Skip to content

One score and a half decade later, the winter morning sun touched my face,
As I stood in the vast expanse of the school courtyard,
Where the old greenwood tree had stood in sway.

The gnarled branches laden with green fingers outstretched, welcomed the children as they walked into the courtyard to begin the day. 
It stood as a quiet sentinel over the assembly as the air reverberated with the prayer of hope and resolve of the children standing there to pass out one day as men you are today.
I saw with wonder as the child in me walked away,
To sit on the cemented base under the vast shade of the Greenwood Tree while I stood there, mourning the passing of the Greenwood Tree.

I looked out on the empty courtyard and I saw you men with suits and greying hair talking animatedly into each other.
Your energy and your achievements permeated the air as you kept reintroducing each other on the very place where you resolved to be the man you were today.

I saw the smiles melt the lines of two score and half years away and your faces became familiar by the passing day as the child in you took sway.
The child sitting under the greenwood tree looked at me askance when he saw some of you sobbed loudly and some quietly brushed a tear away.
I whispered to the child that you all were mourning the passing away of the greenwood tree.

Perry's canteen on the left of the tree was long gone and a swanky gym stood proudly in its place.
The smell of the fried oil of alu bonda wafted into my memory and I saw the plate of lukewarm yellow watery ghugni float into the mind's eye.
I would give a fortune today to stand ourside the school gate to taste Ramji's samosa and maybe more for the old lady's masala dosa.
I stood there quietly, mourning the passing of the Greenwood Tree.

I saw some of you boys waiting for the buses laden with convent beauties to arrive and strain your necks to cast a pleasing eye on your promised love as your adolescence veered towards you.
while some of you with sleeves rolled up frowned on the maths problem that frowned back at you all day.
Some of you I saw stealing surreptitious glances towards the swimming pool that stretched out invitingly on the club that your window seat overlooked while Wordsworth held sway over the rest of the class.

And I quietly stood on the place where the greenwood tree stood mourning it's passing away.
Finally as the dusk of the evening arrived and it was time to go, I stretched out my hand to the child still sitting on the cemented bed under the greenwood tree.
Come, I whispered, we have come far and now it's time to go.
The child looked at me and after a while smiled.
Yes it's right, it's time for you to go.
This is my place in the world and I never left.

I came way from there without the child and with an ache somewhere in the chest.
This afternoon in my mind's eye like the Wordsworth's daffodils the Greenwood Tree flashed by.
As I quietly bowed my head in mourning the passing of the Greenwood Tree the whisper of a child gently broke my reverie.

Do not mourn my passing for I am always with thee.
Close your eyes and feel my shade, I celebrate your passing into a man that you are.
Don't mourn me, for I am thee.