Viewing the garden was perhaps the most wonderful moment of my day. It contained a wide variety of flowers but the roses seemed to be the specialty.
Thankfully it was on the way to my office. So, everyday I paused for a while to have a look over it. The freshness of the fragrance and beauty of the flowers always gave me a pleasant memory for the rest of the day.
As days turned into weeks I began to wonder who took care of them so well. Then one day I was late for work and I discovered a middle-aged man was taking care of it.
Then I began to notice him more often as he spent his time taking care of each and every plant.
From talking to others about the garden and the man I learned that he was not friendly. In fact he had gained a reputation for being rude to people who asked him for a flower. It seems he had only love for his garden and for no one else. People said they never saw him relaxing; he was working so dedicatedly to make the garden beautiful day by day.
His dedication, rudeness and the garden made my curiosity high to know more about him.
I learned the garden belonged to a rich man and he was living there with his family, wife and a daughter.
One spring day, while passing by the garden I saw a rose, a dark red rose. It was just after a rain and it sparkled like a diamond. I decided this time to talk to him. He was little surprise at my compliments and instead of being rude; he gave me the rose and even asked me back.
On a later visit I asked, “Sir, at the risk of inquiring too deeply into your private life, I would like to ask a question.”
“Ask, and then I will answer.”
“Sir, why is this garden so important to you?”
“You really don’t understand do you?”
“I have heard that you have refused to give even one flower, Sir. Is it just a matter of one flower?”
“Didn’t I give you the Tanelorak you ask for?”
“Oh, is that the name? Yes sir. And that makes me curious also.”
“I gave you the rose because I was told to. The purpose I serve this garden is not for the flowers. The things I do I can’t help but do. The purpose is for the one I serve. For this purpose the presence of every flower in this garden is most important. I can’t break his rule.”
“Now who create the rule, the master of the Garden? Just for his pleasure, right?”
“No child, I’m talking about the creator. God.”
“God? You want to please God by keeping this garden beautiful and by not sharing the flowers?”
“No. The garden is not to please God. With God we have to do what he wants from us.”
Suddenly a girl appeared. She looked to be nearly 10 years old. I guessed she was daughter of the rich man whose this garden belonged. She ignored my presence and just touched softly the flowers, looked at them with amazement and happiness. Her eyes sparkled when she looked around her. It seemed that she was The Princess of her kingdom, the garden. I noticed she was frail and ill. After just a little while she looked tired and went back to the house.
The gardener seeing my concern said “She is dying.” I was shocked. He said “I’m working on God’s wish to keep her happy. To let her feel the happiness and reduce the pain she is going through. I can’t compromise on her happiness and I can’t cheat on my duties.” I saw a tear in his eyes? I didn’t know what to say. I left with a heavy heart.
I was again late for work, but that day I left with a message I felt was from God himself, “The purpose each of our lives is different. Every one has their own special route to serving God. There is no small or big work. The only thing that matters is a pure will to serve God.”
By Dipa Rani
Edited by : Bobby Burcham
Note:: This story published in Kojal, 2008, online bangali magazine, Hyderabad