12:00 AM, February 13, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 13, 2013

Spring in the air, spring in our steps

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Syed Badrul Ahsan

There is a spring in our steps this morning, a subtle and yet profound feeling of joy in the way we look out at the world around us. The joy stems from the spring which today has come to our dooryard, to inform us that Pahela Falgun is here.
In the leaves of the trees, through the palms dotting the landscape, across the quiet stretches of cropland, it is a certain elemental breeze which reminds us yet once more of the pristine beauty of life. And through that reminder, we celebrate once again, now that the seasons have come full circle, the fullness that life is, has always been.
In Falgun, it is the blossoms that speak for us and of us. Pahela Falgun is but a metaphor we associate with our dreams, with our aspirations, sentiments we have consistently expressed down the ages in our land of Bengali-speaking people. In the laughter of our women gleam sunlight-dappled songs, which songs, lest you miss their essence, reveal themselves in the cheerful colours they bring to their attire. And, of course, riding on the wings of poetry, spoken or felt, which arises in our men on this day of renewal, is but an old yet ever new tale of grandeur that comes of a preservation of undying heritage.
On Pahela Falgun, Rabindranath and Nazrul and Jibanananda strum the strings of our melody-laden souls. And Pahela Falgun is that time of year when Atulprasad and Rajanikanta and Lalon and Hason Raja fill the crevices of our softly-beating hearts with wondrous stories of timeless hamlets and ancient flowing rivers and, to be sure, with that certain yearning in us for spirituality.
In Falgun are embedded intimations of rich fruitfulness bursting out into a new world of green on the twigs and the branches. When Falgun tiptoes into our courtyards, into the widening valleys of our sensuous being, we are made aware of what is to be, of the Baishakhi storm that will replenish our earth, of the monsoon rains that will cause a rebirth of fecundity in the soil that has sustained us for centuries.
Falgun this year, mark you, arrives on charming notes of promise and prayer. The promise comes in the national aspiration for a purgation of collective emotions through bringing ageing war criminals to justice. And the prayer is simple and substantive: let there be no retreat from the unity this nation has forged in these past many days; let spring this year translate into a rekindling of the pride and courage that had us wage war against the forces of darkness more than four decades ago.
On Pahela Falgun, the butterflies will seek new flowers, the crickets will hum new songs, the old pond will dance in fresh ripples. In us, the mind will be without fear, the head will be held high and into a heaven of freedom's renaissance we will step with purposeful strides.

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