2017 International Essay Contest for Young People
?Youth Category – 1
st Prize ?
The Mulberry and Me (Original)
(Age 22, India )
Have you ever felt like you have hit the rock bottom? Like
there’s no hope for survival? I did. I think everyone goes
through that phase, when life seems to be going through hell,
when it feels like your world has been burnt down to ashes and
NO! In reality the phoenix just doesn’t rise back from the ashes.
In medical terms a sustained feeling of this kin d is referred to
I have had a phase of depression. Every little thing seemed to
be beyond my control. Exams, family and friends, every issue
related to each one of them supposedly e nhanced its might to be too big to be handled by
me and eventually I found myself spending my days staying gloomy and doing nothing. Life
seemed meaningless and as negative as possible. My favorite hobbies suddenly lost all their
charm. I used to stare at the blank ceiling most of the times.
Life would have been similar if I had not drifted my sight from the ceiling to the skylight
of my room. I could see a tree there. No leaves. No signs of life at all. Just like me. I found
some peace in knowing that I have a companion in this “being lifeless” game. It was a
Mulberry tree. I called it The Mulberry.
I had a new thing to do now, stare at The Mulberry and ponder why is it not dead yet?
Why had my mom not cut it yet? Why was it still there if there is no lif e in it? I thought it’ll
fell someday by itself and then I’ll lose my new friend. Days turned into weeks and weeks
into months. One day I noticed lots of green bumps on it, sprouting little leaves and
mulberries. I wondered how it could bear fruits all ove r it, right after coming from the dead.
In the upcoming days I saw the lifeless tree turning into the most beautiful thing ever. It
was all green and laden with sweet fruits. There were bees and birds and squirrels and so
many other creatures on it.
I stil l don’t know what the right word for that feeling is. That day The Mulberry taught
me how the life rises from the dead. The Mulberry was my phoenix. Even when it appeared
dead it was a cradle of life all the time. It was just a matter of seasons. Sometimes life has
to get on the back seat but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. My perspective changed all
together, if a plant can come back to life what’s stopping me then? Life has been happier
and I have been stronger since then. As I write this, The Mulberry is still there out of my
window, maybe checking on me.
As I paid some attention I realized that all that nature knows is to live like there’s no
tomorrow. No matter what, the plants and the animals, even the littlest of them all, just
don ‘t know how to giv e up on life.
As I learnt about depression I was startled to know that there are so many people going
through it. As I write this, lot of people would have taken their lives because they couldn’t
hold onto hope till the change of seasons. By 2050 it’s supp osed to be the largest cause of
deaths across the world. Yes, it’ll surpass the big bad Cancer and the mighty AIDS. I wish
The Mulberry could talk and I could let everyone hear its story of rising back from the dead.
Life can never be bad enough to be wort h taking our lives. A tree or a puppy can help us
learn how good the life is if we let it, as The Mulberry taught me.
Now I work to help those fighting with depression. Nothing can match the joy of seeing
someone learning to laugh aga in. Yes! Phoenix does rise back.
I believe that we have to choose our battles. This is mine. Helping others fight
Depression. If I could make even a single person see the life in the dead tree, it’ll all be