India’s forest man

India’s forest man 392 392 Sybille Sciamma

Photo India Today

Jadav Molai Payeng is popularly known as « India’s Forest Man » for having singlehandedly planted enough trees to grow a forest that stands at 550 hectares today, along a dry sandbar on his Brahmaputra island of Majuli, protecting it from erosion and offering a safe haven to wildlife.

The magic of stubbornness
or better said, perseverance
step by step
day after day
again and again and again

Like the earth turns on itself
since the beginning of time
providing us with days and nights

This guy never deviated
from his task
with his bare hands
planting and caring
and planting and caring
for trees
and he will till the end of his time

His small steps are so human
and diminute
but the power of his will endless
A hundred elephants came to his forest
deers, rabbits, tigers, a whole Noah’s ark
rustling for life

I want to be like Jadav Payeng:
defiant and stubborn
know my task
and relentlessly plant my seeds
until a forest is grown
and I can die content