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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Forest, at one level, means the world.

The traveller in India soon learns to appreciate the ancient trees which often grow by the wayside. Trees such as mango, nim or banyan have always been planted along the roads to give shelter and shade, their leaves acting as natural air-conditioners. Beneath their broad canopies generations of travellers, stopping for a rest or a meal from a roadside stall, have found relief from the heat.

Planting trees and digging wells have traditionally been the two great acts of charity by which anyone could earn merit and universal appreciation. Sadly these big shade trees along the roads are now becoming rare, but wherever they are found, rooted in the soil of India, they carry with them a brooding sense of magic and history. They stand as silent symbols of India's spiritual roots...

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