Absurd is what he thought when he first heard the idea from the old man in the park. How can a tree speak? Even if it does how can one hear it! Age has caught up with Mr.Subhash.
It’s been few weeks since he started interviewing people on what they thought “Happiness” was. Question which burnt him from within, he finally decided to hear it from others, his thousand voices in his head, dint do much justice.
I distinctly remembered things people told him, happiness to them was:
“Days when my child asks more food”: Shakunthal thai, who has a kid who was anorexic
“My first orgasm after 20 years in the profession”: Chanda, the prostitute
“When my grandchild made plans to watch a movie with me”: 80 years old uncle next door
“When you come home and smile at me”: My mom
“The day you don’t ask me money”: My ever sarcastic dad
“A breeze”: Wasim the Rikshaw puller
And the list goes on… but Mr.Subhash said when he listens to the speaking tree, I rubbished it first thinking he is talking about the popular spiritual write-up corner. But when none of the things people said related to me and dint quench my search for happiness in my otherwise melancholic life,I decided to contact Mr.Subhash again, after all what will I lose?
Subhash uncle greeted me cheerfully and gave me a cup of filter coffee. And said: “I am so happy that you think my idea worthwhile, you can listen to Murali (tree) too! If you sit in front of him and pour your heart every single thing, every single day.
On Sunday morning I made way to Shasthri Park, and sat on the bench in front of the tree. Here are things I said:
“Hey Hi, I know this is absurd but I want to talk to you, I am an introvert, and I rarely talk but I listen; this is the first time I am here having one way conversation, Mr.Subhash says you respond, I want to believe it too, it will be fun thing to talk to you. You standing here for ages, you have seen many come and go, many like and unlike me! Errr I am budding writer or loser as my father calls me. (And many more sentences)”
I grew restless day by day as I never heard from Murali and kept pestering Mr. Subhash when it will happen, and he like a loving grandpa said the same thing, patience my boy, patience. But for some strange reasons I felt lighter! And freer, and I caught myself having a conversation, full blown that too with a friend, and he eyed me with amazement and tinge of discomfort of not doing all talking. Talking to Murali became a ritual which I seldom missed. There was certain groove in my step, like someone is always there for me! I can finally express. I would come back and jot down my words with Murali and convert it into short stories. But my heart ached to listen what Murali has to say to me. Out of anguish I cried out to Murali “Do you even listen, am I fool?” and then there was a gentle breeze which hummed “I DO” and then I ran, ran like never before , tears of joy and disbelief.