There’s something so endearing about a wishing tree. The wooden hyperbole, an installation of innocence. The installation often has the sanctity of a shrine, the sincerity of the participant who scribbles a wish. Unlike the devotee in the shrine who ties a thread and keeps it oneself in a deal with the divine, the wishes scribbled on the tree are always public, for there everyone to see and probably hoping that else’s wish too may come true. It is this innocence of the wish, the sincerity of the scribble that makes the dead wood, once a real tree spring back to life.

Recently I came across a wishing tree installed in a festive pandal, in a small hamlet, an urban village. Most of those who had scribbled were children, which made three even more interesting.

“I want to learn English and Hindi’

“I wish I could win a prize in a Paitnting competition.’

‘May my Father’s business do well’

‘I hope we have our own house before Diwali’

‘I want a Ferrari Pen’

‘Save my parents from my grandmother’

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And many such more.

Children flocked around the tree in groups, showing each other their wish notes with the pride one associates on seeing one’s own work in an exhibition.

As the wish notes now hung in air, they were there like works of art, for people to see, read and react. And hopefully wish that the scribbled dream might come true.   

Everyone is striving for change, in their respective terms.

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