The Scarlet Gulmohar Tree
Summers are all about bright sunny afternoons, mangoes, cold lemonade, ice creams and long afternoon naps. When everything else is dry, hot and to a great extent unpleasant, nature balances it by also making it the bloom season. The bright scarlet coloured Gulmohar outside my window, suddenly reminded me today – of the season, month and time of the year we are in. Considering the current pandemic situation, where the meaning of life has greatly changed, and staying inside is the new normal, time seems to have become obsolete to a great extent. Days come and pass by without a hint of which day of the week it is. Routines are off-limits and the whole world seems to be in the snooze mode. Trying to adjust to the novel situation, succumbing to the consequences of our own doing, the entire human race is struggling through a state of liminality.
While I am consumed by all these thoughts, the Gulmohar tree is gently swaying with the evening breeze that has just set in. Suddenly I realize, I have never looked at a Gulmohar tree with so much admiration and thought for the past many years of my life. I feel something that I haven’t felt for a long time – ‘Peace of Mind’. The pause, which is for the first time, a place of extreme comfort and a moment full of joy; made rethink the whole idea and reality of life that we have adopted over time and have come to accept. I have been thinking about this pandemic, proving to be a boon to the humankind ever since the beginning of it, but I never really penned any of my thoughts on it.
I have been clicking pictures of the deserted city, with its eerie silence, while in the background nature has been taking over, little by little every day. Ever since nature has decided to go into the reboot mode, we humans have had to face and see the reality in a different light. It is that situation, where we are experiencing the repercussions of our actions. While, on one hand, humanity has come to light once again, on the other our political and social systems have been left exposed and are crippling heavily under the weight of this pandemic. I feel like the virus is a mirror, it is a boon in disguise, forcing us to stop, look, think and act accordingly. It is a reminder, that we are not above nature, but are very much a part of it. We might be the most intelligent beings on the planet, but we do not own it. There are only so many chances that nature gives us, and post that it retaliates, and the tiny insignificant beings that we are, with huge egos and hollow intentions based on greed, selfishness and complete lack of sensitivity; have to bow down and reconsider the consequences of our actions and act accordingly.
The gentle breeze has now transformed into a strong wind making the ‘Gulmohar tree’ bend further onto its side, and the portion of the ground right below it is now suddenly covered with a splash of scarlet petals. Like a lightning bolt, it hits me, the Gulmohar tree bends with the blowing wind. It respects and acknowledges its presence, and hence survives it. In the whole process, it loses a few of the beautiful flowers from its foliage, but it knows, what blooms eventually falls, only to bloom again the next season. Maybe, it even feels momentary pain at the time of the loss, but it is aware that nature’s rules do not bend for anyone. With this thought, it pauses, accepts and moves on; leaving me in my hopeless situation.