BENGALURU: Over a thousand tree lovers turned up at the city’s third edition of crowd-funded tree festival Neralu.
The weekend celebration saw activities such as story telling, street plays, doodling, audio walks and other such outdoor activities. The closing celebrations of the two-day fest was held at National Gallery of Modern Arts on Palace Road, and it ended with a muscial performance by Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy and Vasu Dixit.
Parents and children formed a large majority of the attendees, besides school children. Some quietly doodling under the shade while a story-telling session on the other side was met with roaring laughter.
Harini Nagendra, professor of sustainability at Azim Premji University said that the festival was much needed to get together a community that cares about Nature in the city.
City Express brings to you some highlights of the tree-festival.
A Conversation With Trees
Audio walks have been of much interest for Neralu participants ever since its inception. This time however, the audio walk had a twist. Instead of plain dialogues, a dramatic narration streamed through the headphone that participants plugged on. All you require for the audio walk is a Bluetooth file that gets transferred to your device. You walk towards the five trees that are numbered and the voice narrates a story about the particular tree.
First a central narrator will guide you towards a jackfruit tree, a banyan Tree, false Ashoka tree, mango tree and a rain tree. Then each of these trees will ‘speak’ to you in a voice of their own and each shares its story.
False Ashoka Tree laughed at the folly of humans who thought that Ramayana’s Sita was once meditating under the tree, when actually she sat under the Ashoka tree – a common mistake that gave the tree its name. Children giggled on hearing this tale.
“I could almost talk to the trees. The mango tree especially sounded like a child,” said Pratik, an eight-year-old Neralu visitor.
“About 350 people tried out the audio walk today,” said Janani Eswar, a regular Neralu volunteer. The audio walk was available in English and Kannada. “This time, unlike the previous times, we enacted the audio with Sanskrit and Kannada poems,” Janani added.
People were seen quitely nodding their heads or lying in the grass while listening to the 15 minutes audio.