Sunday, 25 July 2010

Trees On My Mind

My mind has been on trees, of late. Trees are a big part of my everyday life, anyway. If there is one thing I like about my work-place, it is that there are trees there by the zillions. Untouched for years, unperturbed by changes, oblivious to college festivals, impervious to faculty-angst, they dig their roots deep, and spread their branches wide.

I gaze lovingly at them as I run past in the early mornings. I peer longingly at them as I drive past later in the day, rushing to and from office and meetings and school pick-ups, and yes, coffee breaks.

I like to touch things with my hands. I surely love running my fingers over books. I like smelling books. I am a very unlikely convert to the Kindles of the world. I do pick up the odd leaf and smooth it over with my fingers. In my garden, I found, two months ago, the fuzziness of the pumpkin creeper’s leaf, and it has stayed with me, an imprint, a memory. But I rarely touch these trees. They look really venerable. And I feel I would disrespect them with my mortal touch. My eyes, on the other hand, swallow them whole.

Chennai is a wonderful city where you will, serendipitously, run into a wonderful neem tree, if you have your eyes open. Yesterday as we parked on the side and stepped out, I saw a forlorn house in a large ground area. “Three grounds” the guy said. The grass was overgrown, and uncared for. The batik cloth hangings in the verandah were dusty, clearly unused for many years. The trees though, were spectacular. One was a wiry little fellow, all knobbly joints and defiant looking, thriving on the Chennai rains. The other was a sedate old matron, all heavy mid-section and a wide canopy of leaves, comforting, motherly. ‘Oh I love it’ I said.

(maybe i had a telepathic thing with dipali and the spaniard, who knows?)


dipali said...

I'm sure you did!
One more reason to love you:)

Space Bar said...

I think, definitely, telepathy!


I think this calls for a group hug or something. Or at least a few bottles of beer.

ChoxBox said...

Hmm. So may trees, so many memories :)

Your workplace totally rocks, in case you didn't know already.

kbpm said...

GROUP HUG!! (I feel like I am sixteen again).

Chox, yeah. Fifteen years on friday since we walked the walk and took the degree, BTW.

Dipali- :-) Your tree sounds really lovely though.

ChoxBox said...

15? Nah!

Your first on the other side on the table in this place right?! Too much! Who knows one day you'll be delivering the Diro's speech!

p.s.: Met N and V y'day. Thought of you and the other junta.

kbpm said...

Chox- 15yes. Thats why the Sandman suggested a reunion and did all that stuff for next weekend! First one here yes, am planning to go! Hoping its not too sweaty!

How are the girls doing? We should do a bangalore thingie again I think!

ChoxBox said...

All good and it'll be two years so time to do it again I'd say. Don't tell your folks here, come and stay with us.

Ludwig said...

> Or at least a few bottles of beer.

You guys are all talk.

kbpm said...

ludwig, at least we talk. not like you men who bottle it all up inside. anyway there is that hyd run I am counting on you to figure out, register, and make train bookings and so forth for. please to do the needful. sincerely in triplicate, kenny.

Sands said...

Got to agree with you on trees and Chennai. I can also guess your workplace. I went to school in the same neighborhood for 12 years :)

Pipa said...

Oh Ludwig you should join kbpm and me ont he trek up to Tirupati for the laddoos but no darshan

kbpm said...

Pipa- i did not know you were you till now. :-)
Sands- Nice!

Pipa said...

You did not know your Pipa?


What a lovely post. A mango tree in bloom makes me want to weep in joy as does the short-lived banana tree.