That peepul tree

In the village where was I born
There had been a peepul tree lone,
Oft when returning from school
We would there go and find the cool
Shade of her, spread all over us,
There oft we our times haply passed,

My father , uncles and other men
Would also sit under her, quite often,
In sultry afternoons and sweeping evenings,
Women there would little children bring,
Carried in their arms like little playthings,

There the village would also gather,
In springs , summers, autumns and winters,
When there would be any special feast
A marriage, a sacred thread or just a simple treat,

There would all gather, under the peepul tree
There would people meet, each other would see,
And so many talks and gossips she had heard,
The peepul tree so for days and nights, smooth and hard,

She had seen it all, that day when one leader was shot
Somewhere far away from the village, the news was brought
Under the peepul tree the village gathered,
The old men decided then how to observe
One minute of absolute silence, that year
Whence the crops dwindled, the village heard
What could be the course, how to ration things and alter
The course of agriculture, the peepul tree
Had been witness to all happenings,
The most happy moments and also horrendous things,

The riot when spread like fire,
(God knows, )how some people found shelter,
There in her branches, at night, hidden
To save their souls from swords , with blood bidden,
And when another year, the River rose
Flood when about to change every thing, by its flows,
How the Tree came to rescue many,
How She became a legend, an epiphany,

Years rolled by, people passed away,
But the peepul there, how stands at the way,
Branching out leaves, shady and green,
How at my village, still, she could be seen.


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