Monday, July 8, 2019

July- A personal Aranyak story

July, the month Kaleidoscope's part of the world dedicates in planting trees. July is the month for monsoon in this part of the world, no wonder this is the time for Grand Forest Festival. Unlike many other festivals this doesn't have canvassing, because Kaleidoscope lives in a society which still sees forest in derogatory sense. Forest- jungle - jungli are never seen as part of the life of the people who are adapted to the urban environment. Since, it's part of the urban centres, it does have a considerable ideological apparatus to trickle down at the places where people still find it compatible to live with forest.

Perhaps the most celebrated novel on forest is Bibhuti Bhusan Bandyopadhyay's Aranyak. It is also the most empathic one, however, even here the protagonist was tasked with transforming the forest into a land for habitation. 

July, the month when one can easily buy (or collect free of cost) saplings from many places to satisfy the zeal for the green. Kaleidoscope's grand father was a compuslive Gardner. An artist by profession, after India's independence he bought a piece of land in Birati and instructed his son, my father as he grew and got a public sector job, to built a kachha house. The lowland was then filled by digging up a pond and a home in the middle of low land - in the middle of nowhere was constructed. My grand father started buying plants (especially the tree category plants) to make the place a perfect greenery. Feidnds during his freedom fighting days often came there and spent days and another kachha house was built to accommodate them. Kaleidoscope was born in1983 and completed his 5th standard to see electricity for the first time of his life. 

July, was their favourite month, because he knew his grandfather would bring one after another variety of trees to plant. As his grandfather suddenly left in an accident his father also waited for the July to come. 

July was the month when Kaleidoscope had to stop wearing laced boots and wear water friendly chappals, to give numerous folds in the end part of his full pants.

July was the month when Kaleidoscope could enjoy the cycle ride over the water logged lanes and bylanes. As his sycle sped up, water dispersed like a ship -perhapa his little Titanic. 

Until 1995s his place grew little greener on every July. His grandfather could motivate his neighbours to plant a variety of trees which he bought for them. His father continued until people started to divide their lands and completely fill up the lowland which was the home of a variety of wetland grasses and wild animals. Kaleidoscope could remember jackles, heirs, cevet cats, Bengal fishing cats roaming around their courtyard. 

July 2003 was the time when his grandfather's dream was finally dismantled completely as their land was divided and apart from their portion the rest was sold off and on the pond transformed to give room to several families. 

July, 2018, and Kaleidoscope is on his way to a sub-urban college a little away from his place. He sees plants are kept at a busy crossing of the district headquarters. Fresh saplings are kept beside a dead trunk. 

Like Satyacharan, Kaleidoscope doesn't have a choice than to see the world as it revolves around, only that in his imagination there lives a July which is way more rainy, green and a space where people can plant trees - the large ones.

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