The last coconut tree in my garden

When I was young, there was a big garden in our house. The garden full of fruit and vegetable trees and an enough large area where we used to play games. I hardly remember who started plantation in the garden, my father or my grand father but the time which are in my memory, I always saw a green sheet covering my backyard.

Mango, Banana, Blackberry, Custard Apple, Guava, Jackfruit, Papaya, Tamarind and Coconut. I helped my father and my uncle in taking care of the trees so that when fruits are ripen we can enjoy them together. My mother regularly took me to the garden early in the morning to pluck tomatoes, green chilly, bottle guard and spinach. I enjoyed playing with the dew drops settled over the leaves in winters. When the fruits ripened and fall down, my mother washed them and daily in the evening, whole family used to sit together and enjoy the fruits. There were laughs and talks all around. No special day needed for such celebrations because each day was celebrated together when those ripened fruits fallen from trees.

With passing time, requirements changed, lifestyle changed. We grew up and so did those trees in our garden. Urbanisation hit the doors and necessities keep on increasing. And, the day came when the only Tamarind tree was cut down so that there can be more area for the buildings. Within an year the  garden fruits in our basket were replaced by those purchased from market. The green sheet covering my garden was gone and there were walls built all around. Some of the trees which were left in the field did not looked the same anymore. Standing alone away from each other they were waiting for their turns when this urbanisation will engulf them as well. It seem like earlier they were strong together and now they are weak, bend downward and waiting to wilt.

Out of 3 coconut trees we had only one left which also got cut down few months ago. Those coconut trees were identity of our house. We could recognise our house from a long distance because of those feather shaped large leaves. They were like guards of our house welcoming everyone with wide-opened hands. Two weeks ago, the last Jackfruit and Blackberry trees were also cleared on the name of road construction. And with that, we finally lost the last shade of green sheet around our home.

We are now left with the memories only which we created with those trees and plants. Today also, my father came home with some mangoes, bananas purchased from market which are placed in that basket. But there is no enjoyment of sitting and eating together those fruits. The excitement felt when stones were thrown with eager eyes that mango will fall down and who will catch it first, is not anymore. That climbing on the tree to get the guava of you choice and eating it proudly like a winner is not anymore. The shaking of branches together so that fruits fall out and collect them, is not anymore. Like all the winters, this year also winter will come, dew drops will fall but they will have no place to settle on. They will be lost in the soil and I will not be able to play with them anymore. I envy my childhood !!

– Sristi Singh (Blogger)

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