It must’ve been a couple of months ago. I remember sitting at this desk and looking out of these glass doors in my balcony. As the dusk enveloped the earth, I could see the sky turn a lovely shade of orange through the branches of a mighty silver oak. Two gulmohars flanked his either side and more silver oaks stood majestically beside them. They waved their branches in response to a breeze from afar. The sky looked beautiful in the background with the silhouette of the silver oaks and gulmohars dancing in the foreground and little birds learning to fly, somehow trying to get home. The air was bursting with life. No TV, no display, no HD screen could ever recreate that scene. Humans think they can make anything with technology. Ever tried sitting amongst trees and breathing in the freshness? the sound of nature’s orchestra of trees, animals and life playing a beautiful composition of peace and tranquility.
No technology can create that.
We’re not smarter than everything around us. Just more destructive. It isn’t survival of the fittest if there is no competition to begin with.
One evening last month, the heavens opened up. It rained all night. The sound of rain accompanied by the occasional roar of thunder and brilliant flashes of lightning. It was beautiful until one of the silver oaks could take no more. The mighty giant leaned to one side. And then leaned some more. The next morning, a group gathered to see the old one almost fall on to the building. He was being held back by the branches of the gulmohar next to him. The group decided that it was time to bring him down. He posed a threat to the building, to our home.
Men armed with chain saws and axes, humans’ weapons against the forests that keep us alive, took their positions. They tied a rope around the leaning giant and tied the other end to the gulmohar on the other side. Even to kill a tree, they needed nature’s help. Within no time, one of them sawed half way through the gentle oak and slowly, with a painfully loud creek, the giant fell, being held back by the rope tied to him. The base, still stood firm in the ground. A memoir of the wonder who once stood there.
Today, as I sit at the same desk, looking out of the glass windows, I see the sky turn a lovely shade of orange, but without the playful branches of the silver oak, the magic is gone. As I look out, I see the barren sky. No birds, no branches, no life. As I look out, I see hopelessness. I see the future. I see the arrogance of humankind. We’re destroying the nature we’re meant to live with and rejoicing the life-less technological environment we’ve built. As I look out, I see no life.
But soon enough a gentle breeze blows and the Gulmohar reaches out with a waving branch, a helping hand. The rest of them wave in unison. The Gulmohars overlook the base where the silver oak once stood. In time, a little sapling will grow there and they’ll protect him even if we don’t. Maybe all isn’t lost yet. When one giant falls, in time, another will take his place. Maybe, there still is hope.

GW1: A new beginning

The following is an article sent in by my first guest writer. A beautifully crafted article that’ll connect with some and ends on a note that all stories must end on, one of strength and renewed hope. Enjoy!

At the end of two decades, I stood, mentally, at the top of a skyscraper.
Partly because I’ve been playing too much batman, and partly because I’m an architecture student.
But mostly, that would be the place I’d make my life changing decisions, because I was nyctophilic, and I preferred solitude.
So, here I stood mentally, at the edge of a skyscraper, staring into the city’s beautiful night sky, alone.
It scared me.
But it’s also a habit.
I didn’t like mingling, I was what you’d call antisocial. Heck I was probably emotionally detached from everyone.
Even my parents.
Though I didn’t have anything solid to prove that I was indeed emotionally detached, I really didn’t want to get to it.
My parents would always usher and encourage my entanglement with more of ‘my kind’, often with tough luck.
They would try to lure me, to make me see the appeal in speaking to others, relentlessly, however at some point, I felt even they’d started giving up.
I wasn’t always this way, though. As a child I was bright and happy, and very talkative.
I have no clue how I’ve come to become this person, much less enjoy it.
I guess sometimes life just happens to you.
From this high above, I look down, at the million possibilities, of me. The very many choices I avoided to become who I am, and silently wondered how I’d have been had I chosen otherwise.
I thought of myself, chirpily hopping along with my friends at new year, while in reality I spent it at home, upset. I looked at myself, skipping classes, lying, enjoying the very thrill of my teen life.
Would I have been happy?
Probably not, I decided. The grass was always greener on the other side.
An astrologer had told my mother once, that I’d be like a mother to her, much less, her child. Sadly, he meant that in every literal sense. I am exactly like my grandmother when it comes to being with my mother.
I feel for her, I do, dealing with two of the same kind, with the obligation to love both.
But more than my demanding granny, I feel I’m most like my father.
Detached. A little patient. Craving freedom.
Though, some of my traits my family admits are inexplicable.
Like my art, for example.
It’s very existence in my entire family , at least in my genre of it, only exists with me so far.
But the talent has limits.
Everybody has one special thing, that they do, a USP of sorts, apart from maybe me.
Some are known for people skills, others for lying, and most for other artistic abilities.
Me? I’m perfectly average.
The student who scores neither too bad, nor too good; The artist who is good, but wouldn’t sell; The musician who would appeal, but never make money; The writer who is never appreciated.

I suppose the counter argument would be that this was all in my head, and I had no way of knowing if others were truly better or not.
And I suppose that that was probably right.
But it wouldn’t stop me from thinking the way I do. It’s human tendency.
The fields I listed above are fields I’d do well at, but would never excel, they’d never be the source of my income  if I ever have to stand on my feet.
I stood at the very edge now, tears slipping by. Two decades had passed and I didn’t know. Who was I really?
The question haunted me. I had no answer.
I was made to write a resume once, I remember the mammothian task I had to face.
To list out your potential as a worker to the people who shall hire you. Isn’t that what a resume does?
Being a harsh critic of everything, especially myself, I’d almost handed in an empty paper,had my mother not intervened and edited it.
Then there was the love scenario.
I was never good at the romance, despite being a closet romantic. Having been brought up in a very conservative environment, but in a western world, my morals were as confused as I was.
At an age when everyone around me would party, enjoy and get boyfriends, I’d sulk away, scared.
My deepest secrets were mine to keep, not for the world to know, or a partner to share.
Sometimes I wish I had a pet, a cat maybe, someone reminiscent of my own being, someone who would show me, what it is to be me.
But my parents wouldn’t allow me of that, further pushing me towards solitude.
I wouldn’t blame them, they thought of my better (and the cat’s).
Somewhere I heard a clock strike twelve.
So, the time had come…
The old choices I could’ve made fade away into darkness, leaving me, on a building ledge, ready to tip over into a new year. A new stage of my life.
A new beginning.
With the 12th strike, I let go, of my past, my tears, my emotions.
I plunged face first into my future, hoping that maybe this time , my decisions will be right.