Tree of Life

Right in the exam hall
And no one had noticed it
It sprouted from the hard, dusty floor
Gently raising itself with the grace of a ballerina.
It extended its boughs
Laden with lush green leaves like tiny emeralds
That rustled faintly
With the promise of life
And filled the silence of the exam hall
With the perfume of love.
Benignly, the tree gazed upon the students
For it had come with the message
That an endless sky existed
Beyond the ceiling of the exam hall
That there were fireflies that lit up the soul of the night
Where dreams met with the intensity of infinite rainbows
That a young flower could unfurl its petals
In the dawn of a new future
Without losing its life, love, youth, laugh.
The students sat scribbling away
At a mathematics problem
Mumbling to themselves as they furiously worked out calculations
Raced against time to beat their way to success
Writing an exam that continued for an eternity
Like standing in a queue that was circular.
The room stood still
Except for the whirring of the machines inside the children
And the gentle sighing of the tree’s boughs
As they eventually sagged with sorrow
For it had come to deliver the message of life
Right in the exam hall
And no one had noticed it.

Maliha Iqbal is a high school student from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.

Featured image:  Bima Rahmanda / Unsplash