A Meditation on the Plight of the Urban Tree-Less Man

A recent study by the Institute for Serious Stuff and Important Things (ISISIT) has unearthed a shocking truth about the modern Indian male:he's forgotten how to climb trees. Yes, you read that right. The very activity that once defined our childhood sense of adventure, the source of countless scraped knees and epic games of pretend-Tarzan, has vanished into the ether faster than a politician's campaign promise.

Gone are the days when young Pappu, clad in a strategically ripped vest (courtesy of a rogue mango branch), would scale the majestic Gulmohur with the grace of a langur. Today's Pappu, however, is more likely to be found scaling the corporate ladder (figuratively, of course. Suits don't climb well), his only brush with branches limited to the overpriced "artisanal" ones adorning his flat.

The reasons for this arboreal alienation are plentiful, each more hilarious than the last. First, there's the ever-expanding concrete jungle. Trees, once plentiful, are now considered a luxury, their presence inversely proportional to a flat's rent. Who needs shade when you have a constantly malfunctioning AC, right?

Then there's the ever-present fear of societal judgment. Imagine poor Pappu, attempting to recapture his youth by hoisting himself onto a lone peepal tree. The collective gasp of the aunties watering their prize petunias would be enough to send him scurrying back to his PlayStation. "At his age?Climbing trees?What will the neighbours think?" they'd tut-tut, completely missing the irony of their own perfectly manicured (and possibly fake) bougainvillea.

Let's not forget the ever-present threat of security guards. These men, with their whistles sharper than a parrot's beak and flashlights brighter than a politician's smile, consider any arboreal activity a direct assault on national security. "Sir, get down from there!Don't you know this is private property?And those mangoes are for VIP residents only!" they'd bellow, leaving Pappu feeling like a common mango-thief rather than a king of his leafy castle.

The consequences of this tree-less existence are dire. We have a generation of men who wouldn't know a banyan root from a banana peel. They can quote stock market trends but struggle to identify a neem leaf. Their idea of "roughing it" is a weekend getaway to a five-star resort with a pre-fab "nature trail. "

But fear not, fellow tree-deprived brethren!There is hope. A new revolutionary movement is sweeping the nation:The League of Lapsed Leafy Lovers (LLLL). Here, men (and the occasional adventurous aunty) gather to rediscover the joys of climbing. They organize "Tree Appreciation Workshops, " where participants learn the finer points of bark identification and the art of not falling flat on your face. They even hold clandestine "Midnight Mango Missions, " reclaiming their birthright (and a few delicious fruits) under the cloak of darkness.

So, the next time you see a man gazing longingly at a tree, don't judge. He's not just yearning for shade; he's yearning for a lost connection, a return to a simpler time. Perhaps, with a little support (and a crash pad), he might just rediscover the thrill of the climb, the freedom of the branches, and the joy of a perfectly ripe, illegally-acquired mango.

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