The Big Banyan Tree

The Big Banyan Tree

The ancient banyan tree, standing in the playground of the primary school exhales a deep breathe. Probably this is the last day of his life. Hundred and fifty years he has passed his life here, giving shelter to numerous birds and creatures. He has watched how each and every brick has transformed into a beautiful school. Small kids come hopping in dirt and dust, put their books aside and start playing around him. They have tied swings on his mighty branches and have climbed to the top to check on the nests of the birds. They have laughed and cried, jumped and run around him. He has given them shelter from the scorching sun and has sheltered the birds from the heavy rains. The squirrels have found their refuge in him and the monkeys have found him to be a perfect resting place. He has such an extended family. He has been a roof to numerous beings. But now it’s different. He is no longer needed. He is denied of his existence. The children need to learn properly and for that they need proper place to sit. The big banyan tree is a big barrier for their future. So, people will come tomorrow to wipe him out from their future. From a seedling to a big tree he has withstood so many storms, but never has felt such helplessness. New building will be constructed, various shrubs bearing beautiful flowers will be planted, caged birds will sing around, beautiful parks will be there for the children, where they can swing and play. Only the big banyan tree with his numerous birds and creatures will not be there to witness this. Darkness engulfs the school premises, the birds creep back into their nest and the big banyan tree dozes off to sleep.

The morning starts with its usual busy note, but something is missing. Though the children have come to the school, they seem to be indifferent and do not come to the banyan tree as they usually do. They are busy among themselves, chatting and talking and waiting for the inevitable. The banyan tree becomes very sad and his heart is tearing out of pain. He can’t bear to see that the children are staying away from him. Then suddenly those people come to cut down the big banyan tree to secure the future of the children. Seeing them the banyan tree closes his eyes, sheds some leaves, takes a deep breath and prepares himself for the misfortune. For the last time he wants to see his dear children and opens his eyes and is surprised by the hugs and kisses. The children have made a plan. They will hug the big banyan tree tight and form a circle, so that, no one can cross them and come near the tree. This big banyan tree is not only a tree for them, it’s their companion, their friend and their great big umbrella who shelters them from the sun and rain. Those people are unable to persuade the children to move away and ultimately, they have to go away.

It is decided that the children will have some of their classes under the big banyan tree amidst nature and now they will make a beautiful garden around the banyan tree, so that, the banyan tree can get some more friends, like butterflies and bees. The children are overjoyed to save their banyan tree. The banyan tree is very happy and thanks the evening sky as he sees the children going back home. He calmly meditates upon the day and prepares for sleep, hoping to meet his dear friends again in charming daylight.

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