essays, Stories

Fictional Cartography

Well, do you believe in heaven? Over the years, though people have continued to question the decision whether such a place really exists above our earth, but I don’t have a firm answer. So let me introduce you to the Hayanak Civilisation- a fictional place in the blue skies above us.

The white clouds surround the breathtaking scene. Looking up will reveal a hazy, yet sparkling scenery. In front of you, you see a massive bronze gate, carved with figures of lions and snakes and the sun, akin to the ancient Mayan Civilization. To the far, far left, you see a small stagnant pond, with blue water, as blue as cornflowers, and pink water-lilies floating on the surface, their bright green leaves contrasting strongly with the barren land outside the pond. You walk towards it, mesmerized. You bend down to touch the water, but instead, your hand grips an iron handle embedded in the soil. Your eyes flash back- the pond was an illusion. But the bronze gate and the iron handle are reality, because as you pull on the handle, the golden dial on the bronze gate spins, and the gates swing open, to reveal a whole new world.

You step inside, as you are engulfed by the sweet scent of freshly picked apples and oranges. There are hundreds of green trees, laden with apples and oranges. Thousands of people  buzz around, but no one notices you. It is as if you are invisible. You can see them, but they cannot see you. The dark-skinned women, clad in heavy black robes with golden lace borders, and with golden feathers in their long black hair- carry huge baskets of red apples and big oranges on their head, with small jugs of water in their slim, beautiful hands.
The men, wearing black trousers and shirts with golden collars, some carrying small shears in their hands, and others carrying empty baskets to fill.
Small girls and boys run around, tasting the apples, peeling the oranges, or washing in the clear water of the innumerable fountains. The girls wear long black skirts with black tops, and the boys wear some kind of straight black robes.
They all shout to one another in a strange foreign language, that you don’t understand, but one phrase is very clear, and every person seems to be shouting it: “The Apple Picking Season!”

To your right, you see a widespread cluster of white mansions with floral patterns, small huts with pretty bamboo thatches, and a towering silver palace with deep blue pavilions and golden-framed windows. In front of all the buildings, there is a large patchwork of green garden, separated into squares with hedges. There are tall Gulmohar trees with flowering blossoms, and red creepers with yellow vines. At the extreme left of the gardens, there is a low but big white marble platform, with bamboos holding up a hay roof over it. There is a circle of benches on the platform, and a copper table in the middle.

To your left, is a barren piece of land, with wooden poles sticking out from the soil.Long ropes are tied between the poles. Some children are swinging on the ropes, while others try to make them fall off. In the corner of the empty land, there is a square of fertile-looking soil. Two women are scattering seeds on the soil, and there are sprinklers put up to water the plants.
Suddenly, you hear a creaking and groaning sound, you look back, and you see the gates closing! You run towards it, and squeeze out, just as the gates  lock with a resounding bang. You rush to the iron handle, but it has disappeared. In it’s place, there is a blue pond, with pink water lilies on the surface. The pond is no longer an illusion. You feel yourself falling .   .   .


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