Monday, March 13, 2006

My fav Rain Tree

We had a hugh rain tree in our school, around which a stage was built. Each morning, we would all assemble in front of that stage for our assembly under the shade of that giant Rain tree. It was, in fact, two trees entwined as one.. I have had so many cherished memories under those twin giants.

The trees were home to a number of birds and animals. As a child I was fascinated by these winged wonders of Nature. It was home to the green parrots, the white owl -which lived in one particular hollow on a very high branch and looked irritated during the asembly as if being woken up from deep slumber. Then there was the Kite - a large one which had a nest on the highest branch on the tree. It also housed a number of squirrels, chamelions and a number of unnamed (er.. whose names I dont know!) reptiles.

Every morning, during the assembly, I used to fold my hands together in a "Namaste" and look up at the tree while others drooned the morning prayers. I particularly loved to watch the old owl(old coz it was white.. maybe I am wrong.. maybe it was an albino.. I believe albinos exist in every species). I loved to watch its expressions, the occasional hoot that I used to hear, the miffed look.. Somethings can never be put in words. It was a very special bird.. cute and sweet.

Parrots can be quite noisy at times. During our prayer we had a couple of minutes of silence after the "Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi" phrase of the prayer. These parrots would create such a din. Sometimes there would be parrot fights. I used to stand there wondering what the reason might be. Trying to listen to then harder , to understand their chatter.. Sometimes, I thought, it was a fight between a husband and wife, sometimes between siblings or guy-parrots(what are they called?) fighting for a girl...What the reason was I would never know but it always amused by them.

I used get to school early, drop my bag in class and run to the stage to watch the birds and animals and the tree. She was hugh.. There was even the throwball court under her shade. Oh.. how many matches we have played in the middle of Chennai's summer. I watched her through the seasons.. In summers she had the dark green leaves that were thick and dense to protect us from the heat. In winter(Chennai's winter.. well what can I say), her leaves would droop. By mid february she would shed all her leaves and beginning of March, she would have light green leaves , fresh and green, colour that brings to life that magic of spring. By March mid she would be in full blossem with soft pink flowers. I had one in my book for long time.. Lost it when I shifted...:(

We used to run out to the stage to play lock and key after we finish our exams. Played till it was time for the bus to start. Not only happy moments, even when I was sad I used to sit under that tree and in a matter of minutes I would be back to my normal self.. I remember once that I was crying, dont remember for what reason though, and a fresh pink flower fell on me. It was as if the tree was saying, "Ms V! dont cry.. Here is a flower to u " ...

A few months back, I happend to pass by my school,after almost 8 years, and I saw that the stage no longer exists. Neither does the tree. School will never be the same again..it looks barren now.. Never can children sit under her again, never will they be able to see parrots fight, never will hear of the wise old owl up on the branch, never can they see the giant kite. Now the tree exists only in my memories. I will miss you Oh Gentle Giant(s)..

12 comments:

Neema! said...

We keep going so fast and when we turn back one day......most of the things which we always had would have vanished without a trace.We have only memories...which we can always cherish.

Yadhvi said...

Rain trees are a real delight in Chennai! Can't imagine Chennai witout them! I've also written about her:-) http://downtoearth-.blogspot.com/2005/12/thoongu-moonji.html

Naveen said...

This reminds me of the school where I studied my 10th std. Our main school had grown in size and there was a huge space cruch. So they built an annexure some 15 Kms away from the city centre. It was an arable land and so it was completely barren with no trees in sight. They were just planting trees, we used to wonder how long those plants would take to grow so that we could stand in the shade during our assembly :)

gils said...

sounds more like my school...anyway..guess inimaylaam schoolsla maramlaam pakrathu kashtam thaan...space crunch and competition to show off who has the biggest campus....probably only in their books or if they've botany may be on their labs...

Your Vakil said...

hey, this sounds like my school, stage built round the rain tree!! brings back pleasant memories! unfortunately it is no longer there now :(

Vidya said...

@Neema - very true.. Also things that you valued so much a little while back looses importance as time goes on.. Will blog on it soon

@Yadhvi - lovey post yours... they are very special arnt they?

@Naveen - trees also play a very important role in how u r groomed dont they? Hmm ..It was the same case in coll. Trees were just being planted when we entered coll. but I happened to go to coll recently and these trees have grown to become beautiful damsels :)

@gils - Hope that doesnt happen.. Which school were u?

@Mukund - okay.. which school were u from ?

Your Vakil said...

bhavan's rajaji vidyashram, kilpauk! how abt u?

Vidya said...

Hey !! I am too :)

Your Vakil said...

Wow!! quite a coincidence this! no wonder the raintree, the stage, parrots n the prayer were all so familiar :) after all, i did spend a good 11 years there!!

gils said...

saw the school where i studied till 5th...suthama adyalamay therila.. :( it used to look like one kaatu bungalow....small but decently big building amidst trees...sarukku maram..see saw...hmm wat else were there..there were two dogs..one black color and one fanta color..not a single one mentioned above exists..just to accomodate till higher secondry they've razed down everything :(...

Eddie said...

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I'll be coming back again.

Cheers,

Anonymous said...

The worst thing in Rajaji Vidyashram is HINDI IMPOSITION. Hindi was compulsory even as III language. Our books were bigger than II language hindi books.

We faced a lot of insults. We had to MUG ENTIRE STORIES and if you could not 'recite' these stupid stories in a foreign language, we used to face insults.

DOWN WITH THEIR HINDI IMPOSITION!.

Even after TN government mandated Tamil, Rajaji Vidyashram imposes HINDI.