Grow roots : Stay strong

Hello friends, I am re blogging a lovely article by fellow blogger Bindu Midha …. a subject close to my heart …

Bindu blogs on creativbent.com

Do read and resonate

grow-roots_-stay-strong-mumbai-messenger-the-local-weekly-newspaper-mumbai-local-newspaper-local-newspaper-of-mumbai.pdf

Grow Roots: Stay Strong

July 17, 2015

Bindu Midha

Strongly entrenched stands the banyan tree, emanating an aura of majesty and grandeur which seemed to belong to an era gone past. Times had changed for the enigmatic woody plant, but it remained firmly established reminding the secret admirers of the roots that they could too firmly entrench. The roots were deeply seated in the soil forming a strong union with it that was unshakeable, unmoveable. Thus each had remained with each other, by each other through the years of tears and joy, progress and turmoil, not changing much, rather growing more roots! The internal, the underground roots had surfaced to make visible the determination to hold on, to remain steady and well settled in spite of the difficulties of storm and squall, worm and parasite. Nothing could deflect this gigantic, perennial, woody entity from being one with the ground it stood on.

The colossal tree made me reflect on the relationships I share with the others around me­ my immediate family, my close friends, my acquaintances, my colleagues, and someone I cannot leave out­ my pet. Was each bond frivolous or firm? Was it deep­seated or shallow? Could one of them be unsettled by a sudden strong wave of turbulence?

Are all our ties sturdy enough to weather any storm, or do they turn feeble like weak links and could go topsy turvy at slightest gust that tries to have a go at them? Could a misunderstanding, an unkind word or a harsh statement unsettle years of togetherness and cordiality? Were the links robust enough to offer resistance and emerge a victor, turning a sturdy face to the stormy deflections?

I reflected, pondered as these thoughts took shape making me realise I needed to work at each link. Clarity dawned! Indeed firmness had to be built, roots needed to go deeper as a gust could unsettle, topple the tender relationships that mark our life and facilitate our journey through this world. Why? We can’t really sail alone, by ourselves can we? To make the journey exciting & enthusing, compatible companionship is indispensable, togetherness is needed. It’s the stimulus, the motivation, the driving force that makes us move onwards in a state of bliss, making our crossing meaningful and productive.

What an important lesson to learn during a chance visit to the Gateway of India on an idle day when an unexpected holiday gave me respite from a hectic work day! The banyan tree approved of the rain, bathing its dust laden leaves, allowed the wind to whistle & swing on its outward roots as they danced to the rhythm, twirling and swinging. But was it deterred by the pace? No! Why? It had the soil for partnership. The two together held on, withstood the vagaries of the weather and in fact fell in tune with it. The tree was held in place by its roots.

Easily uprooted, the squall that life brings does shake our belief in our relationships and we question them, put them to test and create bitterness for ourselves. All we need to do is like the good old banyan tree­ stay untiring, stay unwavering and most importantly NURTURE ROOTS!

http://mumbaimessenger.com/grow­roots­stay­strong/ 2/2

Dad

Dad….

I will see you in every tree

Every sea shell

Every grain of sand

And in every athlete’s stance

Every high and low tide

Will bring memories of you

And every new moon

Will carry your smile

You can’t be gone

You are right here

In my son’s eyes

Mirrored in mine

Every skyline that you pointed out to me

And every mountain range you showed me

Every journey that you travelled with me

Led to the journey that you took without me

Thank you for a million memories

Energy personified

Nature lover

Outdoors person

Mountain climber

Ocean Tides predictor

Explainer of moon phases

Fastest runner

Table tennis champion

Shells collector

Strong debater

Footballer

Beach walker

Forest friend

Fittest man

Builder of dams

Sun worshiper

Firmest handshaker

Amazing singer

Environment friendly

Bird watcher

Safe keeper

One man encyclopaedia

Protector

Family man.

Strongest.

Free spirit

Daddy.

I Miss you.

Moving on. With Coffee.

This is a sort of requiem. Chokkana, the ever alert, friendly, neighbourhood stray dog, keeper of the garden, arranger of dog security teams and ‘happy to be alive young canine’ has been missing for a while. Not going to think of what could have happened, I miss his happy romping and his keen interest in everything on the road. Every evening stroll in my favourite walking park in Lokhandwala Complex used to be concluded by spotting Chokkana*, gathering up his army, assigning duties to his four legged friends and generally being the Happy to Help Good Samaritan and eager Boy Scout.

Now I don’t see him anymore.

Many days have gone by. His absence is conspicuous. Like the turning of the season , Chokkana turned his back on us and vanished.

