A Man Like No Other

It was a village like no other, in that all who ventured there said it was like any other. In those sleepy huts and sleepy wind stroked fields of golden paddy, lived men and women like any other.

But then a man like no other, weighed down by might oak which sprung from hunched back, limped forth. Wore he, a face so familiar.Woman and man gathered, elders brought hither, children snicker, the man drops lower. This man like no other, made no response and but was not paid in kind. He dropped lower and a bloom sprung forth. Lead forth to an empty plot, he was made to lay still. He knew no more-natural course of action. There he dropped, now with arms raised, now a banyan. There he stayed.

Day after day he kneeled, branches growing, trunk soaring from his back as he grew more obscure under his roots. Soon they knew a twisted banyan that seemed too meek to move out of the little plot it grew on. Soon the man’s pawing at dirt was no longer heard. From beneath roots he heard nothing. In his place he stayed and never looked above.

Lush and green the serene picture seemed everlasting. Perhaps below he dreamt of the children growing, having their own who rolled their eyes at the story of a man who on his back bore a tree. Indeed deep below in the rich, damp earth he would have known a truth un-beheld by all. With the swaying paddy, his leaves fluttered, with passing time he became shelter. Branches crunched and unfurled, roots crept further. He seemed to grow and move after every spoken secret, he must have heard all.

The days changing, the world turning, elders silenced, the village may not last long. But now so firmly rooted, so permanent, so invisible he sought no comfort. A soft pawing old earthworms heard ceasing.

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