I am quoting my words from my poem Azaleas posted a week before in my blog.
“I still have that old photograph
Me and my mother beside
That new mother happily
bursting with pink azaleas
It was last winter,
Grandpa had to cut it short
I still remember that expression
Of discomfort and regret
“Don’t be disheartened baba
They will grow again”, I said.
But his reply gave me a shock
,“They knew I would cut them.
It gives me much pain to inflict the same upon the plant I planted and nursed.”
“But they will grow next year”, he consoled himself.
Weeks haven’t past
My mom sick and in pain,
Tortured me more…
Yes, there is a strong connection
Between a mother and her child
It was then I realised
My grandpa though a Father figure
Had already become a Mother
To the plant life he was giving birth
With every passing year,
Trees,plants,orchids and so on…”
How I Became a Tree very much reminds me of my Thulobaba, baba and boju who are very much one with the green friends growing around us- pines, Azaleas, orchid trees( bahunia.sp), bottle brush( my favourite), Oranges (tall and dwarf), lemon, roses, lalupathey,chinaroses, Gauva, orchids and many more I cannot name.I have grown up with the hills, the trees around me, soaking in the aroma of the fresh tea leaves.I have grown up with the orange trees in our orchard. Some are of my father’s age, some even older than him, some are of my age and others are still younger and growing, all so very taller than me. Each winter, they bless us and when we were kids we would spend the whole day in the orchard, often skipping our lunch…
And reading Han Kang’s novel The Vegetarian, “set in modern-day Seoul,tells the story of Yeong-hye, a home-maker, whose decision to stop eating meat after a bloody, nightmarish dream about human cruelty leads to devastating consequences in her personal and familial life”. What struck me more are the lines in part 3.flaming Trees where she explains her dream“
[…] “Do you know how I found out? Well, I was in a dream, and I was standing on my head…leaves were growing from my body, and roots were sprouting from my hands…they delve down into the earth. Endlessly,Endlessly…. yes, I spread my legs because I wanted flowers to bloom from my crotch; I spread them wide…” .
This description goes so well with this amazing book cover.Isn’t the cover amazing ?
And here is the book with its subtle contemplative narrative “Among all desires to become a tree, the most urgent was the need to escape the noise; one was the noise of the humans, the other was the vocabulary of silence of the active life of trees” –How I Became A Tree by Sumana Roy is one remarkable book you never want to lose at any cost. I ordered this book from Flipkart (Of course it is available in Amazon). The more you read the more you get absorbed into the detailed photographic experiences and glimpses of the authors’ life. The more you read, the more you feel trees and flowers becoming more alive before your eyes. The way she thinks is unmatched and unparalleled, with her unique comparisons and interesting terms like the “tree-time”. There are chapters like Women as flowers and Women as trees. This is an exceptional book where one is awestruck and mesmerised at the same time. This book helps you come a hundred steps closer to the plant kingdom and feel each senses of a variety of flora breathing together with us. This is a book which is not hard to understand. Written in a simple lucid manner, we are sure to explore every flavour of memoir, literary history, nature studies, spiritual philosophies and botanical research.
I am still reading this book and by the end I am sure I will understand more and discover the heart beating inside every plant life.I hope I am not the same person after finishing this book.
Since I haven’t completed the book, I cannot produce a full book review. But below 👇 are the few links where you can read the full book reviews-
Well not every one is blessed as I am right now😇😇😇.
Well I got my copy signed by the author who fortunately turns out to be our beautiful Teacher. She is one of the best teachers on Earth with a beautiful heart and a gorgeous smile.A picture with our Dear beautiful Ma’am. How can I miss this opportunity…
From the Aleph book publisher-“In this remarkable and often unsettling book, Sumana Roy gives us a new vision of what it means to be human in the natural world. Increasingly disturbed by the violence, hate, insincerity, greed and selfishness of her kind, the author is drawn to the idea of becoming a tree. ‘I was tired of speed’, she writes, ‘I wanted to live to tree time.’ Besides wanting to emulate the spacious, relaxed rhythm of trees, she is drawn to their non-violent ways of being, how they tread lightly upon the earth, their ability to cope with loneliness and pain, the unselfishness with which they give freely of themselves and much more. She gives us new readings of the works of writers, painters, photographers and poets (Rabindranath Tagore and D. H. Lawrence among them) to show how trees and plants have always fascinated us. She studies the work of remarkable scientists like Jagadish Chandra Bose and key spiritual figures like the Buddha to gain even deeper insights into the world of trees. She writes of those who have wondered what it would be like to have sex with a tree, looks into why people marry trees, explores the death and rebirth of trees and tells us why a tree was thought by forest-dwellers to be equal to ten sons.
Mixing memoir, literary history, nature studies, spiritual philosophies and botanical research, How I Became a Tree is a book that will prompt readers to think of themselves and the natural world that they are an intrinsic part of, in fresh ways. It is that rarest of things – A truly original work of art. How I Became a Tree a book that will prompt readers to think of themselves and the natural world that they are an intrinsic part of, in fresh ways. It is that rarest of things – A truly original work of art.” (Blurb)
Book – How I Became a Tree
Author- Sumana Roy
‛How I Became a Tree by Sumana Roy’ is available in Amazon or other online book stores by Aleph book company For only Rs.599 (discounts are available)