Wishing Tree


Yawn..! Oh dear! What a silly, dull day…!

Hey you..! Listen, I feel like talking today. I don’t need you to talk, just listen. If you can, try to look intelligent as if you understand. It isn’t mandatory, however.

I wish he’d go, this poor excuse of a human being groveling at my feet. How boring it is to sit listening to their endless appeals! Do you have any idea of the depth of the ire people like you arouse in me?

Give, give, GIVE is all you humans know. I want this and I want that…! And the cheek of you offering me bribes…! If you give me THIS, I get a new platform made around your trunk. If you grant me that wish, I would put up benches under your shade..! If you let me have THAT, I would have a well dug under your spreading branches. Yes, make a bloody circus out of me, you beggars..!Wishing Tree

Do you really think I give a damn about your platforms and benches? Do you think me so stupid as not to know that all these things would only bring more of your ilk to me… to demand more and more wishes off me..? Damn your blithering stupidity and pompous hypocrisy..! Damn oh damn…!

To turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the spectacle of your abasement is almost the only pleasure left to me nowadays. Don’t think I am at all pleased at having to talk to you, it is the ultimate indignity..!

It has been long since someone worthy came to me with an appeal. When one of those comes, I listen to them carefully. I notice the way they walk and stand, the way they hold their head and shoulders. I try to fathom the depth of their eyes. I watch for the line of their jaw and the unsmiling set of their lips. I pay particular attention to see if their hands tremble when they tie the customary thread around my trunk. When they look up at me with a muteness too deep to measure with words, I peer from my heights to see if I can find mists gathered in the corner of their eyes. When I see one of those, I know I’ve found a worthy.

The intensity of their hunger, which drives them to me, is like a hook embedded in their soul. It makes them vulnerable for they have something to lose. There is the abandon of mad passion in their eyes. This is the kind of love that demands of them even the irrationality of surrendering their dream to the untamable and unpredictable forces of an entity they call A Wishing Tree. I simply adore them, these worthies. They are capable of feeling pain with an intensity that would dwarf the horror of a battlefield full of corpses.

The right ones always inspire me to set unlikely wheels in motion; wheels necessary to make their wishes come true.

You get a worthy rarely, like once a decade- if you are lucky. You can imagine, therefore, the avidity with which I wait for one.

I remember all the worthy ones I have dealt with in the past. Their hunger has a palpable flavor of a compulsive urgency, as if the world blow up into bits if they were not granted their wish.

There was this middle-aged widowed woman. She lost her husband when she was twenty-five and had a son. The boy was spectacularly brilliant.

He went through his childhood academic challenges like a meteor…. swift, fiery and unstoppable. The hurdles he needed to vault over in his quest to become an aeronautical engineer, he took in his stride. Isn’t it amazing the way even the most abject lack of resources cannot stop some people? Don’t you feel they do you a favor by giving you a chance to admire them… in a world where there is so little cause to feel admiration?

She came to me to wish that he would get a job at the biggest aeronautical research lab in the country… something he had set his eyes on. Naturally, I had to do something about it, didn’t I?

I also remember that boy who came a few decades ago. He came from a family that can only be described as the plodding middle class. Traditional in their thought process, pedestrian in their aspirations and utterly unimaginative in their visions, the essence of them was average. The boy was like a sparkling gem in a sea of mediocrity. He wanted to be a sportsman. His God was badminton. When he came to me, he had the stamp of the worthy stamped indelibly on his broad forehead.

There was that man… just past his prime. He was conscientious, hard-working and responsible to a fault. Such men are always taken for granted in your world, aren’t they? Their effort to take up an unending burden of responsibilities is a foregone assumption—one that deserves no thanks. They are expected to wipe themselves out of existence for the slightest wish of their families… and more… they are supposed to find joy in this self-immolation. No other happiness is deemed necessary or permissible for them. He came to me to wish that he find the means to break out of the rut his life had become, make a clean break from his family whose responsibilities he had already fulfilled and to find a quiet corner far away from the cities to put up his feet and live out the rest of his days in peace. He too, was one of my worthies.

