Being almost a hundred feet tall, I could not clearly hear what the onlookers were saying but saw a police jeep and some people standing around a prostrate figure.
The morning sky was clear, and the bright sunlight dried the ground fast. The night was dark and tumultuous, with a strong wind accompanied by flashes of lightning and heavy rains. Some branches of nearby trees had been broken and carried away by the wind. The dry leaves hanging from my top had already fallen. A couple of dry coconuts clinging to me had lost their grip and dropped to the ground one after another.
Thank God my last morning was bright and clear. Not that I blame the owners for their decision. I had expected it even when the foundation stone was laid for the house many years ago. I was then only about eight years old and healthy, carrying bunches of young coconuts fast becoming ripe. The priest who had come for the function had questioned the wisdom of keeping me so close to the house, but the owner had, perhaps respecting the appeal by the youngsters, promised him I would be cut down the moment I became a source of danger. Now that I had become very tall and was leaning dangerously towards the house, everybody thought even a breeze could make me fall over the house.
I had seen three generations growing up. After years of studies, some left the house when they got jobs, and some went away after their marriage. The new generation had spent less time under me. They looked too busy with modern devices like smartphones and laptops.
Some, old and young, had died. My tender coconuts were favourites of all, and the traditional tree climber who came every month carrying a long and heavy bamboo ladder had plucked them for them. Years later, he said it was better to let the few coconuts I bore now and then fall when they became dry instead of climbing the tall and dangerously leaning tree for them.
I saw some people approaching, carrying a roll of thick rope and other accessories required to cut down a tall tree.