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Trees with personalities – photo feature

August 8, 2008

I have always loved trees but not in the way most people do. When I travel to different places I always notice trees but am too lazy to try and remember their names or pry too deep into their nature. I just enjoy looking at trees, like to bask in their shade, admire their uniqueness…and I also bemoan the lack of them! Maybe it was the long car journeys that we went on as a family that made me love nature and trees. Mumbai to Pune and back was a very regular feature (drove down to Goa several times too) but our journey from Pune to Ferozepur over 5 days and nights was one of my most memorable journeys.

You might find it strange but I always assumed that trees had feelings and personalities and that is why when I see a tree I see someone something unique in each. For example the Ashoka tree in our family home was a good friend and the first thing I would do every morning was to see if a new branch had grown, or it had changed in some way! That tree was unique and some trees are more unique than others, either due to their own uniqueness or due to their circumstances environment.

In this post I am going to show you a few trees that caught my attention during our car journeys in the recent past. I am not sure whether you will see in them what I saw, but it is possible that you might see something else. All these pictures are taken in the last year or so and are not pieces of art. The trees spoke to me about themselves and therefore they are here.

This first one is a simple photograph taken on the Mumbai Pune Expressway. I liked the tree because it was not very heavily dressed but still trying to reach up to the sky, trying to better itself.

The following photograph was taken while driving around the country-side north east of Mumbai. These trees reminded me of the people who had made the country-side their home…thin, hardy, tough and versatile, finding new ways to survive even as one avenue after another was closed. Even though they had few leaves, their branches reached out far and wide.

So unlike this lone tree which seemed shorn. Quite out of place, even though it had pride of place…one of the few trees on Marine Drive, Mumbai. Not just out of place and lonely, I felt that the city hadn’t been kind to it.

These two I came across in Pune. As soon as I saw them I was struck by their posture. I knew at once that they were the victims of a terrorist attack and that even though they were dying, this couple wanted to reach out to each other, they wanted to talk.

This tree isn’t huge or gigantic but it is still doing an important job. See how proudly it stands despite its shortness, lush and green in a bare land, giving shade and succour to the alien beings toiling around it.

This dancing tree I discovered on the Expressway, enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine. I imagined it was sun bathing.

This picture is of a common one seen in coastal areas of India…trees giving of themselves to humans.

This last picture is of a tree enjoying the luxury of a five star hotel. The tree looks old but still well fed and it’s likely to live a long life, with the kind of care it gets.

(All pictures are copyrighted to me)

30 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2008 4:04 pm


    Trees have inner personalities like people too. The Ashoka tree literally means tree without sorrow. Its barks are said to act like tranquilizers, but I find the same attributes in every tree as they seem to reflect my state of mind, sometimes, and sometimes calm me down. Some trees shed leaves in the winter. Some like the ones in your photo, shed leaves in the summer to conserve water,(you could say you photographed, bikini cad trees;)). Some trees like the coconut tree are not indigenous to our country, like our invaders, but have found their use and home. I too love trees, and spend ages with the little one in the garden, just watching them dance with every sway of the wind, while my mind journeys far beyond my body’s capacity. I could literally go on writing on and on, but thank you for leaving a smile, as I read your post

  2. August 8, 2008 4:24 pm


    I like ‘slice of life’ posts (you probably know that already) πŸ™‚

    The two trees, dying but trying to talk reminds me of a poem. I will find the whole text and mail you but for now: “uss nirjan teele par donon chilbil, ek doosre se mil, mitron se hain khade..”. On that hillock, free of crowds, two chilbil trees stand, like two friends.. πŸ™‚

  3. August 8, 2008 4:24 pm

    An absolutely lovely post. And great imagination πŸ™‚

  4. August 8, 2008 4:40 pm

    Nice snaps… :).

    I like the first one the most, where you have called it a simple photograph..i feel it says a lot.

    And if you do not mind, one correction, there are two last pictures in the post.

  5. August 8, 2008 7:22 pm

    lol i too have a lot of tree photos πŸ™‚ i love trees,esp,when it is really windy πŸ™‚

  6. August 8, 2008 8:04 pm

    Its interesting to observe how different the trees look there as compared to here. Also how different the soil and the landscape looks as well. In Chandigarh it is very interesting that you can find palms and pines sometimes growing side by side! We have a lovely pear tree in my house that has very beautiful blossoms every spring and of course it gives delicious fruit as well. We also have Guava, a Grapefruit, a Sapodilla, Mango and Lemon trees in the house.

  7. August 8, 2008 8:17 pm

    I just loved your post..I have felt so many times on the similar lines, I have kind of a fetish for a lonely tree..and also for a pair of trees which from distance look like one…

  8. August 8, 2008 8:23 pm

    I love trees. I can spend hours staring at the abstract curving and turning patterns of branches on different trees. They are the most beautiful thing of all creation. Nature’s crowning glory.

  9. August 8, 2008 8:26 pm

    I love nature and trees are important components of a vast landscape. Good description!

  10. August 8, 2008 8:27 pm

    Wow!! such a different topic. Good pics. My favorite tree is gulmohar, the red flowers one.

  11. August 8, 2008 9:03 pm

    Aww What a pleasant post! Just what I needed after that hard-hitting discussions from yesterday. Thank you :).

  12. wishtobeanon permalink
    August 8, 2008 9:14 pm

    Hi Nita, beautiful post – makes me sad and happy at the same time!

  13. August 8, 2008 9:33 pm

    Thoughtroom, thanks! Glad to know you think like me. I always feel that each tree has a personality somehow and at times they reflect my mood. In fact I had got to obsessed with the Ashok tree in front of my house, that whenever a new branch came out of it, I felt maybe I was branching out into something else too! Just imaginings of a 16 year old I guess! πŸ™‚ Also you know a lot about trees, and I hope one day to get a better knowledge of the subject too.

