See India: my Banyan tree

The Banyan Tree

O you shaggy-headed banyan tree standing on the bank of the pond,

have you forgotten the little child,

like the birds that have nested in your branches and left you?

Do you not remember how he sat at the window

and wondered at the tangle of your roots that plunged underground?

The women would come to fill their jars in the pond,

and your huge black shadow would wriggle

on the water like sleep struggling to wake up.

Sunlight danced on the ripple like

restless tiny shuttles weaving golden tapestry.

Two ducks swam by the woody margin above their shadows,

and the child would sit still and think.

He longed to be the wind to blow through your rustling branches,

to be your shadow and lengthen with the day on the water,

to be a bird and perch on your topmost twig,

and to float like those ducks among the weeds and shadows.

~ Rabindranath Tagore ~

See India: my Banyan tree

See India: my Banyan tree,

did I not long to be the fire that travels and nurtures this country?

did I not long to be your shadow to bless a cooling shade over your every neighbouring country?

did I not long to be a high flyer perched on the topmost service of your country?

did I not long to be with a companion working hard against the problems of our country?

See, oh Banyan tree, have you forgotten me?

Finding a window to understand your deepest history,

even after enduring the tests against gold, lechery, cowardice and the lazy,

have I not still sat and thought for the century?

Whether you remember or forget me,

by following and serving my country,

I do serve every other country.

~ Anel C Sarasan ~

Inspired by Tagore's "The Banyan Tree" 


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