Papa Tree

My Papa Tree

As a young school boy, I treaded past the orchard on my way back home. Surrounded by hills creating a border on the horizon between the earth and sky, this beautiful orchard always invoked divine peace in my mind. My heart used to melt, when I used to sit under the biggest tree which was positioned in the centre of the farm. I called it my “Papa Tree”, one that sat with resplendent glory, dignity and pride. It was bigger than the rest of the trees and it seemed that others were a part of his family. They all bore fruits and each one of them were bent in the direction of the “Papa Tree”. “The tree that bears more fruits is always bent”! So was “My Papa Tree” bent, despite of standing tall with great dignity and respect? The whole orchard gave me a unique sense of one large joint family and the aroma of fruits made me feel like being one with them. I so much wanted to be like them, being secured with one another; bearing the heat, cold, rain, storm and draught together and laughing in the face of nature. The greater the ferocity of nature, the firmer became their resolve to be together and make nature’s demonic behaviour look insignificant. The message was clear “being loud is noise, being silent is poise”, which was displayed by “My Papa Tree and the family”!

“We are all migratory birds looking for greener pastures”, so I wandered too, fulfilling my duties and obligations wandering from place to place, city to city. But deep within, I had this nagging feeling to return and be with “My Papa Tree and the family”. After few odd years, I decided to return back to my hills and the orchard where I grew up.

“Bahut khushi hoti hai jub watan ki aahat hoti hai

Dehleezey darwaazey sey jub pao bahar rakha tthhaa

Pukaarein aawaazein khamosh hoti gayeen

Ab raat key sannatey mein wohi aawaazein dil ko rula deti hai”

Attired in my best clothes, I wanted to first go and hug my “Papa Tree and the Family”. I so much wanted to be with them. There was a unique happiness in my heart making me nostalgic about moments I once shared, sitting and talking to “My Papa Tree” the whole day. Rains, storms and thunder never scared me once under my “Papa’s” protection, but today there was an uncanny feeling of uncertainty of what was in store for me? I almost reached the end of the fields at the periphery of the hills, wondering did I miss the orchard on the way. The slant from where the hills started no longer had trees, the river bed had dried up and soil had eroded. There were mud houses every where and “my orchard was gone”! What! I got down from the car and ran to find “My Papa” somewhere! He had gone. “Papaaa”, my cries were heard by the skies and echoed everywhere, I cried and slumped on the very place where once “My Papa” gave me shelter and protection. My clothes, my false vanity did not matter to me any longer, I just wanted “My Papa”. I was a fool to leave “My Papa Tree and the family” irresponsibly, didn’t care, took them for granted and moved on thinking “My Papa would take care of himself and the family”. The greedy gardener had plucked all the fruits and chopped off each tree ruthlessly, including “My Papa Tree”. The amount of pieces he did to “My Papa Tree”, has wounded my heart those many times! I cannot imagine “My always smiling Papa” falling on the ground where he once stood. I just cannot imagine the Values and teachings that I once got from this family was eating dust. These values were imbibed, taught and inculcated by us as a Family!

Yahan bachpan beet gaya, himmatey parvat khadey rahey

Dekey sahara duniya ko, kutumba key sardar baney rahey

Insaani laalach ney todey rishtey, kaat diya un stumbo ko

Jeevan ka gyan jinse mila, tab thhey ab chup chaap chaley gaye

The Value of ‘being and staying together’ was the first commandment that I learnt. “Sharing and caring” was another, the ‘fruits that are borne after withering all seasons is always sweet and full of aroma’, was yet another. ‘Protection and feeling safe with one another’, was yet another. ‘Standing Tall, Firm yet bent with humbleness’ was another great commandment. ‘Being quite and maintaining one’s poise’ was yet another. ‘Laughing in the face of adversity’, was yet another. ‘Live and let live’, was yet another. ‘Even the weak could survive in the family, living under the protection of a strong bonded family’, was yet another. The list will go on till memory lives.

‘Each one has an orchard in the shape of their family’, ‘YOU’, the head of the family is “The Papa Tree”! Let not any gardener come and sow the seeds of greed, hate, over night successes and riches in your garden. Let this gardener not pluck all the fruits and his impatience of not seeing enough fruits all the time chop you off. Do not let the greed of earning more money, encourage him to chop the Tree itself and sell you and the orchard off. If there are no fruits, there will be no tree and if there is no tree, there will be no teachings, if there are no teachings, there will be no children like you and me. We will dwell in a place of robots devoid of human emotions and values. We will all be subjects of analysis and objects of selling. We will all be on sale. Resolve within, to be a gardener who would sow the seeds of Love, emotion, values, care and being humble. There will soon be a “Papa Tree” and there soon will be a family, there soon will be a meadow, there soon will be that hilly horizon, there soon will be a river running and there soon will be a student like me who will again want to sit under “My Papa Tree and be one with the family”. Yesterday, I was a child, today, I am the Papa and my child looks at me calling me “My Papa Tree”!

With Love

Pankaj Kohli

Motivational Speaker, Writer & Astrologer

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One Response to “My Papa Tree”

  1. June 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm, pankaj said:

    good article

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