I am crying. I have been since morning. All night I witnessed my house being demolished and I just stood there, a helpless feeble creature. So feeble, my existence did not seem to matter to the destroyers of this world. I could not even save my house.
How am I supposed to save the nature?
How many more days I will walk like this direction-less?
How do I stop this greedy mouth of urbanization?
When I was a child, I spent half my life in my home made of straws and cow-dung. It was a small house but his heart was big enough to accommodate my whole family. My home was the biggest home in the village. A fence ran around it to safeguard our hens. The hens had many chickens who were my constant companions. They looked so cute like cotton balls. The upper part of the house was like a castle. I had made a flag and unfurled it on a pole on the terrace. This announced the highest point of the village.
There was a blue river which embraced my home like a garland. There was a rose garden inside the compound. I loved my roses. They were my best friends. During spring, they formed a rainbow around my home. They defined the colors I knew in life. The birds would announce the arrival of the sun every morning and my friends stood up to salute him every day. Once dawn broke the birds made our roof their meeting point. I used to feed the birds wheat grains. That’s why one would find wheat grains scattered around my house always.
I had made beautiful tribal drawings on the walls. They depicted dances performed during various festivals. Every day, I used to sweep the compound twice and my anklets sang the song of my happiness. My home to me was a living creature. It had two windows and a door. They symbolized two eyes to keep a watch on us and a mouth, to let us in and out. The fencing was its hand through which it held me tight in its arms. The compound was its heart, full of love. The flag atop was its crown. The plants around were its pride and there was a temple at the back, the masthead of my home.
In the evening when the world turned golden, my home also seemed to be made of gold. The birds would fly away from the roof to their homes. As the sun would set, my home turned larger and larger. As night set in my home would put on its favorite blue dress with the silver garland. On the full moon night, it almost blocked the moon rays and formed a beautiful silhouette when seen from a distance.My home was a life, which gave life to me. It took care of me since the day I was born. It was the perfect face that I can never forget.
Once urbanization set foot in my village, I lost my home. It was converted into a dead structure which became more a house than a home. The river was made to take a diversion and converted into a road but what remained was my favorite maple tree across the road, which was now a highway. That huge tree was not under the urban development scheme, so it stood there like the last action hero of that land.
The maple tree was the biggest tree in the village and a home to hundreds of birds. The birds collected straw by straw and built their nests on the branches of the tree. There was a colony of nests on it. There were so many varieties of birds that stayed together. The cuckoos, sparrows, pigeons, parrots, doves were some of the birds I know who resided in the tree colony. The sunrise hour was like an orchestra, when all the birds sang the morning song with unity. The sweet voice of the cuckoo was my morning alarm and the melodious song of the nigh tangle was my lullaby. The huge canopy provided a home to so many birds. The passing travelers would rest in the shade for a while or wait for the bus to arrive.
I made a swing on the branches of the tree and played hide and seek every day with my friends. During the cold winters, we used some wood for making a bonfire. We would sing and dance under this maple home. I used to watch the tree from my new home every day and relish my old days. I enjoyed watching the father sparrow collect each straw to build their home and the mother sparrow feeding her children watching the sunset, after the day’s long labor. I enjoyed watching the flight of new birds. The tree was almost like an aerodrome for these young pilots.
I loved how the leaves metamorphosed tiny worms into lovely colored butterflies like time turns a baby girl into a charming young lady. They were thousands in count. They were like a flying army of colors. There was a family of love birds. It was like my own family. I had even kept names of so many of them. I remember the lovers walking hand in hands on the streets, filled with red maple leaves during autumn. I remember everything; everything how the maple tree used to bear the brunt of the scorching sun but gave us shade and oxygen loaded breeze.
But last night, the workers of the municipal corporation chopped off the last action hero. A new housing colony plan had given birth to deforestation in my village. This act has surrounded me with thousands of questions and instilled a fear in my heart.
What will happen to the family of the love birds?
Where will the young pilots learn to fly?
Where will the passing by traveler take rest?
What will happen to the youth of the butterfly?
Where will the orchestra play now?
Whose sweet voice will wake me up and make me sleep?
Where will the lovers find a quiet romantic place?
Where will the children play hide and seek?
What will I see and cherish in the years to come?
I am terrified by all these thoughts. I am just starring at the broken empire all my life I have lived like a parasite on them; I lost my village home some years ago and now suddenly everything. Although, everybody is homeless; it’s not them who have lost their home, it’s me. I am homeless again.