Banyan Tree

A New Beginning

Banyan TreeEver since I shifted to my new residence, I’ve been witnessing many beautiful sights thanks to the huge Pipal Tree in my compound. For the first time in this concrete jungle called Mumbai, I’ve been woken up by birds chirping sweetly.  They sure are very happy to wake up every morning, unlike the rest of us grumpy heads, who complain forever about getting up early.

Till date I have seen at least seven varieties of birds from my window, not to mention the common crows and pigeons who think that my house is their watering hole. The tiny coppersmith barbet that became the first official Bird of Mumbai is one of the birds that comes visiting. According to Sunjoy Monga, a naturalist,

This tiny creature does not just epitomize the spirit of the city, but has also survived rampant developmental activities

Its tuk-tuk call every morning goes well with the sweet notes of the Koel (Cuckoo) and the Bulbul.

When the birds come to the tree to eat the berries from this huge tree, you can’t help but feel happy that at least these berries are not eaten by the humans. Every year this huge tree sheds its leaves in winter, but it is never bare. The branches of the tree seem to have decided that they would shed in turn so that it is never fully leafless. It’s like it is giving us a lesson in life – that nobody’s life is ever completely bare… there are green patches just round the corner; one just has to look for it.

Every spring when it is time for the new leaves to appear, I witness another beautiful sight. The small leaves appear like small green specks on the brown branches and every day they grow about a couple of millimeters long. The leaves grow in groups of three and slowly you see them emerging as separate leaves. They are red in color when young, as if they are blushing when first exposed to everybody and then miraculously they transform into confident green leaves.

When one sees the almost bare tree in winter, just full of dry brown branches, one feels like the tree is never going to see life again. But the tree waits patiently without losing hope. It knows that life is full of cycles … probably that is why we worship it. It tells us to look forward to every season of life, the birth, the homecoming of birds (children, friends and relatives), the sharing (of fruits, shade), the aging and shedding and then again the birth of a new cycle of life.

You remind me every day
     That which I have lost
Is not worth crying for
     Because something new is
Soon coming my way.

Author:  Rati
Rati is a full-time mom to three children and the co-editor of a spiritual newsletter ‘SETU’. She volunteers in activities with respect to conservation, protection and breeding of Indian Breed Cows. She loves writing on various topics, with a bit of poetry and philosophy added to it.

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