The Old Banyan Tree by Ravi Shankar Rajan SignUp
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The Old Banyan Tree
by Ravi Shankar Rajan
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  The old banyan tree saw,
a quaint picture perfect village,
cobbled streets and hair pin bends,
whistling winds caressing splendorous mountains,
village elders officiating underneath him,
taking decisions, meting out justice,
Vedic hymns from the temple,
divine verses from the mosque,
mingling together, creating an example,
festivals celebrated with portentous gaiety,
a heavenly paradise, cultivated by mankind.

The old banyan tree saw,
Satan's wolves invading the village,
poisoning the air, spelling doom,
tearing the fragile fabric of secularism,
evil prevailing over good, chaos everywhere,
communal riots painting the village red,
blood thirsty beasts roaming unchallenged,
atrocities retaliated with gruesome barbarity,
friends turning foes, relations forgotten,
people fleeing the blazing inferno,
paradise degenerating into Dante's hell.

The old banyan tree saw,
hideous ghettos severing the village,
each guarding their "own" community,
uneasy calm superseding the violence,
dying embers leaving scarred souls,
widows mourning for their beloved,
orphaned infants crying for food.

The old banyan tree saw,
armed men building repugnant walls,
his limbs ripped to create the divide;
The concrete rubble smothered him,
a long journey ended in bitter tears,
the old banyan tree breathed his last.
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December 13, 2009
More By: Ravi Shankar Rajan
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