I remember the first time my mother showed me a young peepal tree, a plant really; it couldn’t have had more than ten young leaves. The plant had sprouted up on the roof of a mangy abandoned temporary brick shelter in an empty site. My mother then drew my attention to the roots of the plant. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The thin slender plant has heavy roots the size of my fists, some even thicker. They spread all across the roof of the brick structure, snaking towards the ground. Nothing less than a small axe, a lot of sweat and time, could get that plant out of the ground.
Something that looked so fragile and perishable had such a powerful deep-rooted hold onto life, into reality. It was deceptively strong.
The last few days, I’ve been spotting a lot of these peepal saplings – on sidewalks, in cracked walls, at the edge of road dividers.
Progress is like that. It isn’t seen in a lot of places. Where it is, it doesn’t have a large physical presence. But its roots go deep and it’s nearly impossible to remove or reverse. Continue reading “History has its eyes on you”