I am an old banyan tree. I am running two hundred years now. I have witnessed eight generations in the human world — watching them born and died.
My plantation was a sacred occasion. A pious man of the locality planted me on the roadside. An altar was made around me and I was worshipped as a deity. As I was young, an enclosure was also made to protect me from the greed of the goats and cows.
As I was growing bigger, I spread many branches with thick leaves, My leaves are my eyes. And with my thousand eyes, I have been watching the children playing under my affectionate branches. I have been enjoying the behaviour of the people too. I have heard the gossiping of the men gathered under my shade. I can remember a funny incident. One morning some people brought a man under my umbrella and asked him to take an oath and confess if he is guilty or not guilty. The man was bewildered at first and then confessed his crime — as local people believed me as a deity and none should utter any falsehood before my presence, especially after taking an oath.
Now I am old, and I am going to evaluate myself — my two hundred runs. I provide a lot of service to man. As I am on the roadside, tired people take some rest in hot summer or those who are caught by rain in the rainy season find a temporary shelter under the coverage of my thick leaves. The children and the cowboys make their cradles from my hanging roots and have their playful swings whenever they like.
The birds build their nests in the midst of my foliage, and some flying birds halt and sing merrily for some time. I enjoy it very much and I am happy to provide them with shelter for some time.
I think I have some environmental value as there is an eternal bond between man and trees. We absorb carbon dioxide and supply fresh oxygen. Besides food and fruits, though my fruit is not eatable to man, it is only eatable to birds, we trees give fuel, timber, medicine and many other useful things. We check soil erosion. We are also the harbingers of rain to produce corps in a cyclic order — trees bring clouds, clouds bring rain, and rain brings the harvest. Moreover, we give shelter and shade. We always help to fight against environmental pollution and maintain the ecological balance.
But there are always some merciless greedy people. As for man, so for me, all days are not alike. This morning I have heard the whispering of a band of timber traders. They have planned to fell me down and sell me in the timber market. They are discussing how much profit they can earn by selling my huge body. But somehow, some others have come to know their plan. They are resisting it by campaigning for mass awareness.
Now my heart is throbbing in fear and hope whether I will die or survive. What will be my fate even after serving-man for 200 years !!!