauty and built was appreciated and relished by all employees and workers of the industry. But no compliment would indemnify the loss of his friends and loved ones.
Solitude, which resulted from being a lone tree in an industry of nothing else but buildings, made Shirish weak. He started shredding more leaves and his branches would fall all of a sudden. Since Shirish was the exclusive beauty of the industry, Rakesh was concerned about him. He hired gardeners to look into the matter. None of the gardeners were skilled enough to understand Shirish's predicament.
Until one day, Rakesh's father came to visit the industry. Among the busy workers and the hustle bustle of the industry, the old, weak yet beautiful tree caught his attention. He touched his trunk and could understand his feeling of loneliness. The feeling was so relatable; he hugged the tree and told him that he wasn't alone.
Shirish felt the warmth of Rakesh's father, but was it equivalent to the loss of his friends? Even though it wasn't, but being loved after such a long time, made him feel good for a while.
The very next day, Shirish saw a huge truck entering the industry. It was bigger than the regular trucks. It stood right beside Shirish. The workers quickly unloaded the truck. 5 Bonsais, 10 shrubs, and numerous flower pots, restoration of his friends surprised Shirish!
They were all planted right under Shirish.
Shirish was happier than ever! He started interacting with those plants and regained his vitality in no time! Noticing such a sudden change in Shirish's health, Rakesh realized that cutting trees and plants was no less than a sin!
Shirish was reinvigorated again and Rakesh became more sensitive towards nature since then.
The earth doesn’t belong to us, we belong to the earth. And by ‘we’ one doesn’t mean only humans, but all plants and animals. Happiness can be found when love and care for each other leaves behind all trails of negativity and when people realise the importance of inter-dependence in humans, nature and society.