This is where people can share their tree stories

The sessions are guided through a mix of sensorial activities and storytelling.
Last Updated : 13 June 2024, 23:28 IST

Follow Us :


An initiative is bringing people together to share tree stories — from the tree they left behind in Pakistan during the Partition to the sampige they used to park their bike under. It is called Treevellers Katte.

“In Kannada, ‘katte’ means a place to sit. A treeveller is someone who travels to meet trees and revels in them. It’s a term I have coined,” says Charumathi Supraja. A journalist and writer from Bengaluru, she has been facilitating these conversations since 2017.

The latest session was held at an environment festival in Kothanur the past weekend. Under the canopy of a jackfruit tree, Charumathi had spread seeds, barks and pods for visitors to touch and feel. Some went over the photographs of trees she had hung. Some tried to shape mounds of clay.                                                                                   
Charumathi says that intentionally or unintentionally, everybody forms a connection with trees. And her endeavour is for people to recognise these connections. She is confident this “slow but seismic shift” can drive people towards the larger movement to save nature and avert climate emergencies.

The sessions are designed to allow participants to open up intuitively and these often get them introspecting, emotional even. 

“A girl once shared that as a child, she judged her father for not doing anything when smugglers felled a sandalwood tree in their backyard. As part of an exercise, other participants tweaked the ending of her story to help her see her father in a new light,” Charumathi recalls. The revelations often take her by surprise. A top executive of a company once likened himself to a banyan tree. “He said he was aware he occupies too much space and doesn’t let others (working under him) grow,” she adds. In the latest session, a school student said he would like to be a grapevine rather than a tree. “We cannot grow alone. Human beings need support. That was his reason,” she shares.

Charumathi, 49, hosts these sessions as and when she gets an invite from an interested group. She has worked with young children, college students, senior citizens, cancer survivors, health practitioners, and people with special needs. And she has seen a pattern. “The older age groups have more tree stories to tell than children. The latter haven’t seen the abundance of trees.”

Charumathi got drawn to trees during a crisis in her life 15 years ago. “Something shifted inside me. I would stare at the peepal tree outside my window for hours or stop in my tracks and admire flowering trees on the roadside,” says the J P Nagar resident, who was living on Bannerghatta Road in those days.

For details, write to treevellerskatte@gmail.com

Published 13 June 2024, 23:28 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us