Nature’s rhapsody a story in six seasons
Clouds like cotton-candy Sharat is shy. Meek amidst all seasons, and passes — often unnoticed. After a spell of monsoon, the grey clouds are now replaced with cotton-candy whites that float about the sky in marvel. Down on earth, fragrant flowers blossom — shiuli, bakul, mallika, kamini…madhabi. The flowers of kaash, as white and pure as the clouds up in the heavens. And the charm is in the weather too, uncharacteristically gentle in its heat, humidity and rainfall.
Glee and gratitude Perhaps no other season represents the transitory nature of life than Hemanta, late-autumn as we know it. The two months — Kartik and Agrohayan, are neatly placed between the splendours of autumnal celebration of the divine, to the earthly rejoice of harvesting the boon of the fields. Filled with glee and gratitude for the kindness of the season, the womenfolk of the household lend in a helpful hand, husking rice in a ‘dheki.’ Nobanno is here, with a promised bounty of crops, and the delicious desserts to be anticipated for the winter ahead.
Neither grey nor dull The days are short and the nights — long. Shheet can be unkind, as it can be benevolent. For people in northern Bangladesh, winter is all about biting spells of cold winds and days of immense hardship. But even where the season seems most unforgiving, the season is marked with festivities — the pastoral fairs, and the urban soirees. Winter starts with a share of melancholia, but ends on a high note, as it ushers the most joyful season of Bengal.
Pitter-patter The peacock spreads its feathers in anticipation of a downpour. In this moment of glee, the male peafowl dances in search of a female. The cycle of life is strange; as it is a marvel to ponder on. We are born, we live, procreate, and eventually burdened with infirmity, perish. Yet, in all this, there is amazing beauty that makes the seasons beautiful, for what are seasons but bites of our lives here on earth. The soothing downpour of Borsha revitalises earth, and in the minds of the peahen it is time to respond to the call of a lover.
When life completes a full circle Bashanta wakes us up from slumber. The melancholia of a harsh winter now completely erased from our lives, nature takes on a new look in a riot of colours found in the blooms of the season. We borrow traces of the hues abundant and re-invent, re-interpret them in our social psyche. Times have changed, the seasons no longer matter to us as they used to, but Bashanta is a clear exception, as it is still the time of the year when the whole of Bangladesh awakens in a celebration of love, a celebration of life.
Without further ado... Baishakh ushers the season of Grishsho — the tempestuous summer that takes a deadly toll on nature and life all around it. The sun radiates insufferable heat. One that purifies and erases traces of ailments of the preceding Spring. The Kalbaishakhi is seemingly unforgiving, yet even in this rage of fury there is the bounty of the krishnochura that captures the flames of Baishakh and colours her red. Our hearts fill with the anticipation of a new year — with aspirations of fortune and prosperity. Even in the dawn of the new calendar, it is clear, the bonds we share with nature, are here to last forever.