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It is February again and I take up my pen to… oops, not a pen. There are no more pens (or pencils) in my life, only a keyboard on which my fingers tap-dance. Now that February is here, the fingers are poised to do a lot more dancing than they have been doing these past couple of months, for in February, I ramble.

I noticed that each time I start off on a monthly blogging spree I say the same old thing, that time is at premium, blah, blah, blah. Don’t let the blah, three in all, at the end of the last sentence deceive you into thinking it hadn’t been true. It was. But then since I realized time is scarce most always I thought it better to skip the topic altogether this time and get down instead to writing. So here I am.


The welcome rain

Dusty, dry January (barring a single flash of heavenly rain that fell for approximately thirty minutes last week) has given way to still dusty and dry plus hot February. There’s nothing cool in sight, except the litchi ice-cream in the refrigerator. Summer is in the wings, just waiting to step in and officially take the stage by storm, without a real storm if you know what I mean.

My neighbors are busy cutting trees left, right and center, saving me from a tsunami of dried leaves (the house-help is pretty pleased about the fact) but depriving me of the cool shade that I enjoyed absolutely free of cost. What shocked me to my core was the felling of my beloved tamarind tree. When I say ‘mine’ I mean only by it being beloved to me, for in truth it belongs to my neighbor.


Tamarind tree being felled

I go off for a day and return to find that my other neighbor has cut the jack-fruit tree, and pruned the mango and karaka trees by having huge branches sawed off. The drumstick tree, unable to watch this mass slaughter of its kin all around, felled its own biggest branch, drumsticks and all, with a loud bang, scaring us and making Luci bark like crazy. The Anamika tree on the other side is shedding like nobody’s business, quite unlike the last year, so has not much foliage to give coolness.

A walk down the lanes revealed the tree-chopping madness has gripped more of them humans. Why are they chopping off trees when summer is around the corner and we need all the shade that can be had? Wouldn’t it be better to do the chopping and pruning at the end of summer, just before the rains?  Questions, questions!

Altogether I feel like I am living in a desert, instead of sand we have concrete structures everywhere. Sigh. My only hope is the scraggly neem tree behind my house. The tender leaves it has sprouted gives me hope of one day seeing it as a full grown tree, its lush green canopy a sight for sore eyes.

©Shail Mohan 2017