We move on. We try to get used to people moving away from us. Things change permanently and we never quite get used to it. We grow older, stronger, wiser and emptier. New friends, loved ones may come into our lives but we never really get over the loss of old friends. We steel ourselves, find hobbies, or addictions and move on.

Nowadays, I see another friendly, happy, alert dog running around, barking at strangers and their noisy vehicles, mobilising his furry folk to ensure that no unsavoury lot creeps into the verdant environs of the park. He has a rich brown colouring and Sam** has named him Coffee.

*https://intriguingblue.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/chokkanna/

** Sam , my walking companion – who is happy to converse with me about anything under the sun, including the sun.

Staying golden.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

-Robert Frost. 1923

One of my favorite Robert Frost poems…it comes to my mind when I stand on the back road of Lokhandwala, a suburb in Andheri … where trees grow and the road is fringed by the mangroves giving it a green foresty feel and nature lovers like me exult in the knowledge that such a green belt exists in the concrete jungle of Mumbai.

And all I think of now is how long will these precious trees remain standing …

Since four months this pristine road has been under construction due to the up coming metro which promises to connect the city in amazing ways.

Tall cranes , blue scaffolding, and banners line the centre of the road .

The trees still stand, coated in dust … awaiting their fate. The sound of chirping birds and swishing leaves is replaced by the thud thud of the piling machines and the motor pumps. Deep excavation teams, workers in blue helmets strut around. Stay out: infrastructure for progress in process.

The trees still stand. Bare skeletons. Bony fingers and arms stretched towards the sky as if questioning what have we done to receive this treatment, facing a slow and imminent death. A few leaves hang limply about. Lifeless. Resigned.

What was whole and pure and beautiful falls to dust and decay. Nothing gold can stay.

Life is fragile. Once the blow comes , it’s all downhill. The blow often comes disguised as progress, technology or development. And then things are never the same. The concrete jungle spreads like a disease and like the promise of ‘better things to come’ we resign ourselves to the ever increasing traffic and noise and pollution. The trees which were dismissed as ‘unnecessary impediments’ in the most important road to progress would have provided comfort and softness in a world where these things have become a luxury.

Sure, we need better connectivity and infrastructure. But do we necessarily need to trample upon whatever is natural and beautiful and permanently replace it with ugliness which only causes stress? Can we work on less invasive and more sustainable alternatives? The coastal road which has just started being built will permanently mar the beautiful sunsets visible from Juhu Beach. Obviously no alternative can be found by our representatives to link the far flung suburbs to the main commercial areas of this maximum city. To reach faster. To work more. To produce more. For better productivity. For more production. For more stress. More stress. More stress.

So a compromised view of the sunset from the few beaches left in our city; fewer or no trees left on Lokhandwala back road and dozens of others around Mumbai : Small price to pay for better connectivity, right?

Who decides?

Do we even have a choice?

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You can read about these very trees in my post ‘Green on my mind’

https://intriguingblue.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/476/

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#savetrees #sustainabledevelopment #stayinggreen

Precious moments

On the last day of school … or on graduation day

Or even the completion of an important chapter in your life …

Every day I learnt something new

Fresh and golden as morning dew.

The days spent in a flurry of activity

Hurry hurry scurry scurry

The lines for canteen snacks

Stationery and fun things in our back packs

The endless chatter and talk

Very important stuff and what not

Now I feel that

Every class was a joy

And every lesson a pleasure

If only I could get a few more days

Of that exquisite treasure …

Life beckons and I must go

But for a few moments more , you know…

Let me linger in the hallway

Savor the taste of victory and pray

For those long lasting friendships

And for those bittersweet moments …

The victories and the joys

The lows and the highs

They will always be in my heart

They shaped me to be a class apart.

#nostalgia #graduation #intriguingblue #poetry

Why I walk in the afternoons

If there are tree lined streets in your neighborhood, you must pick the afternoons to walk around in, run errands, window shop or just ramble. It’s quieter, to start with. And comparatively less crowded. The shade provided by the trees gives dappled comfort and I feel a sense of old childhood days nostalgically steal over me. When we played all afternoon. When we were sure all adults were busy with their siestas. When we could do things which were forbidden … for instance: climb the huge tamarind tree at the very edge of the compound with those formidable twisted branches and the most delectable luscious tamarind just waiting to be picked. Or then make mud structures at the far end of the garden. Or even try to set up a makeshift swing using some old rope and a plank of wood. The possibilities were endless; the only requirement was the time and the magical absence of adults enjoying a well earned nap Everything else could be managed or conjured up. Somehow, the afternoon heat was never an issue.

Those pleasures can never come back but a quiet moment in time can surely be stolen. A moment to savor, just be …it’s even better when there’s some sea breeze for company,

#Intriguingblue #poetry #Lokhandwala