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A Gril And The Autumn Leaf

By Fida Hussain Sodagar

It was a Cold Autumn Morning. A girl in black was walking through the golden lanes cordoned by the mighty chinar trees. It was warm inside her, but the outside ambiance was brutally frosty. The leaves of the trees had fallen to renovate the earth into a golden carpet. Her steps generated crusty sounds with leaves singing praises of the autumn. The birds were playing the music of calmness. Her eyes were gazing at the handful of yellowish leaves that were still on the trees dancing merrily by the gentle shocks of breeze. Suddenly a strange thought engulfed her mind. She sat on a metal bench near her. The thought transformed into a gentle smile on her face. Suddenly she was attracted to a bright leaf hanging in loneliness on one lonely branch of a tree. There was a silence all around. She was immersed in the world of autumn beauty.

The tranquility was broken by the soft voice of the girl. She whispered to herself “autumn is spectacular but why do the trees die and leaves fall in autumn?”

A mysterious sound erupted from somewhere

“The trees spend all summer producing the greenery for a beautiful look and to provide a serene shade. They too get tired working hard and the leaves too want to rest in autumn and winter. But that is not the symbol of death; we become part of the soil to let the new leaves blossom in summer.”

She looked here and there. She found no one. She looked towards the tree.

“Oh the lonely leaf is talking” she squealed in excitement.

The girl started to listen to the answer of the leaf with ardent interest.

“I too will fade away but I am strong. My strength you can see in that I have decorated a heavy drop of dew on me. It looks like a pearl kissed by the gentle rays of the sun. You smile at its beauty that is our strength. We can bring smiles by the color of gold in us"

The girl was filled with curiosity, but she interrupted the scene with her soft voice. The leaf silenced to let the voice pierce through the breeze.

“For others, autumn may be a symbol of death and fall, but for me, it is the best part of the universe. The autumn is a symbol of liveliness. The autumn makes me alive. The autumn breeze provides me with sparkle and peace. It immerses my soul in the ocean of solace. It refreshes and soothes me inside. The gold color of the autumn generates lyrics of eternity in me. I find invincible autumn music inside and that is the best part of me” said the girl

In the meanwhile, some of the leaves continued to fall one by one, like the golden smiling flakes dancing in the air to join the crispy golden carpet. They looked like the candles, ready to die to pave the way for the new greenery of summer.

"I am about to die and fall too, but I want to listen to more words about you before I disappear. Take it as my last wish” the leaf expressed his wish to the girl.

The breath of the girl is taken by her words.

The girl continued “I am half autumn and half winter. Autumn gives me strength and winter gives me hope. A hope for a new summer, but autumn is part of my existence. It has been in every story that I have ever read. Winter will vanish, autumn will remain. In autumn every leaf is a seed and every petal is a flower. The scent of autumn is in my blood carved in my breath. It enlightens my life by its golden sight.”

“So you call me a seed?” asked the leaf

“Yes you are the seed; you will rise and grow from the earth to be the greener leaves of tomorrow”

“You made me immortal. I am wearing peace even war is being waged inside me. Now I am feeling peace inside too. That is what everyone should be, to fall to rise and shine again. You made me realize my immortal existence. You think you will die, but you just keep living. I am ready to shatter to see a new life and to die for the autumn again,” as the leaf was filled with a lively delight.

The girl felt happy on listening to the words of the leaf.

Magic! Said the leaf in a sudden tone

“What magic?”

"Didn't I tell you, what is catching an autumn leaf before it falls on the ground and something called the Autumn Wish?”

“No! You didn’t. What happens if we catch an autumn leaf? “asked the girl in utmost curiosity

“You get a wish fulfilled if you catch a falling autumn leaf. Catch one leaf before it reaches the ground; close your eyes and keep it close to your heart. Make a wish, it will be fulfilled.”

The girl stood up from the bench and tried to catch many leaves but she could not manage to catch one. The leaf said “some more patience”. She looked around for more leaves to fall.

Alas! No leaf was left on the trees except the talking lonely leaf.

“I am ready to die for your wish. As you fulfilled my last wish, I will let myself fall to let you make your wish”

Suddenly, the talking leaf started to fall soothingly; the girl waited and grabbed the leaf in her hand. The leaf silenced. The girl closed her eyes and made a wish. She put down the leaf to flourish again and her soul was filled with eternal happiness.

When the girl opened her eyes, it was a new dawn. It was a dream. She looked through the window of her room, it was the same autumn morning she had dreamed about. She got out with a cup of coffee in her hand and smiled. Her smile ignited the golden leaves to sing the songs of beauty. The birds were dancing in praise of the autumn. The girl got hold of one autumn leaf in her hand in the park and wished for thousand autumns more. The sky was crying the tiny drops of rain. Everything looked like a fairy tale. A leaf in the dream taught her to make the autumn wish. Her dream accelerated her love for the autumn inside and outside. She decided to make the wish in every autumn to come. She closed her eyes to feel the blissful solace and peace that pierced her in every breath.

“Autumn is me and I am Autumn. It makes my sadness evaporate. It melts my heart to perpetual perpetuity. This dream is my treasure and the autumn is my shrine. Autumn makes my existence enduring and heals my torment, that is what defines me” these words echoed within the girl while her eyes were closed.

By Fida Hussain Sodagar

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