These trees stood guard to the entrance of our village in Kerala since the beginning of my memory. Like old friends they've watched the seasons pass and, I suspect, shared many anecdotes between them.
The banyan tree in the image is estimated to be two centuries old. My brother and I, in our childhood, had the pleasure of holding on to its roots and swinging back and forth. Laughing, falling, crying, and then getting back up to repeat the cycle again. You could feel them gently chiding us for the ruckus and then lovingly gathering us back in its arms, as a parent would.
This month all of them were razed to make way for a wider road. While this was a sad moment, I'm not necessarily against progress or infrastructure development but I am concerned about its cost and long-term effects.
Copyright © Anil Damodaran