Friday, February 29, 2008

A dear friend lost.....


















































You were just a sampling when we arrived,
a decade and half ago...
Planted carelessly by the corporation,
in the name of afforestation.
"its too close to the house ", my uncle had said, an advice we didn't heed...

And thus slowly but steadily you grew,
under the tender care of amma and the gardener,
a fellow whose knowledge exceeded that of a seasoned farmer...

Don't you remember that stormy night,
when it rained like it was a sign of an impending doom,

when amma and i very carefully strung a rope to your slender waist and tied it to our balcony, lest you split yourself to two?....

You also grew to take a special place in our hearts,
and also in many others', who themselves (and sometimes their vehicles),
took shelter under you from sunlight and rain..
.
And not to forget the fauna who were also indebted to you,
the bees, the crows, the pigeons, the squirrels...

The squirrels especially delighted me as they ran up and down your trunks,

playing gleefully as though they didn't have a worry in life,

and in the process they ran away with my gloom and strife...


You were the indicator of seasons, you stripped in fall,

(making it a hell lot difficult for amma and the gardener to clear the leaves ;)...
And then you were a sight to behold in vasantha kaala...
the varied shades of green would have definitely made a lover of nature,
mad with joy...

To the non-school going boys you were but a pole,

which along with the telephone pole nearby,
would give the ideal place to wind their threads and colour them meticulously,
for the upcoming kite season...
and many a time the kites used to get stuck to you,

which was followed by " aunty can we get our kite please"....

Your branches had to pruned once a while, for it was in the verge of snapping,
any of the telephone/cable wires,
What a circus it was to get the job done which involved the cutter sitting in precarious positions,
which always (still don't the reason why), used to make amma feel, what if he slips....


Everybody used to love the breeze you brought about...

You were also the last point where the romeos could drop their juliets (of the nearby women's hostel),

for anywhere closer to the hostel would mean a thorough blasting from the warden...
The delight we used to take in watching the scene unfold from atop our house,

promises to keep in touch and flying kisses exchanged between the couple all under your blessings...


And finally your story took a different turn....


The water bill which until now had not crossed 200/-,

which is normal for a family of three,
arrived one fine day carrying with itself a figure having the digit three,
in its hundred's place...

This was odd, but we let it go...

But a few months later when the three got replaced by five,
we all decided to look into the matter earnestly,

checked for leaks, tried to make our usage efficient but to no avail...

Then it was decided to mark the level of water in the sump to check if it had cracked...

The next day we saw the water hovering 2 feet below the line..

The sump was emptied and was carefully checked for cracks;

when we saw your beautiful roots swaying under breaths almost mocking us...
"I think its a bit too close" uncle had said a decade and a half ago...

Now it would definitely be wrong on our part to accuse you for the mishap,
its like accusing a child for his growth...
But the water had to be utilized by us than for you roots opined the elders...
Appa got into action making phone calls and everything else necessary;
for your demise...

After a fortnight, (which is a limca record opined appa), the municipal dudes arrived...
Armed with machetes and hacksaws...
They set about chopping you from 8am that day,
I couldn't bear the sight and left for college with a heavy heart...
By the time i arrived, they were still on the job with shouts of "jor lagaake aiissa...."
(kannada equivalents to be suitably substituted)...
Amma while providing refreshments for me recounted with anger as to how the neighbours behaved...
" our phone lines, our cable lines, please be careful, we can't bear without it..."
"Why sudha are you getting it cut?, it was of such utility to us..."
As if they cared....
A few hours later the dudes cleared out your parts and you were just reduced to a stump....
I sat on the
pyol and shed silent tears, reminiscing the good old days,
the condition of the fauna...

My sincerest apologies to you and to those who loved you,
for this action was but inevitable...that you were a victim of circumstances...




7 comments:

Mark said...

Hi Nakki, this is from Switzerland and from an old man, compared to yourself. I just wanted to tell you that I was very touched by this post and by the way you wrote it. - Mark

Mark said...

Soryy, I apparently misstiped the URL. I try again. - Mark

Nakki said...

Thank you Mark... A comment from a swiss is just so amazing... Makes the world small and in a way binds us all together... mail me your link ...

Arjun Bharadwaj said...

:) Socially Conscious Nakki on a poem-writing-spree :D

Good Work!!

Akshata said...

Heartrending.

Although prose would be more convincing under such circumstances..only poetry that rhymes well can do justice to such a noble existence. Either way, its a warm tribute indeed.

Kritical said...

Very touching poem ...His unique sense of style gives perfect justice do his blog's title...poetic justice indeed

Akhil said...

High emotion.

Akshata was kind.

This is a compensation between prose and poetry, so to speak - only the high emotional quotient keeps it faintly alive.