When the cherished garden of the gardener starts to decay, he , taking solemn cognisance of the matter, starts applying ways to save it.
It begins with spraying pesticides, of several kinds that to his knowledge, would help garden regain its glory . But none of them could help stem the rot. He imagines the decay , the peril to which the land would be subjected , and it shudders him. His heart rends with pain at the mere thought of this destruction , which his garden would be going through in future . He would be devastated , he thought . Oh how much did he love them, just as if all those plants were his children , and the land his own extension , his own body, his own self.
Oh! This curse of life!
He looked at the expanse, soon to be barren, wistful , sad and devastated. "Ruined!", he murmured, as his lips quivered and two drop of tears hung precariously to it .
As the time seemed to drag away, night and darkness zoomed on the land. He rose and walked away. A perturbed soul.
After the gardener had left, a stem rose, and was moved with such pity for itself, that it rend a huge cry. "What fate has befallen us, this doom, this sudden decadence, this perishing of the soul before its time!", it wailed.
And then, the pain of the gardener, the frustration of his attempts to rehabilitate it, stung its heart. "What has been this decayed built of my body, that could not accept the benevolence of my Master ! What has been the nature of this sudden perversion , that it could not respond to the care of the Master! Oh this hell! How could one bear this pain of ones decay, and the greater pain of alienation from ones Master".
Days passed, the garden continued to slip into decadence , the plants continued to shrivel and wither. The gardener , however , preserved with his hope for its renewal , for its resurgence to life.
More days passed, and it finally became inevitable , the passing of garden into barrenness . The gardener had continued with his efforts to revive the land and the garden, but only to be dashed all the time. This took a toll on his health too and he began to keep sick every now and then. His family members requested him to stop visiting the garden, and decided among themselves , that it was perhaps in the best interest to sell off the land. However , gardener was a difficult man to be convinced to part with his land. As his health continued to deteriorate further, it became certain that he would not survive for long. Seeing this, his children stopped pestering him to sell off the land. "It was only a matter of time", they thought.
One fine day, his health grew worse. It became clear that his end was near. He looked up to his family, and surprisingly none of them seemed familiar to him. He asked his sons, to carry him to the garden, and leave him there , alone , for the night. At first they demurred, but finding the gardener obstinate to his demand, they obliged .
The gardener lay in the centre of the garden. All around him, lay the sight of a destroyed heaven. He began to sob convulsively, hiding his face in his palms. Suddenly, he discerned an almost indecipherable sob from somewhere in the near distance . There was not a soul around on this dark night. The noise seemed to come from nowhere, when suddenly he saw a half decayed stem, sobbing and shuddering violently .
"Don't be surprised Master! I am your child. Your plant ! As I heard you sobbing there I could not help sobbing myself , too. We all have failed you collectively . All of us, the whole bunch of plants and this land ."
Gardener lay watching the stem speak, bemused , yet not afraid.
It began again, "All of us here have been discussing it day and night . What is this calamity that has suddenly befallen us! This disease that has turned us into a decaying hell hole ! This disease that has ruined our soul itself, Master. However , Master, that pain isn't as big as the pain of embarrassment that we have all gone through , of not having been cured by your numerous benign attempts. You, who gave all your life, to nurture and protect us, have been failed by this disease within us . Heaven knows!, I and like me, everyone here is perplexed by this calamity, yet that stands nowhere close to the pain that we go through, as we decay to our ends, despite the efforts of a benign gardener. Master, we have failed you !". And as it drawled these final words , it got transfixed as a stem again.
The gardener rose. A sudden thought welled up inside him. He went up to the stem, held it with care and warmth. Sobbing lightly now, he began , " I see now , what I could never see all this time ! I see the truth! All of you, my children, forgive me, for having ridden you with this guilt. Forgive me for having projected my care for you , as care for your personal good. All this time, I kept thinking , "how is it that these plants have suddenly taken to rotting, despite of my love and care for them!" , while I forgot that it was my fantasy of the "beautiful" garden, that had decayed. Not you, however ! Go on , live your "diseased" self with élan! I can only be forgiven then."
And there, with those words , his soul left his body .