Distressing scenes from my local scruffy DDA Market.

A magnificent banyan tree, which has been there for as long as I can remember, fell down on the night of Thursday/Friday.

On Friday morning, we drove past the market, as we do whenever we leave our colony, to see scenes of devastation – leaves and branches all over the road.

The usual crowd of gawpers.

And cows already making a beeline for the leaves – how on earth do they know so quickly?!

Later that day, after our evening walk, we stopped by to see for ourselves – and the damage was worse than feared.

Himmat had been his usual upbeat self as we drove by in the morning, quite sure that only a few branches had come down.

I wasn’t so sanguine, since I was sure I’d seen the massive trunk of the tree lying uprooted, as we drove past.

Sad to say, I was correct.

This tree was home to zillions of mynahs, that used to make a crazy noisy racket in the evenings, as they settled down for the night.

I have, on occasions, recorded them, but (typically) can’t find the videos to share with you here.

But take it from me, there were hundreds of birds living in the tree.

The tree’s branches and aerial roots gave shade to a taxi stand and to many little stalls that had grown up around it. Several taxis were crushed by the tree, and when I went to check up this morning, 2 days on, the cars were still underneath the fallen tree.

We are all to blame for the death of this fabulous old tree.

All of us.

From the municipal idiots who paved over the roots, to the people (myself included) who never objected.

The market will look bare and stark without this beautiful tree.

It will be quieter because of the absence of the flocks of birds, who will presumably move elsewhere, yet paradoxically it will also be noisier, since I’m sure such a grand old tree absorbed much noise.

It will be a hotter place without its ample shade.

As I said, shame on all of us.

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