Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Tallest Tree

I have no idea how and when exactly this happened. 

We were all bought from a nursery  near Kundapur and brought to this farm several years ago.  I still remember the journey.....jostling around in a bright blue pick-up vehicle, racing over rough roads, the breeze pulling back our fronds like crazy, it was the first time me and my siblings were looking at the world beyond our nursery wall.  

The last stretch of the journey was really exciting as the road dipped sharply into what looked like a gurgling brook.  Our new owner got off his two wheeler, so did the co-driver of our vehicle. They waded down into the brook and with mighty yells shepherded the vehicle carefully thru it, all of us tipping dangerously to one side.. and then we were on level ground again.

We spent the night on the porch of the farmhouse, still close together like we did in the nursery.
Next morning we were all taken into the farm and kept in our allocated spots. My favourite siblings were still within sight so I was quite happy. The black plastic casing that bound our roots was cut open and we were lowered carefully and reverently into the huge pit which was to be our home for life!  

It smelt good and the feel of the humus-rich soil was so soothing!  Freedom at last! I was raring to go and grow! My roots sucked in the sweet water and my fronds rippled in the breeze.  The tall slender arecanut trees around us looked down ‘frondly’ on us – new babes in the woods.. they seemed to whisper.

I don’t know whether it was my curiosity to look over into the neighbours land or the new diet so different from the chemicals fed to us in the nursery, or the superbly clean air of an arecanut farm, but within a few months I was several heads above my nearest siblings.  Probably some of my other siblings who were located at a distance may have grown taller, but we would never know until we towered over the dense plantation.  Soon I was looking down on the tops of the arecanut trees, but I could not see any other of my siblings yet.  Bit by bit, they started showing the tops of their heads above the areca plants, but by then I was way above the rest.

So I am indeed the tallest coconut tree on this side of the stream!  The tree climber who comes to harvest coconuts (I have heard his name is Lakshmana) makes a big fuss about climbing up my trunk, he pauses twice on his way up, and sheepishly admits that he is scared of (such) heights!

So I am the one who can catch  the first sight of every train that passes Chitrapur station, I am the one who can catch a whiff of the storm that is about to break over this beautiful landscape, I am the one the monkeys don’t bother to jump onto, I am the one the hornbills love to perch on. 

  And when my family goes up the hill with their dogs, I  can see them climbing higher and higher till they are at the very top of the hill and they never fail to turn around and let their eyes rest on me a while before walking on.  I hear them tell their friends “Can you see that tall coconut tree towering over all the others?  That patch of green surrounding it – that is our farm.”  

Visit to discover Indian blogs