Why Willows Weep

Salley Vickers

This one tells us the tale of the trees before humans came into existence. It begins like this: Long ago, when the world was still quite young, the trees and plants rules all living things. I say ‘ruled’ but there was no need then for rules; rather they were caretakers of creation as it emerged out of that obscure and uncharted place from which what is called ‘creation’ emerged. Soon came the birds and the... continue reading→

Scots Pine (A Valediction Forbidding Mourning)

Ali Smith

Ali Smith’s writing has always put me at an awkward position. I love her writing. Not saying I don’t. But I sometimes fear that I am not understanding her well enough! Her thoughts are all over the stories. She is talking in multiple languages in multiple directions. It gets difficult sometimes but I am like a bee and she like a flower. I keep coming back to her and enjoy her writing nevertheless. This particular... continue reading→

Indian Nationalism

by S Irfan Habib

‘We live in time of hyper-nationalism, amidst the shrieks of cultural homogenisation. The frenzy of self-proclaimed nationalists and mono-culturalists is threatening to tear apart our social fabric. A binary has trapped us- you are a nationalist or an anti-nationalist, depending upon your attitude towards the state and its politics.’ This hyper-nationalism is what prompted the author to compile a collection of essays giving us a history of emergence of the frenzy, its effects and side-effects.... continue reading→

cover: Indian Nationalism

Why Elms Die Young

Terence Blacker

This is a story of why Elms die young. It is sort of a curse, mostly. Elm was the rudest tree in the forest where everyone was very tolerant. The forest is a tolerant, live-and-let-live sort of place, where there is a general sense that trees should not judge one another but concentrate on their own growing. In the midst of tolerant humble trees Elm was the only one with a severe attitude problem. He... continue reading→

This One (or How the Blackthorn Got Its Flowers)

Susan Elderkin

This is a cute story of Blackthorn. When once Blackthorn was young and the gifts were being distributed he got really late to the party. The gates were closed and he couldn’t get anything. He was okay though since all the other trees looks just like him. They all had stumps and branches. On the day that the gifts were handed out they Blackthorn was late. By the time it got there,, the gate was... continue reading→

Why the Ash Has Black Buds

William Fiennes

This beautiful story is about an Ash tree who saw men and women reading and writing beneath its shades. The author begins with: The trees have always had some idea of what happens to them when they die. Yes they do. They have seen their friends and neighbors being chopped down and converted to furniture, handles, wheels and what not. But the most noble of them were those who were converted to books. The trees... continue reading→