Friday, August 19, 2011

beautiful even in death..... :-(

I sit cribbing about the traffic which is caused by the (mis)planning of authorities. I am irritated no end as my cell phone rings continuously and asks for my attention. Exasperated I disconnect the important call which I wrongly assume was getting on my nerves. The actual cause is the traffic congestion which is causing the anxiety . Trying to look away from the real cause of the problem on hand I turn left and lower the glass window to feel the world outside the air-conditioned confines of the car.

My eyes fall on a dead tree which is standing tall with all the branches intact. The left-over natural wooden frame of the tree that included many branches; sub-branches and twigs are so asymmetric that it can put even a structural engineer to test; trying to locate the centre of gravity. I am really amazed looking at this glossy finished wooden trunk which is shining with a tinge of green in the evening fading light. Even in this state without a single leaf to carry out photosynthesis, it looks as if it could just start sprouting and bring a smile to my face.

Even though this tree looks so beautiful in death, it brought a frown to my face thinking how it had been killed in the garb of making way for development. The real cause of its death was that there was no room left for its roots to grow and develop; because of the unmindful excavation.

And what is the so called development? Here the development in question is a beautiful four way flyover which is being constructed so that more vehicles can pass over the city in lesser time without hindrance. The city planners do provide an allowance for the trees to be protected. Some times when a specific number of full grown trees are cut they insist that a specific number of saplings be planted against every tree cut to maintain the number of tree ratio per every square meter.

Having complied with the norms set by these so called agencies we feel that we are really protecting the environment. I am of the firm opinion that though these norms are in place for all to see but who really ensures their compliance? All these norms are myopic and do not really help in development. What we perceive as development; is really a pseudo development. If we consider a case in point we are building a flyover to provide for increase vehicular traffic and all this by uprooting such beautiful trees which give out life supporting oxygen while reducing the carbon dioxide which is consumed in the process of photosynthesis.

On the other hand increase in vehicular traffic amounts to increase in carbon monoxide emissions which is detrimental to the health of people and special care needs to be taken ……. So where is the development? The progress which necessitates the killing or can I call it murder of such beautiful but mute living things which cannot do anything to protect themselves in self defense. At the least;they cannot even cry in pain so that people become aware of their suffering as living beings.

But the majestic tree which I am now watching represents the bleak future people have in store; if protection of nature is not given top priority. I gulp down the lump in my throat which is generally followed by tears in the eyes but i don't reach that stage; while looking and mourning the death of this beautiful and majestic tree.

The presence of traffic police forces me to cajole my driver to take the vehicle a little further in the traffic to avoid penalty for parking in the wrong location; both me and my driver start looking back at the dead tree. I start introspecting and feel convinced that all this development is a farce and will be realized by the future generations to come, who still have to see the light of the day.

Jagdish S Kolur

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