Mayank Chhaya (Picture by Jashn Chhaya)
Trees like mountains have a way of inducing serene tranquility in me. Some of it has to do with the fact that both trees and mountains are so rooted in one place. They don’t come to you. You have go to them.
On a current visit to San Diego, I chanced upon a bunch of trees on the Scenic Harbor Drive. Despite my best efforts I have not been able to find the name of this particular tree. All of them were pretty in a minimalist sort of way but one in particular, the one under which I am standing with an unintentionally smug expression, was simply irresistible. It was as if I came to San Diego only to visit this tree. Going by the number of people who had cruelly scratched their names on its trunk and branches it seemed as if there was something special about this tree.
Trees do speak to me. It is just that I am yet to decipher their language. Most likely they are saying, “Hey, get off my roots” or “Don’t act so fresh. Who said you can hug me without my permission?” Being a inveterate tree hugger I do not wait to find out whether the tree approves. It is an entirely impulsive and selfish act. I hugged this tree as well. I think I heard it tell me, “Really?! Why?” As I said, it is a selfish act. I feel charged for some time to come.