What story does the poem “Ecology” tell us?
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The poem Ecology by A.K. Ramanujan is about the differences of opinions between the old generation people (Poet’s mother) and the new generation (poet himself). In this poem, the poet is irritated because of Red Champak tree is the source of his mother’s migraine fever. Moreover, it also pollutes the air by spreading its pollens all.
The poet desires to cut it but his mother stops him from doing so. For her, the tree is a good omen. Its flowers are offered to Gods and Goddesses by the time of their marriage.
The poem shows the attachment of old people with the nature. In spite of getting ill because of her, they have ample of love and respect for her.
Ecology A. K RAMANUJAN
In terms of colonialism the image of his mother symbolizes the poet’s love for his motherland and his native people. They are considered as colonized people. They sacrifice themselves for the sake of colonizers but despite colonizers are treating with them brutally. They harm them and treat them as inferior. They consider his native people and him as third world country, other and orients. Colonized people serve them in many ways in spite of it they behave with them cruelly to show their imperial impact over them.
On the other hand the image of Red Champak tree shows the poet’s hatred towards colonizers. They came for the sake of prosperity, calmness and civilization but despite they are demolishing all these things from his country. Just like the fragrance of flowers is the cause of her mother headache in the same way the appearance of colonizers in his country is the clear description of destructive situation of his country.
That’s why poet hates this tree in terms of colonizers and their imperial power over his native people. Moreover her mother stops him to cut off the tree that shows the cultural hegemony and cultural hybridity of his native people that now they have mixed race and they have stranded in cultural and identity crisis. The act of cut off the tree by poet shows that actually he wants to cut off the hypocritical and wicked nature of colonizers toward his native people. Actually he wants to cut off the imperial power that is working under the disguise of prosperity and civilization.
The poem “Ecology” tells the story of a devoted son who becomes frustrated as his mother suffers from severe migraines caused by the fragrance of the Red Champak flower’s pollen. Determined to alleviate her pain, he contemplates cutting down the tree but is stopped by his mother, who sees the tree’s positive aspects.
Despite the migraines it causes, the tree holds sentimental value as it has been fertilized by a bird’s droppings, symbolizing good fortune. The poem showcases the poet’s emphasis on family, his Hindu heritage, and the irony of the mother’s attachment to the tree despite her suffering. It also explores the idea that a tree can have both negative and positive aspects, suggesting it should not be hastily removed.