I don’t want to look out of the window for the next few days – I know it will make my heart ache. We have had the good fortune to live in a place surrounded by trees.
Now we have to watch some of these green angels being sacrificed to the never ever ending quest for ‘development’.
The space in question is a stretch of land just outside our colony, bearing trees that have grown to adulthood with us as silent, thankful witnesses. Here, we have carried our thoughts undisturbed during walks, soaked up serenity from leaves rustling above, interrupted ants on their ceaseless journeys, watched garden lizards change colour with the trees, seen my daughter go from stumbling over roots to spotting birds that we couldn’t see……
One day it happened – a white line was drawn, marking the area that would soon become a road. We refused to see it and my daughter scraped it off with her feet – hoping to defeat the purpose of its existence. Our naiveté predictably did not help -the dreaded line re-appeared soon.
Pained, I made enquiries and was told that the land never belonged to our colony and plans for its development had long been sealed. I was also told that the trees will be re-planted, but as with so many other things in India – you just can’t be sure.
Our colony is green enough, so it’s not like all is lost. But I do wonder how much more destruction is in store. Recently, a large pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithkline shut down its factory in Thane. I am now dreading the day they will inevitably give up this land, and that on which their residential premises is located, to builders for a king’s ransom. More concrete will come up, more trees will be slaughtered. In the meanwhile, we will keep teaching our children ‘measures to protect our environment’.