Thiruvananthapuram: Trees do not wear bras, and that happens to be one of the many reasons why author Sumana Roy wanted to become a tree.
Excerpts from her book How I Became a Tree’ were read in sympathy to an audience which mostly consisted of women at ‘Nature Lines’, a reading session conducted by the collective ‘Tree Walk’.
Writer O.V. Usha, who was among the attentive listeners, remarked after the session that, “the book has a silent protest; and silent politics within.”
The work, published last year, was never positioned as a book on feminism. But Tree Walk coordinator Anitha Sharma points out how she chose to begin the book with the sentence on bras. “The book is not just about trees. She introduces you to so many concepts,” she says.
For example, when she says that her fatal flaw is kindness, she talks about the society’s tendency to look down upon poverty, as if it were a disqualification.
‘Nature Lines’, devoted to books on nature and trees, was first conducted in 2014.
But Tree Walk has conducted other reading sessions. When they read Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree at ‘Mahila Siksha Kendra’ at Marayoor, tribal children teared up, despite not knowing all the Malayalam words the narrators used, according to ecologist Shanthi S.
It is about a tree which keeps giving everything that the man asks, even if that means it has to sacrifice itself. The book was read silently on Saturday. Environmentalist Anandi Ramachandran said she was on the verge of crying.
During the session, tree-shaped cloth broaches made by an Ahmedabad-based designer Medha Bhatt Ganguly were given to those present.
O.V. Usha said that after the session, she felt as if everyone there became one, like a single organism. The collective plans to conduct many more ‘Nature Lines’ sessions in the future.