When I was a little girl, there used to be a big Ashok Tree. It stood huge, proud,with green leaves that lushed almost all the time. It was so tall that it’s highest branch rested a few couple of meters above the terrace. The trunk had a huge curvature or may be I was too small and the tree seemed too huge for me. I used to carve my name on its trunk, play with its leaves. As far as I recall that Ashok Tree was my only friend then.
My dad decided to extend a couple of rooms. The structure of my home was rectangular in shape. To extend a couple of rooms needed exact proportional extensions on its three sides. The huge Ashok Tree fell on the way. The solution: it was cut down. I felt bad. I couldn’t tell my dad not to cut down my only friend. I could just feel bad for it. Cutting such a huge tree wasn’t that easy a job. I recall that many men scattered around our house . Some climbed up to tie ropes, some stood on the terrace holding the rope so that it doesn’t crash down . A lot many stood near the lawn holding the ropes so that the tree doesn’t crash down the house. I wouldn’t be that sad had it wrecked down my house than watching the tree actually wreck; seeing it die. It took a whole day to bring down the huge , proud Ashok down. The next day the workers dug the tree till it’s roots.
The construction continued and after a few weeks my dad had his desired home constructed. I took the corner room , it had a lawn adjacent to it. On my door hung a wooden slab with my name carved on it. It was that part of the trunk I carved on the Ashok. I looked at my dad, he smiled. I smiled back. But that reminded me more of that beautiful tree.
Days passed. Our floors were plastered with cement. Tiles weren’t a trend that time. The ground was first dug, watered for few days, plastered with cement, concrete and sand and at last a thin layer of cement was applied for the smooth finish. The floor thus remained strong and firm for almost a decade. Most of the time after coming from school I used to sit down on the floor. Draw, write ,paint ,study, eat or even if I wasn’t doing anything, I simply used to roll around. It was one such fine day that I saw small saplings coming out of the plastered floor. They looked miniature trees. Small stems and tiny light green leaves at the end. It was the same place where the great Ashok stood. The huge tree was broken down but these little buddies broke out the heavy concrete floor that could have stayed intact for at least half a decade. It was magnificent for me. What else a nine year old could have inferred from that.
It has been more than a decade since that. Life has changed. I got lots of friends . I don’t play with trees, leaves or scribble my name on the bark. I actually would have loved to do that. Life is more than school,a scoop of ice cream and mom’s scolding. Now, life is tough! It’s depressing! There are times when I break down. I feel like giving up. I even feel like disappearing for a while. But life isn’t where we give up. Life is where we begin again and live. Life is more than a swamp of depression, it’s the audacity to dare; dare to swim to the other end. Life is not a plethora of problems , it’s the trick to solve them. Life isn’t only about survival, its when we start living.
I have been that great Ashok Tree. I have had a part of better days of my life. I have also stumbled . I have fallen.I have been hurt. Hurt to the point that I thought I couldn’t recover ever again. I have been alone. But thats where life kicks in. Thats where I need to rise from where I have fallen . That’s where I need to brush my self up. That’s where I need too start all over again. I can’t give up on my life cause the baby saplings showed me that life never gives up on us!