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Paths Scorching Desolate Roads

by Vijay Garg
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It is a matter of childhood days.  She studied in first grade.  Father was in Kannauj in those days.  Nearby was Unnao, through which the Ganges flowed.  One day the parents thought that bathing in the Ganges should be done.  Went early in the morning.  Get off the station and walk.  There were brothers as well.  long road.  Trees laden with mangoes on both sides.  Just brothers would pick up the pebbles from the road and toss them towards the trees and many mangoes would fall down.  Thus by the time they reached the banks of the Ganges, the whole bag was filled with mangoes.  Father immersed the bag full of mangoes in the cold water of the Ganges, so that the mangoes become cold.  Later fresh aromatic indigenous mangoes were eaten with great taste.
Then even in the villages, the fruits lying on the ground seemed like a boon to the children.  While passing by the fruit trees, picking Amiya, Jamun, Tamarind etc. was his favorite hobby.  He used to collect a lot of such fruits on his way to and from school.  The children who did not get the fortune of getting the fruits were disappointed.  Sometimes the children who got fruits, shared them with other children and ate them too.  Then there was no sense how to eat the fruit lying on the ground.  This is seen a lot in cities.  There are many Jamun trees on Tolstoy Road in Connaught Place.  During the rainy season so many berries fall there that after being crushed by the feet of passers-by, the road turns purple.  But it is fun that someone can be seen picking them up.  To do so people may feel against their pride.
Nowadays, fruit trees are not visible on the side of the roads.  In the olden days, those shady trees were planted on the side of the road, where when the passers-by walked, the shade of the trees could protect them from the sun and heat.  Not only this, people can also eat fruits when needed.  Trees were usually planted along the roads, which have a long life.
But these days when roads are being constructed, there is no thought of planting trees on their sides.  Even if some trees and plants are planted, they are for decoration.  If you look at the highways running for hundreds of kilometers, then there is no tree anywhere.  Unfortunately, if a bus, car or two wheeler breaks down on the way, then there is no place where you can stand peacefully for two moments.  After all, how was the relationship between the road and the trees, that too shady and fruit trees, broken.  Even today, tamarind, jamun trees are seen in abundance in New Delhi, which were planted by an Englishman, not us, but these days like no one cares.  What’s more, no care is taken for the convenience of the pedestrians.
Many years ago I saw an old man on the banks of Yamuna Expressway.  They tried to cross the road again and again, but at the sight of the swaying vehicles, they turned away in fear.  Who were they, where they had to go, why were they there alone at this age, it is also a matter to think about.  But he must not have been the only one who wanted to cross the road.  Do not know how many women, children, even animals would be in such trouble.  And if the road cannot be crossed, then there is no tree to wait, nor anything else to breathe for two moments.
Was reading recently that the Delhi government has announced that trees will be planted on the roads where there are no trees.  If so, that would be a good start.  Big highway builders and governments will pay attention that the roads are not made treeless.  Such trees should be planted, which give shade and fruits to the passers-by.  At the same time, they should be such, which are compatible with the Indian ecology.  Not only this, planting these trees should not be considered as the end of the responsibility.  Until they flourish, they should also be taken care of, so that they can help people for decades.
Don’t destroy them even if they pass by.  This will also increase greenery.  There will also be protection from sun and rain.  It is said that when Sher Shah Suri had built the road from Peshawar to Calcutta, which is called GT Road these days, similar trees were planted there for the convenience of the passers-by.  When it could have happened on such a long road at that time, then why not today.  Whereas today technology is so advanced.

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