There was another one, a brooding, shifty eyed man. There were demons raging within his soul. I could see them peering malevolently out of his eyes. He was in love with a girl, who wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole. I don’t blame her. If I were a lovely girl, I’d have shot the man down like a rabid dog. He had the kind of look about him that would justify the shooting. But the mark of an unreasonable passion was shone out of his vague eyes bleakly- the mark of the worthy. I particularly liked to help him. Got two for the price of one you see.

No, I don’t give a damn about the validity or righteousness of the wisher’s plea. My sole yardstick is the extent and magnitude of the fire within them. It has to be an all consuming fire that permits nothing left behind to burn. A fire which does not leave even a mound of ash to show for its passage.

They last for long, those who have a fire in their belly. You grant them one wish and you’ve got them. Its like they poured their soul at your feet in homage. Once you have the soul of a human being… you have a puppet to play with until it breathes its last.

They leave themselves wide open for you to permeate every corner of their being. They let you inject  yourself like thick liquid into every cell of their consciousness. You feed on them at leisure because you know they aren’t going anywhere. Slowly you dissolve into their blood stream. Through their every moment, every choice and every desire, you corrupt them from within. They never realize the devastation they perpetrate upon themselves. They never notice their dreams choking and dying one by one. They walk on, unheedingly, leaving gasping moments of their life in their wake. They walk to their own destruction. Every one of them, whose wishes I granted, walked this path to self-destruction, as they deserved.

Yes, if you must hear me say it: It is a game for me. It is my only means of enjoyment and I love it. Are you shrinking from me in horror? Do you think your censure matters to me?

When you step into the realm of the unreasonable and irrational- by begging a wishing tree to grant you a wish- you deliver yourself- bound hand and foot- to the forces of injustice. You abdicate your right to complain. When you grovel at the mercy of a tree, you demonstrate that you no longer have trust your own abilities. You show that you have abandoned the patience you should have had, to let the universe to make things fall in place for you. After surrendering to an irrational desire to jump the queue, do you still think you have the right to claim that the universe deal with you rationally? When it is you who volunteered to change the rules of the game, what right have you to scream in denial when the time comes to pay the price for it? 


Deal with it now, this irrational world you invoked by walking into my parlor..!






Word count: 1472




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16 thoughts on “Wishing Tree”

    1. Bina,

      I am so pleased you liked this. I wondered if it might not jar… considering the other stories I read.
      Thank you. 🙂


    1. Namita,

      Lol… yes the tree has a personality of his own.

      Glad you liked… Bina comes up with the most amazing challenges, doesn’t she? Are you writing for the next one?

      Thanks 🙂

  1. Dagny, a different thinking do not convince always…yaa…you state…Do you think your censure matters to me? answer is NO… obviously.
    BUT this shows you don’t have faith on Faith…do not trust on Trust…don’t even know the innocence of Prayer…
    Do you know there is no prayer without innocence..??? and with innocence one can find God in Rocks…
    Yes,This is sheer censure…and it hardly matters to you…Oh forget it. !

    1. Sandalisufi,

      Welcome to my space. And thank you very much for subscribing to my blog. 🙂

      Your comment is interesting on many counts. There are many layers of… I wont say censure… but certainly disapproval. Or perhaps it is disapproval of the arrogant wishing tree and not of the creator whose pen has brought him to life? Hmmmm… either prospect is permissible… and equally delightful in a contrary kind of way. 🙂

      Let me try and answer your observation as best as I can and I hope you will not take anything I say, amiss. I assure you, I am very pleased with your comment.

      You have said:

      a different thinking do not convince always: But, whatever gave you the impression that I (or the Wishing tree) was trying to convincing anyone? He was just talking… for the heck of talking.

      BUT this shows you don’t have faith on Faith…do not trust on Trust…don’t even know the innocence of Prayer… Do you know there is no prayer without innocence..??? and with innocence one can find God in Rocks…: Now here we have to diverge into two streams. If I were the irreverent, no faith, no trust, no innocence kind of a person, I would give you this quote from Kabir and that would be that (I hope you can read Hindi script..?). The Kabir doha is:
      पाहन पूजे हरि मिलें, तो मैं पूजूं पहार,
      याते तो चाकी भली पीस खाए संसार||

      But you see, I am NOT the kind who doesn’t have faith or trust in the power of prayer. I do. I have seen too many instances when prayer has not only provided the only solace in a time of intolerable internal strife, but has actually helped move mountains. And yet…

      My ideological rift from those who prostrate themselves in from of a tree comes from those I have observed indulging in this form of prayer (?). I am even hesitant to call this prayer… in all honesty… having seen what I have seen… I cannot.

