Of Roots and Rootless — Flash Fiction #14

I have seen the tree since it was a baby sapling planted by the municipal corporation. We have grown old together.

On the tree bloomed beautiful multi-coloured flowers. Red and yellow. The flowers smiled, surrounded by shiny green leaves.

Like a pretty girl I often saw on my way to office. With her mother, she used to sell roasted peanuts  in a street corner, wearing threadbare clothes. Which indicated a hand to mouth existence.

The tree grew large and its branches threatened to penetrate my first floor window. I informed the municipality and had it cut down to size. But its trunk managed to keep standing where it had been planted. Soon it grew new branches and began to flower again. It had drowned its roots way down deep under the pavement.

The pretty little girl who used to sell roasted peanuts on the streets must have grown up too. Beyond her threadbare clothes.

Most probably, parts of her were chopped off as well. But, being rootless, she stands there no more.

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  • arghabagchi  On May 15, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Fantastic. It reminded me of a Bengali poem written by my teacher, Kedar Bhaduri. I translated that a few days ago. It goes like this – “She is called a Queen. / Yet she earns from litter bin./ ‘Tis an obscene murder of a flower, / I’ve ever seen”. Not exactly the same idea with the story, but an associated idea, as I can relate.

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