Think about it. When was the last time you saw a romantic song where a couple dance — or even just circumambulate in a skippy, dreamy sort of way — around a tree?
I’m not joking. I’m serious. Look up old romantic songs on Youtube. Many outdoorsy songs (up until the 1990s) included trees. Picnics were always happening. Romance was always brewing. People went cycling, just for fun. Grassy hillsides were meant to roll about in. Trees were meant to lean against, and sigh, or hug, or hide behind as you tried to surprise a lover. Leaves could be torn off when lovers didn’t know what to do with their hands. Flowers were pure metaphor.
Even urban love stories got a fair shot at cosying up to trees. Watch Dev Anand in ‘Abhi na jaao chhod kar’. Watch Sharmila Tagore and Shammi Kapoor in ‘Isharon isharon mein’ as they arch backwards, swaying, holding a fir branch. Or watch Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Kabhi kabhi’, lying under a tree with Rakhee. That was romance personified.
Our heroes and heroines are still dancing. But not around trees.