Former President A P J Abdul Kalam has a 104-year-old friend who reveals something new to him during his mandatory 90-minute walk at his residence in New Delhi every day.
His 104-year-old friend is none other than a tree at his 10, Rajaji Marg residence, whom he fondly calls Arjuna, the Missile Man told a function to mark the World Environment Day.
The former President said he interacts with Arjuna, whose botanical name is Terminalia, during his daily walk.
"My tree friend, every day reveals something newwhenever I walk. You can ask me, one single tree of 100 years old, can it become living post for biodiversity. I say firmly yes. The age of the tree and my parents are almost the same," he said
Kalam narrated his experience to urge students and the gathering to preserve bio-diversity. He said every April his friend Arjuna loses all his leaves and becomes barren. "Then to my joy within a month again the tree blossoms with more vigour and fresh green leaves and colourful flowers which make it look even mightier. There are hundreds of branches in the tree," he said.
Many parts of Arjuna have become the habitat for mynas, sparrows, black crows, cuckoos and the top most branches are occupied by beautiful parrots.
"I also called this tree as a parrot tree because hundreds of parrots live there. Occasionally, hornbill visits and then all join together," he said.
"My tree gives in all seasons beautiful shadows to living beings. Just six weeks back, I observed a scene at the root and base region of the tree-- densely full of plants and flower garden. I have seen many times peacocks dancing around the tree," he said.