African Agri Magazine

The Neem Tree

To be fair, today, the neem tree writes for me! Trees, woods, rivers, and hills have chiseled countless authors, poets, singers, painters, and sculptors. I happened to visit the world-renowned architect Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces on a trip to Spain. His architecture and buildings were inspired in design, texture, structure, and soul by mushrooms, corn, snails, oysters, and endless glories of creation. The most sophisticated engineering tools borrow the mechanism from nature. So, nature deserts none.

Then why raise your eyebrows, friends, when the ‘Neem Tree’ decides to chisel me out one fine day? For once, the influx of threateningly scientific, ‘alien’ names made me shudder and turn back! But then the neem tree pulled me towards itself and looked daringly. I held on to it, looking beyond the science. Focusing on this ancient tree’s spiritual, philosophical, religious, and humanitarian persona.

The life of Indian society and people is deeply entwined with the neem tree. Neem is a part of every household, remembered and held lovingly early in the morning in most rural households as the gentle and wonderful datum or toothbrush. Considered an elixir of life with profound medicinal powers, it is the tree of wellness, healing, peace, and piousness. The Neem leaves act as a balm for aches and soothes itching bodies. The young, gentle, soft leaves are dried and put in grains to protect them. People in India worship the neem tree, and several chaupals throb with life under the vast expanse of the neem tree.

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