Rajiv Rahadari is Dead!

By Usha Turaga Revelli

We probably don’t recognize blood unless it is red. Which is why, hundreds of wheels turned through the blood coating this highway and went away, barely leaving their marks and hardly bothered that their journey is blood-stained. Oh, wait. This blood is not red. It is green. No wonder no one recognized it.

As I traveled that road today, I died in some ways, some parts today. I feel my limbs have been severed, my fingers broken one by one and my skin is peeled away. I felt they tied me down in such a way that I could not run, and broke me up with an axe. I felt as each tree would have felt on this highway today.

Years ago, I traveled the road to my Karimnagar as a new bride riding into heaven on a motor bike. We stopped at that tree for a tea, and at this one to snatch a nap, when our closed eyes counted the dappled patterns that leaves and sun together made. And that one there held us close and warm when rain and gale struck us, forcing us to stop. And then that tree….where are they?

I traveled this road a hundred times with my partner to his home as a loved wife, as a beloved daughter, each time marking a silent, smiling hello to all my old green, tall friends who stood exactly where I left them the last time. Oh, yes they grew up a little more, like I did. And they aged so gracefully, like beautiful old ladies who wore elaborate coiffeurs and frilly tops. I caressed gnarled, silky barks, I breathed in the whispering messages they sent on wind’s shoulders. I promised I will come back and meet them again and they sent me off, in a car laden with gifts of flowers, leaves and fruit. Those old friends…where are they?

I died today in some little ways inside. An album of my sweet memories has been burnt to ashes. Snatched away and destroyed. I no longer recognize this road….where are my friends?

Rajiv Rahadari is coated with blood. Green blood that refuses to dry up. Has anyone noticed? Has anyone noticed that the ‘development devils’ pounced upon my friends and gobbled them up, leaving bones that will one day turn into the same dust they are born from. They uprooted my tea tree, they slaughtered the one whose lap I slept in. They cut off branches, they ground leaves into the ground, they went axe, axe, axe….Its murder. It’s massacre.

I cried today. I cried as I should when my dear friends die…no, are murdered. I cried as agony twisted my insides, as helplessness ripped my through my consciousness. I cursed, screamed and wept and my old friends watched from their deathbeds, shedding tears of green blood. I cried as I stood as a mute witness to the rape, the ravaging of yet another voiceless section of life, the way we suppress all the voiceless in this country. I cried as rain fell, not to nourish the trees but to wash their massive corpses.

Let’s not plant anymore. Let’s not give life to another seed. Lets take away green from our rainbow, let not another velvety leaf tremble in gentle breeze. Let our highways not have any more sentinels, let our ground not have any more shelter. Let there be no trees in this hell of a land.

Let’s not plant any more trees. ‘cause we are murderers. We will give life and then mercilessly, barbarically take it away.

Let’s not plant anymore. We cannot take care of our kids. We kill our mothers. We denude and humiliate our mother earth, we rape the ground that keeps us rooted. Let’s not plant any more. We don’t deserve our roots. We don’t deserve our yesterdays. And we don’t deserve tomorrows.

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