Jan 3, 2011

By Fatima Arfeen

The harsh crashing down of the waterfall filled the air, swaying along with it the bridge
that led up to this heavenly, rainbow like colourful expanse to its East. The dome like
frame of Ivy welcomed beyond itself a scene of such lush greenery that could almost
pass for the next wonder of the world. Warm and comforting, the serenity felt almost
Lined with a backdrop of thick, impenetrable, towering bushes, a deep green as
that of mint leaves, the boundary of the garden had been demarcated. At its feet grew
comparatively shorter, well trimmed trees; a mixture of oak and acacia crowding the
area, unwilling to let the slashing sunshine through. Creeper plants twined their way up
against the flakey texture of the barks, their small, folded, overlapping leaves almost
inconspicuous in the dark thicket. Another layer of pink and white Dogwood trees
dominated the landscape, breaking the monotony of the evergreen. The paper- like petals
clustered along the length of its sleek branches spread out over the area casting long
shadows. A scatter of Baltimore trees peeped out from in between, adding tones of blood
red and ashen purple, the low fork like growth of the offshoots of which, small, ceramic
bird houses painted with bright, fluorescent patterns adorned.
Following the cemented walkway towards the centrally erected chapel like structure,
a colourful burst of seemingly endless flower beds and piercing green grass lies on
either side. The dull lilac Azalea shrubs contrast sharply with the surrounding clusters
of sunshine yellow, blood red, royal blue, baby pink and grey-white that grew with the
resemblance of a light snow shower. The long stemmed, crimson tulips, most prominent
of all, swayed in waves, like the lapping of the ocean, with the breeze that carried the
distinct scent of roses growing alongside. Neat rows of peach and off white roses ran
rampant as far as the eye could see, their majesty interrupted only by the sparse bushes
of lavender. In the distance, the bold golden of the daffodils blended together with
primroses, lay bordering the horizon, their light, delicate petals carpeting the ground.
It appeared that the care was being neglected, though. Weeds had taken root in the
healthiest corners of the garden and were spreading like slow venom.. Death of the
present luscious beauty was becoming increasingly inevitable.


An eerie silence had now descended upon the place that was once bursting with life.
Nothing but the thrashing of water against rocks disturbed the stillness of the air. It was
almost as if even the sun had refused to embrace the disaster stricken wreck with its
warmth and breathe life into it again. Nothing more remained of the former splendor but
the crumbled ashes and the pungent, lingering stench of death; the radiant heartbeat that
pulsed through was now overpowered by the crushing doom that had been unleashed.
The uprooted cement path gave way to a morbid, desolate, open expanse of land that
became the grave to the tranquility it once bore. As if an inferno had raged across the
garden with its full might, everything had been turned to shades of maroon, dust and soot.
The fence of Ivy no longer recognizable, the tulips and roses were brutally trespassed
across, ripped apart to shreds and scattered as if commemorating a memorial. The grassy
vastness had been consumed entirely and replaced with coats of auburn and burnt red
In the dim light of the stormy skies, nothing but the silhouettes of shapeless objects
could be identified. The trees that had mocked the heavens lay naked against the cold
floor, toppled over one another, their barks parched, ripped of their branches viciously,
and cast aside, crushing beneath them the remnants of the fluffy Daffodils. Powdered
deposits of dust in patches were the only proof of the existence of life in the bird houses
they once happened to be. The continuity of the bushes along the boundary had been
lacerated and disturbed with such intensity, the intent of the enemy was made evident. A
clear trace of their route could be chalked out from where they penetrated the bridge to
where they continued their trail of destruction..


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