The Christmas Tree and Biting cold Just returned after a week's holiday. Some parts of the world face acute cold conditions during this time of the year. This is possibly time to think about the homeless people also "Neither snow nor storm can whither the leaves of a Charismas tree." Does it sound familiar? “Nainam cchindanti shastraani nainam dahati paavakah; Na chainam kledayantyaapo na shoshayati maarutah”. (Weapons cut It not, fire burns It not, water wets It not, wind dries It not.”) (Geeta -Chapter 2, Verse 23.) Christmas tree is brought home on Christmas and decorated with full glory. This possibly is the only tree that can survive the onslaught of winter winds and snow in the Western world. Christmas is God’s reassurance that He is with us all the time. The tradition of decorating it during Christmas is age-old. Will it be fair to compare the Christmas tree with the eternal Soul? Christianity does not talk of the cycle of birth and rebirth and eternity of life. I am rather inclined to believe that He created the Christmas tree to remind humanity of the joy of living, the brightness of life and the eternity of life. Life is living within a physical body and death is the perishing of the body due to accidents, illness or aging. It is therefore very rational to decorate this body as long as the soul is within this body. We need not decorate this body in the usual terms. By decorating I mean, decorating our overall thinking with noble ideas of honesty, truthfulness, and compassion for the less fortunate. We celebrate our festivals with gusto, spend fortunes and forget all our owes during these festivities. But millions are deprived of basic needs in life. Presently my thoughts are for the people who live on footpaths and have no shelter for the life-threatening cold nights. The government provides them night shelter. Some cannot move to these nights -shelters because of logistics. Newspapers carry photos of people stranded at the Railway stations because of delayed/canceled trains. Most of the passengers have woolens on and some have even blankets. Just across the platforms, there are urchins in tattered clothes collecting empty water bottles. Have as much fun as you can but give a thought for those less fortunate people and do weigh your miseries with that of theirs.