The Almond Tree

by Guruguhan Iyer

As beautiful as a thousand pretty girls put together,
There was an almond tree
Standing right in front of my home.
Every day, I used to look at her
And she used to look at me,
Like two would-be lovers,
Who steal glances at every possible second.

She used to flutter her leaves,
Like a butterfly.
She used to stand strong,
Even during the hottest of days and coldest of nights.

One day, they killed her.
Apparently she was leaning on the compound wall,
And was posing a threat to the pedestrians.
I was out that day celebrating my birthday.
I came back home with a hangover, late in the night.
I didn’t realize her absence,
The planet was rotating faster than usual.

The next day I woke up with a start
And looked out of the window.
She was gone!
There was emptiness.
There was nothing to overlap the plain blue sky.
I felt bad for her,
And worse for God, the Creator of this stunning masterpiece.

She killed no one,
She would have killed no one.
Even if she wasn’t killed.
We would have.
She was standing tall for God knows how many centuries.
What was her fault?
Did she ever ask us to build the compound wall?
Did she threaten us to build the footpath…?

Some time, hundreds of years later, perhaps.
She will stand taller, I hope.
And some one might adore her like I did
But will she be as beautiful then?