The Banyan Tree
… and it was happy. Not that it was enjoying looking at the gloomy faces of people, who were sick of such harsh behavior of summers of 2020, but it was happy thinking of the kids, who will be free from their schools soon and will come to play under it.
My grandfather used to tell that he was barely four, since when he has seen this thing grow from a small twig to a giant tree.
Grandpa died at 74 last year. So this one had to be around 74-75 years old. Days, weeks, months, years, decades passed, many seasons came and left, neighbors changed, but it kept standing there, observing the changes quietly.
Morning joggers used to relax on the dais under it. Afternoons were reserved for vendors and rickshaw-pullers, who used to take shelter in its shade, have their lunch, share their joy and sorrows and leave again for their respective jobs. It used to shake its leaves and branches mildly, as if rejoicing in their joys and sympathising for their sorrows.
Evenings were its favourites. Mothers used to come with their infants and young ones. People used to come with their furry companions. It witnessed the crowd on street food stalls, which used to be at its peak during eve hours. It used to hear everything, from the hassles of daily commuters to the new experimental stories of home-makers.
It used to watch some playing ‘I spy’ while others asking about the colours the other one wants. It keeps on shaking its branches calmly, as if nodding to everyone’s opinions. Whatever happened, it used to be happy in everyone’s joy, and sad in everyone’s sorrows.
Nights used to be quiet. Yet it hears the love whispers from some roofs and used to give an adroit smile. It acted as a guardian of the area during the day, and as a guard at nights.
Time passed. Generations got replaced. Infants were no more toddlers and young ones were no more kids. The evening crowds were no more the same, given the technological advancements and lifestyle changes.
Still it didn’t complain to anyone- to whom no one comes to see him. It accepted the changes. Its feelings didn’t change for anybody.
But now instead of evenings, the whole summer season is its favourite. It prepares himself well for this season. It stretches itself up to full bloom. It waits patiently for this part of the year when the summer vacation of the kids start, they come back to their grandparents’ home. Once again, the evenings start getting crowded and watching the kids, it tries to revive its youth.
But unfortunately, the summers of 2020 had some different plans. No street stalls, no kids, no pets, no joggers, no commuters.
Just the old Banyan tree stands there. Quiet. Anxious. Clueless!!