Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A Woody Tale - All in a day's work

It was 5 in the morning. In the earlier days one would hear a cock crow. These days all cocks are probably incarcerated in poultry farms. All one could hear was the rambling sound of speeding cabs. BPOs have ensured that Tata Indicas are on road 24 hours a day. Otherwise it was a peaceful morning. A soft, cold breeze was blowing. The sky was transitioning from black to blue as the sun’s rays were trying to make their way through. The first rays of the sun woke Finglas up. It was the start of another hard day’s work. His duties started early in the morning and went on till late in the evening.


Finglas worked in the energy conversion and atmospheric regulation department. His department ensured that energy from nuclear reactions in a distant ball of hot gas was captured and converted into biological energy usable by life forms on earth. The department was also responsible for producing oxygen to sustain life. Since his was an essential service he had to work 7 days a week. He had no weekends, no vacations. He was a field agent and needed to be onsite all the time. He had set up his office on the side of a public highway. In order to avoid wasting time commuting, he generally slept at the workplace itself and usually started work as soon as he got up.

He usually started his day with a cup of tea. Nothing like a sip of mineral tea to get one started, eh? After his tea he right away got to work. He did not read newspapers. He had no time for human gossip. He was into the more serious business of sustaining human life. And mornings were when he liked work best. As the day progressed, work got tougher and the workplace more hazardous. Hardly an hour had passed when he noticed a familiar figure walking towards him with a sheaf of papers. He was obviously not the newspaper boy. Finglas did not read newspapers as mentioned earlier. As he came nearer, Finglas just looked on in dread. He ambled carelessly towards Finglas, took a sheet, applied glue and slapped it on Finglas’ face. It hurt and choked. But the man did not seem to give a damn as he walked on. Finglas hated these papers. They spoiled his looks and the glue itched for days after the paper had fallen off.

Finglas shrugged and got on with his work. The sun had become intense. He was feeling very thirsty. He reached out into the ground to take a sip. But it was becoming increasingly hard to find water. The humans were drawing out all the water from under the ground. By now the road was very busy. The cacophony on the road was giving Finglas a bad headache. The air had become heavy with smoke and carbon particles. It was choking him. But he carried on bravely. This was the nastiest part of the day. The only ones who helped him maintain his sanity amist this madness were the squirrels who were running playfully over his body soothing him.

As the sun’s intensity began to wear out, Finglas heaved a sigh of relief. But the traffic on the road showed no signs of receding. In fact it had become even more intense. A van came and stopped right next to Finglas. Two men got out and took down a ladder from the top of the van. They leaned the ladder against him and began to climb. Finglas knew what they were up to. This was not the first time. But he could only mutely watch as they climbed up and hacked away at his branches. These people were from the human energy department. His branches were apparently obstructing their energy network. He longed for the life in the forest away from humans where he could grow unconstrained and no one found his branches an obstacle.

The sun was setting. His friends were coming back- the crows and the ants and the bees. A cow passed by and looked up at his leaves longingly. When he had been younger, Finglas had lived in dread of cows. But now he had no fear. His branches and leaves were out of their reach now. But not for the monkey troupe. The chattering monkeys were soon all over him. They jumped and ran and chased each other. There was not a dull moment with the monkeys around. Three hours passed without him even noticing and it was night.

He now looked forward to a good night’s sleep. But the traffic continued unabated. It was very late in the night by the time he could get some peaceful sleep. A tough day had finally come to an end.

Coming up next week - A Doggy Adventure - A Glimpse into the World of Two Legged Freaks

4 comments:

  1. May Finglas and his brothers at least remain for ever, even with all the suffering we put upon them.

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  2. It is a gem of a piece, Karthik. One rarely comes across such enticing accounts of a day from the life of a tree. It is also a slap on the face of humanity.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Umashankar. Glad you found the piece enticing.

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