It is about 2 km from our hostel to our Lecture Hall Complex. The Lecture Hall Complex was the place where our classes were held. I mean, that’s what happened usually. At times we had to go to the respective departments to attend, but they were really rare.
Anyway, this is about the 2km road from Hostel 12 to the LHC. If you have been there you would know how big tall trees stand on either side of the road. They were so tall and dense that it would be dark on a sunny day. There were birds, monkeys and squirrels who would play on them. It was indeed fun to watch. There was one problem. Almost all the trees looked alike and distinguishing one from another was difficult. So we called them Hostel 7 tree. Hostel 9 tree and the all time favorites - Hostel 11 trees.
Then one day while taking the regular bus service that took us from our hostel to the academic section, I noticed a huge tree that looked totally different from any other. There is a road that bends to the left when you drive towards the LHC. It goes towards the newer Hostels 15 and 16. Just opposite to the road, close to the crossing stood an odd, young and tall tree. It was massive, even compared to the trees around it. But there was something strange about it apart from the way it looked.
In the middle of August, it rained. By rained I mean it poured. The dogs ran away, the cows stood and then slept in the shades of our bus stops. The water trickled down the Infinity Corridor. The wind scared the monkeys away. It was really something. We sat in class, listening to the lectures and shuddering at the thunders, one after the other. On our way back, from the bus, I found out that tree. It had fallen down. Surprisingly, far weaker trees all around stood defiantly. But the strongest lay on the ground. The roots protruded out and the branches stood up, the leaves were motionless, helpless. The bus slightly went around it as it took up some space on the road. While we were leaving I could still sense some movement in it.
It was on that night that I saw. After dinner, I went to the place. It was calm. The storm was long over, but the casualty was in front of me. The rest of the trees were morose. The frogs were silent for the first time. I was wondering how the most majestic and powerful tree could fall so easily. I went back.
The next day while going to class, the tree was no longer there. In a short span of seven hours, the tree had disappeared without a trace. This was unusual to say the least. There were no cranes nearby, no signs of a cut tree was to be found. Leaves and drag marks on the ground were absent. I checked. And it was then that I knew what had happened.He must have been a hapless young man cast into a tree by a spell. For some reason or the other. While he was there, he remained a prisoner in form of the tree. It was for that reason that he was not be found. That’s why he left no evidence. Every day, I could almost feel that the tree wanted to move, go or even take a single little step, however small that may be. There was an impatience in it when compared to the relaxed trees and plants all around who were content to be at the same place all their lives. This tree was curious, adventurous and wanted to see more, may be see the next road crossing, to see how trees there were doing. I went there and stood for a few minutes. The wind was gentle and the same trees were all around gently waving their hands as if nothing had happened. Only from their midst, one had gone free.