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020There was no power for a while yesterday, which meant no internet. With nothing much to do, I was flipping through Dummies Guide to Nikon D5100 when unusual sounds could be heard coming from outside. Luci and I were out on the balcony in a jiffy.  Yup, we are a curious duo. There were three men on the road below. Two of them had long bamboo sticks, with a deadly looking curved knife tied to one end. They were busy hacking away at branches growing too close to the power cables. The third man was supervising their work.

255Luci had begun snorting like steam engines of yore at this seeming transgression on the part of the workers. She labors under the misconception that her territory extends as far as her eyes reach, poor deluded dog. Having nothing better to do of that lazy after-lunch hour, I continued standing there watching the men at work. Of course I always hope a bird or two would come by and brighten up my day, a butterfly or even a dragonfly would do as well.

Just then, one of the men sliced through the top portion of a young Papaya tree001 growing opposite the balcony on the other side of the road. Luci became ballistic in expressing her disapproval. This was too close to home ground, and not to be tolerated at any cost. Rowrrr Rowwwrrr. Or maybe like Dogmatix she hates trees being dismembered. The beheaded tree looked such a sorry sight. But you can’t really blame the workers. Though unfair on the tree, it was where it had no business being.

As I watched the men work, a question arose in my mind. WHY should it be the Electricity Board’s job to slice off extending branches of trees standing in private properties? I mean isn’t it each citizen’s duty to see that the tree growing in his/her house was trimmed and did not interfere with a public utility system? Where is our civic sense? How about if the Electricity Department fined such careless people? Sigh. I know all this is only idle speculation on my part, and not something that can be implemented. But sometimes one wishes…

In the last place I stayed, my neighbor had a flowering creeper in her front yard. The creeper twined around the coconut tree close to it, reached the top, and then drooping wound itself around the electric cables. The neighbor only had to divert the creeper on to the pillar of her house and it would have spread itself on the roof of her house making a pretty sight. The next best thing, the civil thing actually, since the electric cables take electricity not just to her home but to the whole street and houses therein, was to cut the creeper off from below so that the rest of the plant dried and died. Such an easy thing to do, but she did neither.

In fact what she DID DO was let her dog out of its kennel right when the laborer from the Electricity Department was standing on her wall stretching to reach the creeper and cut it. He immediately jumped down scared the dog might reach up and bite him. He was mighty pissed off (justifiably so) and grumbled to me that some people just did not cooperate with those doing their duty. How unfair indeed to have treated him thus.

371By now the men had moved to a house further down the street. To my horror they hooked their knives on to the top of the thickly growing trees (they were not even tall) in the front yard, and started pulling and chopping. The trees swayed and shook dangerously. My heart went out to the residents of the trees. How scary for them! I have many times observed rufous treepies, white-cheeked barbets, bulbuls, and sunbirds diving in and out. I can only hope that they are all safe, that no nests had fallen in the melee.

Life is just not fair. Is it?

This post is part of Ultimate Blog Challenge July 2013