June 2010: Days and Dates to Remember

4          International Day of Innocent Children & Victims of Aggression
5          World Environment Day
16         International Day of Solidarity
17         World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought
20         World Refugee Day
26         International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking/ International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
30         Santhal Revolution’s Day 

 ...days that remain etched on the calender year after year, reminding us of the people, issues and processes that need attention and change!


Come, come to this jungle
Don’t fret
I, a tree in this jungle
Beckon you
to share my story.
Come, let me introduce you to my mates.
Come, touch and see my trunk
Erect and strong  
and up above
See my swirling branch
And infinite twigs.
What, you want to know where my leaves have gone
            My friend
            They have all fallen the autumn before.
But soon new ones will come
And envelop my branches.
            You cannot see
            My roots
But they exist
Inside the earth
Spread deep down.
They soak water
From the ground
To quench my thirst.
To adorn me with leaves
See here sprout my leaves
Making me look greeny -green.
But this is not only my garb
it is also my nourishment.
They drink air from the atmosphere
and warmth from the sun
to make my food.
These insects
Creeping, crawling and jumping around
Are all my friends
I have
Nested them
In cracks, holes, and gaps.
Their eggs from heat and cold
And caressed their young ones
Asleep on my chest.
Happy with this
they sing songs
sweet music
buzz-buzz, zoon-zoon
and dance
whole day in glee.
Colourful birds
come to me
and become friends
between my branches
make their nests
they twitter, they sing
they fly, and flit
teaching their young children
to soar and fly.
I love children
The children love me
They come under my canopy
To play and
dangle from my branches
make swings and to
devour my stealthily
Sweet-sour fruits.
Look at me carefully
And at other trees in this jungle
With love.
Mine and yours
Is an innate bond
This jungle
Is so valuable
For entire human race.
With my wood
Are made your tables and chairs
The cradle for your sleep
Your doors and windows
And also pencils.
Ask your teacher
And she will say
That I also bring rain
And save soil from drifting.
I bring a halt to floods
And drive droughts away.
This entire jungle is useful for you
It gives you so much peace.
But profit hungry traders
Cut it without care
without planting new trees
Oh stop, please stop
That greedy man
Warn him.
Or else one day
This jungle will be lost
And will remain for you
Only a stump laden grave.

by Safdar Hashmi

(Translated by Juhi Jain, for Kriti team -
original hindi version source:  
Duniya Sabki - a collection of poems by Safdar Hashmi, 
Sahmat, New Delhi 2006 
and  shared in Our Diary 2010)

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Kriti team (estb. 1999)