Green Grandeur

Saket Mehendale's paintings
Saket Mehendale’s paintings

Trees have been an inherent part of our cultural heritage, inspiring art, literature and human aspiration. In fact their role and place in mythology and folklore is undeniable. Many an insight, revelation and creative discovery has been gained under the shade of a generous tree and these gifts have been acknowledged by artists, writers, poets and thinkers through the generations.

In order to celebrate the enduring spirit of trees in Pune, Gyaan Adab and eCoexist jointly hosted an evening in honour of trees. The event featured poetry, reflections, stories and group chanting by writers, poets, environmentalists and the audience.

The evening began with an invocation to honour trees, which is remembered by the old women of the Irula community. Many types of resin trees of Chemenarai are harvested by the Kalakatti irula community which is used to make samrani which comes from Chemenarai. This samrani when lit filled the air with its exquisite fragrance as Mr. Khare initiated the invocation and the audience chanted along.

“We call on you
We call on you
Spirits of root and leaf
Spirits of trunks and bark
Spirits of green
Spirits of those who give us
All that we need to grow
Sweet roots to live by
Juices of earth.
We call on you.”

For the first time in the city of Pune creative people and environmentalists joined hands to promote a cause with numerous dimensions. City based young poetess Divya Mangawani recited her own poetry which she wrote in response to the debate around the Tree Act implemented in Pune. Peter a storyteller narrated a riveting traditional folktale ‘The Three Trees’.

Manisha Gutman, the founder of eCoexist spoke about her discovery of the trees of her neighbourhood, Kalyaninagar and the way they have deeply affected her life. She also shed light on a campaign to document and map the trees of Kalyani nagar that eCoexist has launched.

This event also marked the opening of ‘Water Gardens’, an exhibition of watercolour works by Saket Mehendale. His mesmerizing work beautifully captured white lilies on green leaves in their endless colourful water hues. His paintings portrayed trees, leaves, water lilies, park benches and the cool morning mist.

One of the highlights of the evening was a display and sale of tree-related eco-friendly products. There were artistic bags, cute little bird houses, and many beautiful handmade paper utilities like card holders, earring and bangle boxed, pen stands, notebooks and photo frames.

The event reiterated the synergy between environment and culture.


Nityaasha Foundation