      True prayer is when one trusts in the divine to give one what one deserves. The prayer is always accompanied with a genuine effort to achieve the thing one is praying for. At the same time, one is ready to accept a NO, trusting in divine wisdom.

      This, I am sorry to say, is NOT the mindset of those who ‘wish’. Their wishes are more in the form of ultimatums thrown to the divine. And God… doesn’t work on demand. We all know that, don’t we?

      I would love to carry the discussion forward. There are many overlapping areas in this concept. It is an individual choice to draw lines where they need to be drawn. Drawing lines, however, falls in the province of an individual’s value system. There, I do beleive, all of us stand naked… and alone.

      Oh forget it..? 🙂 I think not…

      Do come again. This was fun.


      1. Aaah… women..women…could you please tell me Dagny…why a woman can’t explain her thoughts in few words..??? Anyway…coming to the point…so finally you have realized that a creation is the reflection of its creator’s thoughts…! That’s why your wishing tree is arrogant.
        You said..your tree is just talking….! Dagny….you are kidding baby…aren’t you? We all know very well that if we want to say anything we need no words. One can talk with one’s touch, one’s eyes, one’s looks, even a wink or with a sweet smile too. But when you want to convince or impress someone with your thoughts you probably use words. Am I right?
        Kabir…very well quoted…Do you know He also said…चींटी के पग नेहुर बाजे फिर भी साहिब सुनता है… (O Yes, I know Hindi script) means God is listening always; even when a tiny bell rings in ant’s ankles. But your tree said He is fed up listening… So He admits NO God in him…? Ok Ok I understand you Have faith in the power of prayer. BUT darling I was NOT talking about the power of prayer… I was questioning about your knowledge regarding innocence of prayer. (I can smell your rage…love it) You are defining TRUE prayer here…Dagny if there is no truth within; there is no prayer. Simple as always…
        By the way with whom you are fighting(sorry,showing your ideological rift)…people…a myth…or God himself..??? If I’m not mistaken some days back you are talking with your Lord Shiva by saying – “Change my dice NOW…!” What was that…a wish…a prayer…or an ultimatum???
        No sweetheart, that was an innocent sweet prayer with full of LOVE for Him. Now you can easily understand my words…Yes my girl, God is working on demand. He troubles you to the extent where you burst to cry…and at that time true words come out deep down from your heart. You scream out loudly…Do this NOW. He says with lovely smile…Ok…YES….!

        Now I’m going to show the other side of your tree…because he is saying He is bored… so I’m giving him some Namak (salt)…

        A rugged faded woman with drooped moist eyes and bowed head, came near to him… “Baram devta…please save my child…please…her voice trembled…do you remember you saved him when he was six years old…He had fell down from our roof…I took him with my these arms…drenched with blood, unconscious, almost dead…I put him in your lap and …you saved him…Oh please now….”
        “Oh not again…I hate these old junks…! What is this Baram…Oh please my name is banyan tree…see baanyaan…what a rhythmic name… but oh God…who explains them…dirty goblin…! Who said…I saved your child…that was a doctor going by…he saved your child with his timely treatment. BUT at that time I remember…you looked different..That day you were disturbed and confused…and you forgot to take your dupatta…ahhhh…your shapely curves…your perfectly spherical boobs…how can I forget…??? And after your son was ok…you embraced me hard…oh..what a feeling it was…and now what is in you..??? He split a bored smile on her… Get lost you stinker…!..send some colorful beauties… ”

        Drawing lines…naaaa…It was a simple comment…..simple yet exceptional.. I know !By the way thanks for telling me that a simple comment is also a form of creative writing which is good to be reviewed, discussed and evaluated. Like your huge welcome…but next time I need little more warmth also…!

        1. SandaliSufi,

          I AM surprised to read your comment. Do you really know me well enough to be able to say you ‘smell my rage’..? I would have elaborated, but I wont.

