Work In Progress

The work is in progress, upgrading of human status from developing to developed via broadening of the roads is becoming the sign of a progressive Nation.

Well, why not, if travelling and commuting becomes easy, then it will make the lives of travellers/commuters much easy.

Necessity is the mother of all inventions, but when our basic needs leap to the level of luxury, the human needs become greeds.

Hamirpur is of the youngest districts of Himachal Pradesh, being in close proximity to Una and Punjab, the weather it shares is more in accordance with its neighbouring State, instead of being a hill town with cool climes.

In comparison to other districts, it has always been considered to be dry and arid climate wise.

But it does have its share of beauty and serenity. As a child this part of Hamirpur always fascinated me. The road leading from Deputy Commissioner’s residence to the newly made bypass at Bhota Chowk, has always been the major attraction of this place.

Hamirpur Pines (File Photo)

But this time, childhood nostalgia didn’t strike me, as the work was in progress with an upcoming two-lane highway  just in front of my house. I was not greeted by my old buddies. My tall buddies were no where in sight, may be it was due to my night bus and the exhaustion caused by it. After all a day long, early morning travelling from Delhi to Hamirpur , journey comprising of almost 12 hours of sitting, was playing a spoiler.

May be an early morning stroll would give me a better view of my buddies, I thought.

As I stepped out of my parents house in the morning, to greet the pure, clear and clean air of the place, to my dismay a puff of dust greeted my nostrils. I pondered over the ineffectiveness of my buddies, who always stood to the occasion in the past, but at present , where were they ? They always flaunted their great heights and at times scaring us by swaying left to right in the middle of the storm.

But now where were they, were they playing hide and seek with me, or was it a prank played on me, for my absence for so long and once a year visit.

The city is prospering with educational institutions, newly opened multi-storied buildings in the market erasing the old slate houses, giving way to matchbox sized apartments, to meet the overgrowing demands of bursting population, and inflow of visitors.

But amidst all this, I kept looking for my old friends across and along the roads.

All along , rock sized boulders could be seen. With progression a diversion board greeted me at every turning that had potholes and dusty layers.

Wait a minute! I just spotted some thing familiar! Alongside the dusty and muddy roads, I could spot my badly bruised and axed buddies. Lying in neglect, adding on to their misery, the reason I could not spot them earlier, but now seeing them Like This was a heart wrenching site.

Yes, the work is in progress, for better or worse. I don’t know, but I have for sure have lost my buddies, my childhood friends , my Tall Pine Trees.

Once a place surrounded with thick pine forests, housing numerous fauna, with its flexible branches which bounced in unison, is now a mere painful site with felled and axed trees.

My tall upright standing buddies have given up, for my betterment, for the work is in progress, even if it was at the cost of losing their lives. And now, all you see is their butchered branches and trunks, uprooted, piled up on the roadside in mangled heaps.

Was this, a gift of Environment Day or from the month of June for my buddies, who always supported me, in my thick and thin.

Avenues once prospering with thick shades of greens, with canopies of pine trees are now mere rubble strewn. The forests on the roadside have been denuded of green belt cover.

My rooted, shady co-inhabitants are long gone, now just lies their skeletons, which are still in use for us and being ruthlessly used, for purpose of firewood to making of barricades.

I learnt it late that these green tall pine trees were actually a hindrance towards a progressive human society, so bulldozers and brazen tree choppers were called in for the ongoing development project.

So now we are soon upgrading to a city without shades, which was essential for uplifting the society.

And so I mourn in silence, the loss of my highway buddies, but I need to move on, .

Hamirpur of yore is drastically different from Hamirpur of today.

Rising buildings, palatial houses with financial status is the mark of progress, where my green buddies played a major hindrance.

But I m from the old world, may be towards regression, a tree hugger, pine cone collector, bird observer, and an old timer, who fails to abide by the rules and norms of a progressive society.

May be I call myself , a lover of the old world charm. I miss my buddies.


By Anjali Sharma (

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