Bangladesh Slideshow

21 March, 2008

My Window Tree

A green canopy is a rare sight in this concrete city. I am truly fortunate to live on a tree-lined street, with a row of weeping willows and a massive krishnachura right in front of our apartment building. This towering sentry always reminded me of the Robert Frost poem, “Tree At My Window.” Its spreading branches swayed softly in the breeze, provided the surrounding area with a cool shade, and from its lofty height, caught the first and last rays of the sun. In the evening, it was home to dozens of birds, and the rustling of its leaves was always a comforting sound.

I woke up this morning to the sound of breaking branches, and rushed to my window. Some people were lopping off branches from the trees, which is a fairly common sight as branches tend to get tangled in electric cables, and cause havoc during storms. I praised Dhaka City Corporation for their wisdom in taking this timely step in the nor’wester season, and went back to sleep.

Around mid-day, I noticed that the tree-cutting was still in progress, and was rather alarmed. I asked the tree-cutters, and received the sad news that the owner had sold the tree to be chopped down to make way for a gate into his property! I was heartbroken! Oh the poor, poor, tree! And irritated too! What idiot chops down a perfectly healthy shade giving tree to make way for a gate??? I guess different people have different priorities. No wonder conservationists are in constant battle to save the planet. But the plight of the tree brought tears to my eyes. And I seriously thought of setting the dog on the cutters.

My ode to the Krishnachura begins with a line from the Frost poem, “But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed”, and ends with some photos of the last hours of this green giant. I apologize to you, my silent friend, for human selfishness and the untimely ending of your life.

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