Daily Archives: May 24, 2011

If we could ask you a favour…

Somewhere not quite far away, there’s beautiful nature. Unfortunately it has not been much concrete to me in this concrete jungle, where birds don’t sing, flowers don’t bloom, dew drops don’t drip – naturally. But last week a pleasant experience brought nature closer to me, or vice versa. I could still feel the ripples it created in me. Something long lost has been retrieved by the power of the right words, together with the relevant, captivating pictures and an audio version. Mother Nature is not yet completely bereft of people who love her for her own sake.
Greece – the land where history and mythology lie intertwined! The beauty of the place became animate to me through a unique blog which was Freshly Pressed recently. You might have already come across it. If not, discover more about Greece and nature in general through the blog ‘Notes from Near and Far” (www.julianhoffman.wordpress.com) by Julian Hoffman, an amazing writer and moreover a great lover of nature.

Hoffman’s latest post ‘The Wonder of Ordinary Places’ inspired me to keep my eyes wide open to the minimum nature I could track down in this desert. A patch of grass, an isolated tree, a little bird – these can be much treasured sights around here. The carefully preserved parks that flaunt their artificial beauty have not enticed me much as I am more interested in the pure, pristine nature.

I am dedicating this post to the one little tree in our school. Many of you who revel in the luxuries of nature may be taken aback by the triviality (I would call it ‘modesty’) of the sight and might wonder if it is worth mentioning at all. But you will be in sympathy with me when you realize that this venerable tree is the only green beacon available for the whole school – it is the ‘Wonder of Our Ordinary Place.’

  1. Moringa Oleifera (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moringa_oleifera)  

These are some excerpts from Wikipedia.

The “Moringa” tree is grown mainly in semi-arid, tropical, and subtropical areas… While it grows best in dry sandy soil, it tolerates poor soil… It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India. Reports that it grows wild in the Middle East or Africa are completely unsubstantiated.[citation neededThe leaves are highly nutritious, being a significant source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron, and potassium.[5] The leaves are cooked and used like spinach. It is commonly said that Moringa leaves contain more Vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more Vitamin C than oranges, and more potassium than bananas,” and that the protein quality of Moringa leaves rivals that of milk and eggs.[citation needed]

The nutritional and medicinal values of the tree have become its bane, making it vulnerable to the repeated attacks. Unruly hands ruthlessly rip off whole branches for a bunch of leaves or a few immature green pods. The tree looks very weak these days.

2. This air-conditioner torments the tree too much – keeping it exposed to the hot air continuously for ten hours!  As I pressed my hands over its bark I could feel the intensity of the heat. I couldn’t stand the heat for even a few seconds! The tree must be hardy within.

3. The bark of the tree is now all parched and wrinkled – looks like signs of premature ageing, though I don’t know the exact age of the tree. Oh, dear tree, you do endure a lot for us!

4. The tree, a symbol of forbearance and resilience, bears fruits for its beneficiaries. In the glare of the scorching sun, the sight of the foliage against the blue sky keeps our lenses cool.

5. Amidst all the adversities the tree is sending out new shoots. No grudge, no revenge – I feel the tree is spurred by the sheer hope to sustain.

One more World Environment Day is round the corner. When all over the world people fervently plant new trees, we, who cannot afford even a square foot of soil, are happy celebrating this little benevolent tree. Don’t feel sorry for us, but this time keep us in mind and PLANT ONE EXTRA TREE in your part of the world, where ever it be…