I have now grown to a big tree. I am no more afraid of my branches being wrenched out because it is not easy to reach up to them. And fortunately people are lazy to bring a ladder and climb on me. Since the last few years I have been seeing several people, more than a hundred or two, taking morning and evening walks. Six- or seven-years olds to seventy-year olds come and walk along the walkway. NOIDA authority staff members sometimes come and fill the ground with sewage water. They have repaired the walkway by adding more soil a couple of times. I have seen a few of my friends being uprooted and dying because they had initially been planted in shallow pits. When they grew, the thin soil above the roots could not hold them. They were uprooted during storms. And the people who have been walking beside them every day since a few years, without as much as blinking their eyes, just looked at them and continued their walk. Some of them were horrible, they wrenched all the branches to prepare four inch pieces for cleaning their teeth. They were enjoying and even celebrating the death of those friends! Man, thy name is treachery!
Then one day the most horrendous incident occurred, which I shall never forget. It was around noon and some boys, maybe school students, came and sat on a cement bench near me. There were five of them. They were eating something and talking and laughing loudly. They were enjoying. It was then that a dog slowly approached them. This dog used to come to the park and I have seen him several times. Some people used to give him milk, roti, or bread. He came to the boys thinking he would get something to eat. He was patiently waiting for them to throw something for him. Since they didn’t care, he sat there, expectantly, patiently, looking at them. One of the boys saw him and threw to him a piece of something he was eating. The dog enthusiastically started eating the piece. Suddenly, to my horror, the boy got up and violently kicked him on his stomach. The poor fellow was shocked at the unexpected attack. He fell down moaning. After a few seconds, he started moving away slowly leaving the food behind. But the boy wouldn’t let him. He kicked him again on his face. Then the others too joined him. I can’t tell or don’t want to even remember how long the hapless animal suffered their totally unnecessary cruelty. It looked like they were possessed by some evil spirit. After dancing on the wretched animal for about half an hour, they left laughing, talking, and singing.
The poor animal couldn’t move. Blood was oozing out of his mouth and nose. There were injuries all over his body. Several of his bones must have been broken. After about an hour or so he started crawling slowly and somehow managed to reach near me. He lay there clutching my trunk panting, moaning, and pleading with God of Death to relieve him of his agonies. His breath burned me. His agony suffocated me. I was destined to watch everything silently. How I wished to give him some comfort by covering him with some of my tender leaves! Humans say that my leaves are medicine. I prayed to the wind god to blow and break a few of my tender branches so that I can cover him with my leaves. But nothing happened. I watched his agony till slowly and slowly life ebbed away from him. And he lay there, dead, still clutching my trunk, the poor animal whose only crime was that he was hungry and he trusted the two-legged monsters to give him something to eat!
What happened then?
[To be concluded]
[Updated on week-ends]