October 18, 2011

"You've got spunk" and another story...


"You’ve got spunk," he said. I did not know what it meant. But it reminded me of an incident and it gave me something to write about. So, Im glad.

It is a story about a tree. And then, it isn't just about the tree. For me, it got a little too personal. (And that I think is a good thing.)

I have always been a dreamer. I have extremely strong emotions. I feel before I begin to think. Usually, I depend more on my instincts than on logic and reason. My emotions never failed me; at least, not till now. Well, following dreams is probably something everyone talks about these days. I’ll keep away from that. 

Someone somewhere was cutting down a tree. It was a huge ficus. I had some sort of an undefined emotional attachment to the tree. Surprisingly, I hadn't known of this emotion myself, till I saw it being cut down. I informed the Forest Department, and they sent some personnel to take action. We protested. They opposed. They said that the tree would kill them, because a part of it had fallen down the previous night. And they were sure it would fall down wholly now. I asked if an expert had certified that. They insisted that they knew everything. Things followed and fell in place.

The tree is doing fine now. Well, I’ll leave the details about the tree there. 

What is more important for me is the emotion involved. The point in time when I stood against a huge group of aggressive intellectuals, I had only one thing on my mind. This is not right. I admit, I was not clear about what was right, then. All I knew was that the tree shouldn't be cut down. I pleaded that the owner of the house waited till the next evening, so I figure out what had to be done. 

My ride back home was one of the most difficult ones ever. Once I got home, all pieces seemed to fall into perfect slots. I called the person, who according to me had the best knowledge about trees and plants; she works in the Forest Department. She advised that I d speak to an organization that works on tree- translocations in Hyderabad. I did so, without any delay.

Apparently, this tree, a Ficus Benjamin, was a survivor tree. It could live in adverse conditions and could make the best of any available nutrition. The expert who accompanied me to check the tree also told me that this was one of the hugest of the species that he had ever seen. He told me that he was glad, I took him there and that this tree, he would trans-locate and set as a model example. 

When I had felt, what I felt that day, I was right. 

"You've got spunk", an old man in the colony said, when he saw him around in the lane there. I am not very sure now, whether he actually meant it well. Did he say that I had spunk because I did what I did? Maybe, he was trying to tell me that I must have had some guts, to return to the lane. 

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She had only fifteen rupees. She had already loaned from every source she knew. She would however, go back and try again in the morning. The heavy rain did not keep her from running to the drugs store to fetch the medicine. Her two sons, one seven years old and the other nine were suffering from brain-fever.

The owner of the drugs store seemed heartless to her. Each bottle of medicine was of twenty rupees cost. She begged him, to allow her to take at least one bottle. He gave in, with the condition that she would promptly pay up the very next morning. 

She was still pretty worried about finding twenty five rupees the next day. She was slightly glad, though. She ran back home and fed each of her kids half a bottle of the medicine.

Morning arrived.
Both kids died.

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