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Differences, Contrasts, Ironies

Things often work in the total opposite manner of what we wanted them to. Things often happen out of place and that makes us realize how differences and contrasts lie right in front of us and all around us. While pondering on differences and contrasts, irony made me think how ironic situations can be and make us realize how rusted we are from within, to not see things that way.

All this started whirling in my mind because of a tree. A tree that I had failed to notice for the last five years.

Spring they say is the season of bloom and colour. All plants bear flowers that are coloured, birds sing a mellow tune to match the clear blue skies and the pleasant breeze just right to make every flower sway. On walking through the school pathway, with nothing but admiration for nature in my mind I looked at the trees. A maroon- red shade amidst the green caught my eye. I stopped for a moment and looked at that tree. Not a single green leaf resided on it. The tree immediately brought to my mind the picture of an ideal autumn day. Two days past Vasant Panchami (the welcome of Spring in Hindu tradition) I stopped to praise a tree that reminded me of autumn. Below it were crippled brown leaves that I so wanted to step on, and make the satisfying sound.

Nature’s simple way of reminding us that differences reside everywhere. In every person in every group and also in Herself. I stopped there to admire the tree and its thought lingered in my mind because it was different among the others.

As days passed I had almost forgotten about this beautiful tree, until another tree stirred the thought of irony again in my mind. The tree scored the skyline with its small yet noticeable flowers. The season of spring, and there stood a naked tree with only tiny flowers on it, so up high. The flowers were the beauty of the tree. Any by passer would look at it and feel awed by the beauty of it. Aren’t the trees’ green supposed to make them beautiful? 

A tree drawn by us is painted green, never do we paint a tree without leaves and simply with tiny white flowers. Do we?

Nature’s way here of teaching us to see things differently. To appreciate irony and to appreciate the different things that happen. Why do we have to be forced to look at things differently?

Moreover, the pandemic has highlighted too many ironies. Every now and then people are criticised for being fake. ‘She wears a mask, there is someone else beneath it’ we have often heard it said. We are often asked to let our masks down and show our true selves. We are asked to be real in a fake world. But today, not wearing a mask is considered to be dangerous. Everyone must wear a mask. That makes it so easy to hide our smile, disappointments or facial expressions, and in turn ourselves. It limits our expression. And here we are asked to express ourselves freely. How ironic is that?

Ever wondered how many people actually have real smiles? Not what all people show on the outside is true. So many people wore fake smiles. Maybe, as God saw that, he felt that everyone must be real. No one should have to fake what they feel. So today all of us wear masks. Maybe, so that we be real from within and not have to hide things. We won’t have to wear fake smiles if they aren’t seen. Another irony and something to think about as we go through this pandemic.

‘Spread smiles, spread positivity’, often we have heard this. How can we spread smiles when we are bound to a piece of cloth, hiding them?

Weren’t we asked to be there for each other during tough times?

Today, when someone is going through a rough phase of life, we can’t really be there for them. All we can provide is some mental support from as far as we can. We can’t celebrate happiness by hugging one another, but through ‘wifi-hifis’. We can’t hug someone when they are sad and make them feel, I am there for you – we just have to do something with our words. It’s often said, robots will overpower humans. But how sure are we that we are not turning into them?

As we see, the most beautiful senses we possess are losing its importance. The sense of touch and feel. How ironic is it that we are asked to stay away from what is most powerful?

Amidst this irony, contrasts and differences we have found peace. Somehow feeling happy in the single moment, admiring the tree or simply being happy to remove the mask off our faces as we reach into our safe place.

Differences will remain in our life at every stage, and through them we will grow. It’s very rightly said by Heraclitus, ‘The only constant in life is change’. Some slow, some fast, some big, some small and yet all necessary.


Shaivee Chokshi 

07. 04. 2021 


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