Self Expression Magazine

Magic Tree

By Atulsharmasharma
On Eleventh March, I decided to take my evening walk an hour earlier than my usual time. It was raining for two days at a stretch. Papers said global warming has changed the seasonal system. The clouds went for a refill and the sun found a chance to show its face. And I found a chance to hit the street.
So at five I was on the street. The sky was full of black clouds with the sun trying to peep at Earth. I knew anytime soon the clouds could empty themselves. Still I kept on walking. As I took right turn for the market, I found two boys walking slowly ahead of me. Their appearance suggested their condition. They were bare feet with patchy clothes. I am not sure but they might be the boys of  nearby slum. Suddenly the taller one stopped and looked towards the park. He elbowed the shorter one to look there. Curiosity forced me to join them.
There I saw a middle aged fat man in black trousers and purple T-shirt. He was pouring milk on the peepal tree’s root with a big steel container. The big steel container which we are accustomed to see with our milkman. It took considerable time for the man to empty the container. The milk kept on coming like it was never going to end. The boys kept on staring at  the scene with wide eyes and gaped mouths. Then the man with his head bowed, palms joined and his lips touching each other apparently in prayer stood in front of his magic tree for a quiet long time.
The Peepal Tree was a big one, whose leaves danced with the rapid wind. The man turned around and entered his Honda City.
“Let’s make some money,” ordered the taller one.
And both of them sped towards the car. As they reached the car the man had by then buckled himself up and was about to reverse his car. The taller one knocked at the driver’s window. The man with a start looked at them. He with a wave of hand tried to shoo them away. The shorter was a timid one, he preferred to stay behind the taller. The taller one knocked again. And this time the window rolled down, only to allow abuses to come out which could be heard up to a kilometer. The boys staggered back. The car made itself one with the other cars on the road. The boys turned towards the tree. They stood there for a long time. Their eyes glued to the milk spilled on the root. Their minds wondering:
“Do trees drink milk?”
“Do they need milk more than us?”
The shorter gave a sympathetic pat on the shoulder of the taller one. They sighed together. And soon came back on the tiled footpath. In Chandigarhthe footpaths are well tiled. I walked behind them. Their faces were down staring hard on the path. They were saying nothing to each other. Just wondering in their minds. The clouds could no more bear the pain of the boys and they started to cry with big fat tears.
I ran backwards and took refuge under the big fat Peepal tree with other people. The rain-washed the root of milk stains. It was now looking fresh after bathing with milk and water. I could see the boys walking with their heads down talking in their hearts in the unbearable rain.

© Atul Sharma

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