|The giraffe and the trees, in the mirror, reflect the image of today’s city. The wild flora and fauna are used to make a beautiful and friendly city. The blackboard tree that dots the Delhi city is a forest tree.|
The trees dotting the Delhi city is a feast to the eyes and soul. The basic qualities of all there trees, like eucalyptus, blacboard tree & neem trees; are their green foliage and the powerful scent. The green cover provided by the trees, though they’re enticing, has raised a question in my mind – Like we are desperately counting all the existing sparrows in the city; do we need to do a counting of the native trees present in the city. The native trees are useful plants that filled the courtyard of the single and double storied building of yester years? Some trees that I think are clearly on the part of the extinction are as follows:
Bael tree: There was a time when the round bael fruit were strewn around under the bael tree. The bael fruit juice which is a excellent potion to beat the scorching heat of Delhi summer, has now to be brought at a costly price from the fruit vendors. Bael trees can be planted in the parks, and they do not need much caring.
Jamun tree (Syzygium cumini): The fruit of a jamun tree which is sometimes mistranslated as ‘blackberry’ is nowadays a much sought after fruit by the diabetic patients. The leaves of the jamun tree is a main ingredient for the ‘diabetic juice’ provided by the green juice seller in the park. So far I remember seeing just one jamun tree is my locality.
Guava tree: As my childhood days were not spoiled by junk food; and biscuits and chocolates were too costly for the middle class, we friends spent most our time plucking guavas from every guava tree that was available in our locality. The guavas in every yard differed: some were red inside, others white; some where sweet and juicy, and others were a little hard and tasteless. In any form we loved nibbling the guavas more happily, than my kids enjoy munching the chips packets. Eating guava does not cause obesity, so mother never complained.
The are a number of other trees that are hard to find in the city like the banyan tree, the tamarind tree, and other native indian trees. The restoration of these trees in the city is essential because their fruits and their presence will serve as resistance to the pollution of the city. The native trees have the immunity to withstand the extreme climatic conditions of the city; on the other hand the natural growth process of trees that are imported from the wild is mutated.
Trees are silent and their changes are not perceivable right now. The consequence of planting the wild in the city will be revealed only as the time goes by. The Delhiites mourn about the disappearance of the sparrows and other native birds; and they are pestered by the pigeons(also known as city lice) which is a new entrant to the city. Let us hope we would not have to face the same situation after planting ‘wild trees in the city’!