08 February 2016


                           A TAMARIND TREE ( A LOST IDENTITY)
          Bangiriposi a small place some forty kilometers from Baripada  was famous for it Ghats in the Similipal hills of Mayurbhanj but not any more due to the destruction of the hills and the jungles for construction of the national high way connecting  Kolkata with Mumbai. A huge tamarind tree was in the centre of this sleepy sub divisional head quarter, under its shade a small market place was in existence since many  years. Few days back on the maiden trip of Bhubaneswar –Bangiriposi superfast express I decided to visit this hottest place of Mayurbhanj. Not a single leaf would flutter at night, as wind blowing at night is never heard of in this part of the state, its thunder storm or nothing when it’s summer. After a sleepless night I decided to go to my parental village Pandhada around nine kilometers from Bangiriposi.
The bus stop was near that famous Tamarind tree .I went to the spot where I could catch the morning bus but where is the tree gone? No market, no gathering of people, a vacant place welcomed me. The remnant of the tree was a mute spectator to the horrifying spectacle of removing a hundred years old history with bulldozer.
I asked the wood cutter “what’s has happened to the tree”.
“We removed it as per the order”
“But why”
“Contractor who bought it on auction, told us to remove it”
“With the tree as road divider it could have been preserved”
“We are paid to cut it so we did, rest you can ask the contractor”
“Any idea, how much he paid for it?”
“No idea”
In the mean while a middle aged gentleman with a huge tummy came to me and asked
“Who are you to ask all these questions?”Interjected  the man.
“But you people should have objected to it, there is a national highway from Bangiriposi to Baripada and this road from Kalabadia to Bangiriposi is not frequently used plus there is no point of widening this road in a place like this. For a few thousand rupees a history is removed, and you are asking me why I am concerned? May I know who you are?”
“I worked as a teacher now a forest officer, the order comes from top and we are just pawn in their hands, tell me, what a forest officer can do in a 50kilometer radius jungle with out a gun?”
“Oh I see, there lays the problem.”
As I left the place with nostalgic memories of a legendary tree, I could see flocks of birds who would have taken their night shelter in that tree were helplessly trying to get a substitute home, will they find it?
Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy

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