Thursday, July 01, 2010

Neem Trees

My home in Kerala has a neem tree in the courtyard. Of all the trees that has been there since my childhood, this one alone has not 'flourished'. It has grown in girth but not more than that.

It stands unobstrusively most of the time and once in a while when Onam comes, we hang a swing on one of its more stouter branches.However, my memories of it are not of the times on the swing, but how the tree stands out starkly during the height of summer and monsoon. In June when the monsoon hits Kerala, it often seems like the whole of nature is shouting with joy... the land turns green in 2 days, the world is alive with plants, creepy crawly insects, birds - in short the going is good for all. Except the neem tree.

As if protesting the rains, it starts shedding its leaves with the first rain. By the time a week is over, and you feel that things cannot get any better after the hot summer has been scuttled away by the rains, the neem tree is depressing and lifeless, stretching out naked branches to the sky. It seems to be protesting against all the life around it.

Through the monsoons and spring, this protest continues. My thoughts used to echo its feelings only when I had to go to school on a rainy morning/ or when I used to come back drenched from school.

Then comes summer. All around the hibernation mode has set in, as if nature is going to take a break to rejuvenate before next monsoon. The landscape is a dead dull brown and every living being attempting no movement to beat the heat.

In this desolation the neem tree seems to wake up. Green and glorious, it is a riot of green color - the tender light green of young leaves, and the mature dark green of older ones. Oddly enough, it never produced the small white flowers and the incredibly bitter fruits.

What was an eye sore during the monsoons, had become a balm during the summer.

Which brings me to people and also friends.


Blogger dreamer said...

Beautiful description.. suddenly there seems to be energy in ur post :)

10:21 PM  

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