I woke up to the first rays of the sun in the mystical land of Vrindavan or the grove of vrinda (tulsi), as it rose in a pool of crimson and gold, spilling light over the entire forest. This was our favourite part of the day; I could sense the restlessness in my fellow trees. Soon a beautiful melody of the flute filled the atmosphere, the birds began to chirp, the wind began to hum and the entire forest seemed to be singing and dancing to its sound. It was then that I caught a glimpse of You, my Krishna. You were our keeper; the life of the forest. As you passed by playing your flute, you took a promise from me, to preserve your forests and seek your return.
Years rolled by, Dwapar yuga ended and began the era of Kaliyug. The stories travelled about how the humans had started cutting trees and killing animals for greed, the impact of the human greed also travelled, with not much delay. I bore witness to the killing of my kith and kin, being rendered homeless the animal kingdom too started migrating; all this in just the last hundred years. The forest which was so dense and expansive, can now no more be called a forest. Only a few of us remained to see the worst.
As I open my eyes now to the warmth of the rising sun I sense the annoyance amongst the remaining trees. The birds don’t chirp nor do the monkeys chatter. The once calm and clean wind is now laden with smoke which makes it very difficult to breathe. The clear and serene waters of Yamuna on the banks of which our Krishna used to play are turned black with dirt and gives out foul smell. The cow which was once the symbol of nourishment and abundance is now sold for its meat. The monkeys that lived on my branches have left; I am old and choked and no longer bear fruit. There are no others who can fill in for me, for the humans would rather build concrete monsters than plant a tree. The monkeys that chose to stay are met with a sorry fate. Earlier on, homes were fenced with trees—jamun, kikar, tulsi and mango, inviting the birds and peacocks and monkeys to visit. Today they are fenced with electric wires, to kill them if they dare trespass. They say it is their land, they forget they seized it by robbing the animals of their forests.
Temples abound, where your idols are placed, but your presence is fading. I am guilty of being a silent witness to this destruction. Please forgive me for not having kept my promise.
By Yours Truly, A Mango tree in Vrindavan