Monday, March 17, 2008

Can’t axe those roots

We may be Muslims, saab, but we cannot cut this peepal tree. His name is Rahim and his band of workers sound Muslim too. The carpenter --- Maulana saab. The painters --- Abdul and Ismail. The plumber --- Yaqub. I didn’t hire him because of who he was (or who he thinks he is) but because he’s a competent contractor. And among the many other jobs that a house needs, cutting the peepal tree on the terrace of our landlord’s apartment was one. The tree, like thousands on Delhi buildings and millions across north India, was a hazard to the building. My generally invisible neighbours brought it to my notice. The tree had to go. Period.

Opinion in The Indian Express, March 17, 2008

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