Dear Vanni tree,
From the era of the Cholas
to this era with smartphones,
you must have met millions of people,
talking, cribbing and ranting under your shade.
You must have heard billions of things.
And since you live inside the temple,
You must have heard them pray.
What is it like to hear us pray?
When a politician promises a golden chariot to the temple God if he wins this election,
When the king prays to bless his pregnant wife only with a son,
When the businessman prays that the journalist should give into his demands,
When a mother prays that her queer son will marry the girl she chooses,
When a common man prays that the immigrants stay behind a wall,
When a sexually experienced man prays for his future wife to be a virgin.
What is it like?
How do you feel when you hear us pray?
Do you chuckle when we keep asking for more?
Do you feel like laughing at our ‘intolerance’?
Do you feel happy when some of us say ‘Thank you’?
Do you get angry when we pray for more water on our side of the border?
Do you smirk when we think we can confess crimes to God and holy river and get away?
Do you feel sad that we don’t care or pray enough to save trees like you?
Do you sigh with relief when we pray for peace?
How do you feel?
Vanni tree, it has been 3000 years
and you have been really strong.
How are you so patient
in listening to some of our ‘wants’
disguised as prayers?
If only you could speak and remind us how shallow we are.
For You know that our prayers have not changed in all these years.
For You know that it does it not matter
to which God we pray, how we pray.
For Only You know that our prayers
are All one and the same.
We humans, always want more.
If only you could speak.