          Anyway…coming to the point…so finally you have realized that a creation is the reflection of its creator’s thoughts…! That’s why your wishing tree is arrogant. In other words, if I write a murder mystery in the first person, I have homicidal tendencies and if I write a story describing the inner world of a psychotic, I am a psycho too. I cannot believe you know what you are saying. Oh and another thing. If this statement tempts you to conclude that you can once again ‘smell my rage’… I cannot but grin sardonically.

          Your attempt to provide distraction to the poor bored tree is laudable. It is generous and kind of you. I appreciate the gesture.

          For the rest, let me ask you a question. I am sure you noticed the title of the story. It is ‘WISHING’ Tree. Are you telling me ‘wishing’ and ‘praying’ are the same?

          Do have a nice day.:)

      2. Dagny,
        One demonstrable fact….. When someone came near to you with open heart and you treated him/her arrogantly. One feels bad and doesn’t like to talk much. And I have demonstrated already. I said “smell ur rage” because it is human nature.
        I know what I’m saying to a learned, established writer.(I MEAN it.) If you are not depicting your thoughts in your creation, means it is not a creation. It is a business and business never is a creation.
        God do not differentiate good or bad because all are His own creations. And HE loves all His creations equally. He never ever says anyone Beggar, even when one demands hundred times or tries to give bribe to Him. Jesus said… “Please forgive them God…they don’t know what they are doing.” But He never snubs them.

        There is always a wish behind every prayer. We Thank God for all He is giving or has given. We wish even when we say “Apni rehmat banaye rakhna Khudaya.”
        We are sharing our thoughts Dagny, My way is somewhat awkward BUT this is not a fight. (Please SMILE angelically NOW)
        Nice talking to you. :-)))))))))))))))))

        1. SandaliSufi,

          ‘One demonstrable fact’ you said. I am sorry, I cannot make out which fact you allude to. Do explain.

          Secondly, let me state this with all honesty and humility. I have never thought of myself as a ‘learned and established’ writer… for the simple reason that I am NOT. If at any point of my interaction with you, you have concluded that I speak to you with that false loftiness… I cannot but wonder at my own shallowness. I am certainly sorry this is how I have come across. I assure, it was not my intention.

          If you will permit, I will offer you an possible explanation. When one interacts on the net, since one’s acquaintance is purely virtual, one interacts on a certain platform. In all the years I have been writing, I have been more than eager to exchange ideas- not only on my craft (of writing) but also on the thought being presented. I have welcomed brutal criticism. This is the first time however, that I am being credited with arrogance. This is also the first time that a fellow blogger has made value judgments on me as a person. And at the risk of sounding arrogant again, I think I am well within my right to resist any such judgment which you- as a totally unknown person- choose to saddle me with.

          I am sorry you think I would ‘fight’ on a difference of opinion. I assure you, I am not one of those who have a fragile self-esteem which can be damaged by means of a virtual interaction… from someone who has known be but a week.

          We are sharing thoughts, yes. And I have a right to present my point of view. I am not compelled to accept anything you say surely, am I…?

          Do come again… if it is at all pleasant for you. You bear an uncanny resemblance to someone I knew once. But you seem to be from Bangalore (I traced your IP address) while she is from the north.

          Take care,

      3. Dagny,
        First of all neither ego nor arrogance are accusations rather are essential device to a certain extent to deal with the world. I just wanted to emphasize the significance of these words…. “words once spoken are alike an arrow shot from the bow no one can procastinate what the listener would make out of them…”.(check ur third-forth paragraphs on the post and my 2nd comment)
        Secondly not for a second did i forget that we are discussing on an international plat form on a public forum…
        Where you are a famous name(I like ur modesty :-)))))), whether my words hold a value or not but your words are valuable…!You know what my pain is… a learned writer(A fact is a fact) alike you who is able enough to stand on an international platform is degrading her own(we all have some religious values)and her national values so easily???
        God is our creator like a mother…. Is a mother so cheaply practical that she calls her son a beggar…??? For her saint or evil, Ravana and Ram are alike…. Didn’t the Lord blessed a boon to Ravana when he prayed the Lord… Did the Lord labeled him as a beggar poking him for last so many years….???
        I am unaware what do you think of me when you feel bad about me..?(that is a virtual problem) I am unaware of bitterness of your past experience. If my favorite writer(Yes,YOU are) speaks something not right here, I would surely protest… you may think ill of me.
        And yes! Its not essential that you agree with me, but we hold a responsibility in form of a writer that we must NOT write anything that any layman alike me could point out…!
        O WOW I am talking to a Lady Sherlock Holmes. What is your next point of investigation??? I’m thrilled. BTW I’m in Delhi at present.
        I would surely come BUT silently as always…till….:-)))))))))

