New Post, Tree love

#ThursdayTreeLove-A tree of faith called Rohida

Genus: Tecomella undulata

Common name: Rohida / Desert teak / Marwar teak

Last Sunday I had stepped out for a walk in the Lodhi Garden with a tree lover and expert. He took us around the garden and showed us some amazing trees and told us interesting anecdotes about them too. This one particular tree caught my attention the most as there were lots of old clothes strewn across its branches. Just as I was wondering how tacky this is and why arent the gardeners cleaning it up; our walk leader told us an interesting anecdote.

This tree is called Rohida and its the state flower of Rajasthan. The tree is worshiped in the desert due to the curing properties found in the bark of the trees. Its believed that if someone is ill, then their clothes should be hung on the tree branches. This allows the medicinal effect to seep through and then when the person wears them, their illness dissipates.

This ritual is followed for children and now-a-days people just put the clothes on the trees in hope of its curative effect reaching their child.

I was amazed to note that even today the Rohida tree is being revered and that too in a modern city where people dont have time to spend with one another. I am sure its being treated as an old wives tale and some people just go through the motions. While others practice it religiously as a thing been done for generations in their family.

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lodhi garden-tree walk-Rohida - trees

Whatever the case, its heartening to see such practices being followed. With the decimation of the Aarey forest in Mumbai recently, we have lost so many of these gentle giants. They disperse their goodness quietly without expecting much. But they were slaughtered in the name of development by a few greedy individuals with vested interests.

The trees were cut in the dead of the night, which goes against the grain of religious belief regarding trees. I remember as kids we were scolded for breaking off leaves/ flowers off a plant at night. We were reminded that the plants are sleeping and its not good to disturb them. One of my ayahs would also talk about spirits in the trees that rest in the trees in the night.

Yet the authorities in Mumbai did just that – they cut the trees by stealth in the dead of the night. Protesting citizens was detained by the police and made to run pillar to post to secure bail. Later, NGOs were stopped from going inside to save the affected animals. Its a sad thing to see what has been done to the Aarey forests in such a hoodlum manner by the current government.

The Sunday walk was a balm to my pain for Aarey as I could enjoy these beauties that still survived the greedy axe. Each and every tree we came across had a multitude of medicinal properties and anecdotes of faith attached to them.

When will we greedy humans stop cutting off the very branch that we are sitting on? Does greed matter more than health? Is a human extinction the next thing looming up in the futures of our children?

Joining in the #Thursdaytreelove linky with ParulĀ where we share a picture of a tree and mention in a few words why we are fascinated by it.

My previous post for this linky can be found here

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4 thoughts on “#ThursdayTreeLove-A tree of faith called Rohida

  1. What happened in the Aarey forest was terribly distressing. It was the might of the state and judiciary vs the common people. Climate change, nautral disasters, ecological imbalances are for real and in times when there is talk about reversing the damges already caused, it gives us wonder why none of it matter to the governments who are hell bent on causing the mass scale destruction.
    For the healing powers of the Rohida tree, I am assuming the trees’ power still works despite the toxicity of the air around it.

    1. Its getting worse daily as the reports are trickling in about what all the government is ruining next over there. This news about converting the forest into a zoo next is distressing. Now they are going to cage the animals and call it a zoo!! Where are we headed? Are human beings the worse things that happened to this planet? I was having this conversation with a friend yesterday and am undecided by it.

      Look at how much the trees give to us and look how we are destroying them – shameless we have become!Things in India under BJP is not as great as it was touted to be- this term is showcasing the disasters one after the another.

  2. What a lovely anecdote and you were right. I loved it. Thanks for telling us and sharing what you learnt. So interesting and maybe there is a scientific reason. Like Neem and Eucalyptus cures ailments so Rohida may too.
    On Aarey forest, I don’t know what to say. It’s just sad. I neither have the courage nor the patience to fight anymore. So I have stopped sharing my views and thoughts. I know it sounds like a defeated approach but I am not sure if there is another better way.

    I celebrate what I see so Rohida it is. Thanks, Shanlini. See you on the 24th!

    1. Yeah Rohida is known to cure syphilis and some other such disorders. Thats the main reason for putting the clothes on the tree trunks. SO that the medicinal properties can be absorbed and then passed on to the wearer.

      I hear you on giving up Parul. The Aarey axing was so blatant and shocking that I felt this way too. Have a huge axe looming up over the Aravallis in Gurgaon next and am dreading when it all is chopped down too. The bio diversity park that we all have created here from an old mining site is under threat of building a highway through it. Its going to destroy everything and we are working on protests but thats not going to have any effect-we are all sure that the politicians are not going to listen.

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