    Shefaly, my hindi is so bad, that it’s best you send a translation! πŸ™‚ Just kidding. πŸ™‚

    Sharad, thanks. I made the correction. πŸ™‚

    Diviya, thanks. πŸ™‚

    Roop, I love to surprise. πŸ™‚ have a good week-end!

    Vishesh, we can now expect a post! πŸ™‚

    Odzer, you are one lucky man! I grew up in a house where we had mango trees, guava trees, palms and banana trees but today these are not in my garden as I live in an aparment. But luckily a place which is surrounded by trees.

    Prerna, I can sense your passion for trees. I love them too.

    Reema, I too love the gulmohr and wanted to post a picture of one…but unfortunately it came out blurred.

    wishtobeanon, you got the philosophical undertone huh. I am pretty much like that still. That’s something I have in common with Vishesh, the youngest member of our blogging group.

  14. August 8, 2008 10:00 pm

    Trees… are they conscious in the way we are? Self-aware? Probably not, but, since it is possible that the roots in the ground and the branches in the sky grow and affect the local environment, then maybe they do have personalities.

    Have a great weekend Nita.

    Thanks and you too Brian! – Nita.

  15. August 8, 2008 10:14 pm

    Did you hug any of those trees? πŸ™‚

    Amit, I don’t hug strangers! πŸ™‚ – Nita

  16. August 8, 2008 11:19 pm

    I wonder, have you read the story “the last leaf” Your talking of the tree reminded me of this story. Here is a link, just in case,

    That’s an enchanting story. Thank you! πŸ™‚ – Nita.

  17. August 8, 2008 11:53 pm

    WOW! That was one beautiful post. And I can relate to it completely.
    I used to visit my grandmom’s home during summer holidays and they had a huuuge backyard full with trees of various types on one side and lot of plants and flowers on the other. I loved spending a lot of time under the trees and have talked to them too ! yeah, full stories and all that. And there was some sort of calmness I felt under their shade. Like someone was hugging me. Its a beautiful feeling. When someone wanted to cut off the tree in front of our house in Blore, I protested hard cos I felt the tree was looking at me sadly….calling out for help. I feel that about any tree for that matter. Theres something special about trees.

    Thanks, so good to hear from people who love trees! My favourite in my childhood was a tamarind tree and I used to cosy up to it quite a bit. Climbing its huge branches and I always felt like I was in its arms. – Nita

  18. August 9, 2008 1:35 am

    wow..beautiful post….
    u just remeinded me of the womping willow in harry potter and the chamber of secrets πŸ™‚

    thanks Arvind. – Nita.

  19. August 9, 2008 1:43 am

    Nita, what a lovely post!
    I never thought of trees in this way.
    This post reveal some new aspect of your wonderful personality to me…
    thanks !

    Axinia, thanks! As a child I often lived in a fantasy world… I started writing short stories when I was 11! πŸ™‚ – Nita.

  20. August 9, 2008 7:22 am

    Nita, the first photo, to me, looked like the tree holding the two clouds over the sky! I too have this habit of taking snaps for trees. But not just the trees! I love to take the snap of the tree with streaks of sunlight through its branches. I would focus the lens so. I feel that very old trees will have many stories to say, as they would have lived and seen generations together.
    My engineering college had lots of trees as it was little away from the urban hush-hush. I always used to look at them as witnesses to many stories (friendship and love as well) of the many batches that left the college. I love it when they relate “good old” trees to that willow tree in Disney’s Pocahontas. πŸ™‚

    Hmm, you saw the trees holding the cloud…see how different two people can see the same image! And what you said about trees living a long life and seeing a lot is a thought whenever I see an old tree. – Nita.

  21. August 9, 2008 9:58 am

    Rambler, sorry missed your comment! Fetish for a lonely tree! That is my fetish too…but I always see that tree as a happy one!

  22. August 9, 2008 12:00 pm

    I love every one of your trees. They are wonderfully different from the treese in these wet latitudes, and have character distinct. I like that you have made stories and personalities for your trees. They are remarkable entities; companions of our seasons and so important for our existence. Lovely post! G

  23. August 10, 2008 1:03 am

    Beautiful post & wonderful captures!

    Like trees , clouds also have personality πŸ™‚

  24. sirius permalink
    August 10, 2008 1:40 am

    Great sentiments, banal pics

  25. August 10, 2008 8:11 am

    G, thanks. These trees are all from Maharashtra, except for the last which was taken in Goa. The character of our land changes rapidly as we go north or south or west or east, India being more (or equally) longitudinal than latitudinal. Maharashtra overall is does not have lush vegetation. A lot of it is on the Deccan Plateau which is hard black volcanic rock. On the other hand states like Punjab,Kerala and all the north eastern states are lush and green. And well, I can write an essay on the various states of India but don’t want to bore you. πŸ™‚

    Rahul, thanks. Btw, I am collecting some interesting clouds too! πŸ™‚ And you forgot mountains! πŸ™‚ There is this place where we went to in China and all the hills had names (at Guilin) according to their personalities! It was fascinating for me.

    Sirius. Bang on. πŸ™‚

  26. August 10, 2008 2:38 pm

    I liked the last one. ITs the luckiest one ! πŸ˜€

  27. August 11, 2008 10:01 am

    wah wah wah… enjoyed it thoroughly!

  28. August 11, 2008 4:06 pm

    Looks good πŸ™‚

    Expect too much and you’ll curse me! πŸ™‚ – Nita.

  29. August 15, 2008 8:00 am

    Wow Nita, I must do such a posts on clouds. I am taking this post as a ‘photo tag’ from you πŸ™‚

    Welcome Priyank! – Nita.


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