        1. SandaliSufi,

          I have re-read the paragraphs you have referred to and your comment. I must be pretty dense.. for I can make out nothing.

          Think ill of you..?! My goodness..! Why on earth would I do such a thing? No matter what you evaluation of my ‘learned-ness’, I know I do no think of myself as someone who has ‘arrived’. Far from it.

          As a reader you have the right to criticize, surely you do. But you also owe me the responsibility to understanding my thought process… and my stand. I see a marked absence of that in your words. You have already judged me (unfairly according to me) and everything I say is read with that jaundiced perspective.

          If this is how it is to be, so be it.

          You have referred to the ‘bitterness of my past experience’… and what impact it might have had on my writing. For the life of me I have no idea what you are talking about..! Do you think I am one of those silly neurotic people who carry a chip on their shoulder as a result of life’s treatment of me and would take it out on a innocent passerby?!! This is getting more and more difficult for me to fathom.

          Take care,

  2. jaundiced perspective….ROFL… 🙂 🙂 🙂 O Please Dagny, you are provoking me to talk… ..BUT Please give some logical conclusions…at least…! if this is your thinking about your reader (A bloody idiot fan of you) than OK fine…Nice talking to you… 🙂 you made me laugh too much today. Thanks

    1. SandaliSufi,

      As a newbie aspiring writer, I appreciate fans far more than established writer do perhaps. I can certainly say that I value my ‘fans’ more than you seem to think I do. Having said that, I must also say that my appreciation of my fans in no way means that I will change my spots. I have never understood how you can admire someone and yet try to modify them to your way of thinking. To my limited intellect, that is NOT admiration. Unfortunately, it is not even understanding- let alone admiration.

      I am pleased I made you laugh. At least that much… 🙂

  3. Seriously Dagny, when you were silent not answering my comment, I thought you are screening me out.
    Anyway, I admit my mistake. I criticized your post without telling that the whole post gave a positive point of view to understand our rituals in a different perspective. Your wishing tree is truthful rather conscientious too. (Ok Ok you know already what you have written)
    BUT I couldn’t swallow the word “beggar”. That’s why I bluntly told you that your tree is arrogant…because you are arrogant. There I demonstrated if we say something (just a word even) blindly without knowing the truth that becomes a disaster.

    How can I think for a second that you are changing your spots? How can I do this Gustakhi? BUT please shed some light on my poor sagacity if this is not true admiration than what is it?
    Newbie aspiring writer I think inspiring writer is most appropriate. What do you think???
    And I’m pleased with your modesty. You have right to kill me with your words. See I’m in Love… (Don’t misunderstand I’m talking about your post) 😉 🙂 🙂

    1. SandaliSufi,

      Your propensity to judge me continues unabated. I truly wonder if this is what a ‘fan’ is supposed to do. And frankly, I am skeptical about the word ‘fan’ you use.

      There are three statements you have made in this comment:

      1. Seriously Dagny, when you were silent not answering my comment, I thought you are screening me out.
      2. BUT I couldn’t swallow the word “beggar”. That’s why I bluntly told you that your tree is arrogant…because you are arrogant.
      3. And I’m pleased with your modesty.

      1. Screening you out..? Why should I..? I have never needed to be rude to anyone… not even my most severe critic.
      2. Because you are arrogant..? Really..? Pardon my forthrightness… but what on earth gives you the impression that I would swallow an unsubstantiated claim by someone who knows nothing about me..? Frankly, you have my wholehearted permission to think me arrogant. To attempt to clarify an accusation of this kind is beneath my dignity.
      3. Pleased with your modesty…? Oh come..! I wasn’t trying to win brownie points from you. Frankly, your pleasure- or lack of it- is hardly relevant, is it..?


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