Friday, July 15, 2011

The Gulmohar Tree

Right in the centre of the construction site of the new five-star hotel stood a gulmohar tree. The tree was an impediment to the layout of the plans for the premise. There was no other option but to bring it down.
Over many long and laborious years the roots of the tree had slowly penetrated the earth, spreading out intuitively to suck in the life force that made the tender sapling bloom into a strong and proud tree. The roots branched out unevenly in apparently random directions but sure in the knowledge and wisdom of experience. The roots brought stability and security in the whimsical tides of fortune. It held the gulmohar tree firmly and obstinately. It prevented the tree from sailing on a raft of clouds to experience the euphoria of flight. It stopped the tree from walking away from disaster. It grounded the gulmohar tree decisively and surely to its home and its identity.

Over many a summer and monsoon and autumn, the sapling had shot up and reached for the heavens through its branches spread out to greet the call of the wild. The branches divided and subdivided to embrace the creativity unimaginable to the roots. They sang with the birds and danced with the breeze. They embodied the deepest aspirations and expressions of the soul of the tree and bore flowers of radiant, unparalleled beauty. They brought fulfilment to the gulmohar tree.
The tree weathered many a storm due to the strength of its roots and sought many an ideal due to the expanse of its branches.
The engineers of the construction site pondered upon the most effective method in bringing down the gulmohar tree. They debated whether to uproot it from its stump or to cut off the branches first. It is always a dilemma which is more painful.....the death of the life flowing through the body or the ruthless murder of the spirit of life. What can the roots support if the branches are amputated? What is security without dreams? What good are the branches when the roots are wrenched off? What are dreams without strength?
In the middle of the construction site stood a gulmohar tree; and while the engineers were busy making plans to replace the tree with the foundation of a swimming pool, the tree lived and breathed and dreamed life to its overflowing brim, blissfully unaware and unconcerned about five star hotels and profitability of business.
After all, the tree had learned that the intensity of life matters more than illusions of permanence. 


  1. Very well said. I wish we can do more to save the old trees. They have beautiful stories to tell the next generations of mankind.

  2. Maggie, I fondly remember the gulmohar trees that grew in and around our village, thinking just how special they were. Even as a child, I remembered.
    So now your story. I don't think you could have picked a better metaphor to speak of the last, lonely bastions of the old, wise ways.
    Or have I got it all wrong? ;)

  3. really touching.. full of humanness