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The Tree Speaks Essay Summary by C. Rajagopalachari


This essay discusses the loss of our culture and old traditions. Tree cutting upsets the biological cycle, as we all know. Even before independence, the author was concerned about man's indiscriminate tree cutting. He says the tree and other beings have their own lives. His love of nature is also clear.

Colonel’s evening walk:

C. Rajagopalachari recounts an incident that made him appreciate trees. He had an English friend, Salem doctor Ray Johnson. He loved trees. During his evening walks, he'd talk to trees. “He would bend intimately and kiss the trees and whisper to them kind words. This was odd but very beautiful to see” states the narrator.

Colonel’s Helplessness:

Mr Johnson was shocked when a 40-year-old pipal tree near the district board office was cut down. He protested. When Rajaji next saw Colonel, he said, “They have killed my tall, beautiful girl”. And questions, “They say this tree was too near the building. Who asked them to place their building so near the tree? The tree has been growing there these forty years, and this upstart building came to be there only last year” with eyes filling.

Narrator’s rumination:

Rajaji was moved by the doctor's feelings. He returned the next evening and saw the fallen giant pipal tree. “Was each branch a separate life and the tree an uprooted family or was it even bigger than that, each flower having its own soul, the whole the tree is a great city?” He also heard the melancholic song of the fallen tree.

Narrator’s dream:

He remembered Hindus' belief that every tree has a soul. In his dream, a giant pipal tree told him to become a lawyer. - “Here I am, killed, murdered. I want you to take up my cause. They paid treble coolie rates to coax the men who at first refused to cut me down. The silver pieces seduced the good men.” This shows that with the help of money anything evil could also be done in this world.


Rajaji believed in the pipal tree. He wrote to the "Madras Mail" about the folly of felling old trees. Bar members criticised him for focusing on trees while everyone fought for India's freedom. Rajaji fought for independence, but he didn't regret writing about the pipal tree. In this essay, he compares fighting for independence to fighting urban deforestation.



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