Autumn is the best time of the year for today’s host Jenny Taylor. What about the rest of us, she asks.
The part of the world that we dwell in, seasons mean two options – rain and shine. Autumn has always been associated with Yash Chopra movies and winter with Christmas cards. The lovely hues of the autumn leaves and the snowy white roads and christmas lights of winter are something that I am yet to see. So let me tell you a story instead.
Come with me to a village that is tucked sleepily away in one corner of the world. A land surrounded by water in all shapes that you could think of, rivers, lakes, canals, ponds, even the sea was not too far away. And there stood an old house with long verandas around, tiled roof, innumerable doors and windows letting the sun in to even the darkest corner. Now imagine a yard with as many mango trees that you could think of, a couple of huge tamarind trees, a jack fruit tree in a corner, a jamun tree in another, even an orange tree in between. Between these trees are patches of vegetables, ginger, turmeric, bitter gourd, snake gourd and lady’s finger. Giving them company are banana leaves swaying rhythmically in the afternoon wind. A hen and her chicks lay resting in the sand after their lunch of worms and some grains. A few ducks splash around in the pond. The calf ran around playfully around its mother. The river flowed serenely in front of the house, seeing and knowing everything.
On an old arm chair on the front veranda sat a young girl, oblivious to what was happening around. She was lost in a faraway world, a world of magic trees and goblins, of boarding schools and midnight feasts, of pixies and fairies, of mysteries and adventures. There was a sudden chill in the air, the slow breeze was gaining strength, the chicks and their mothers started clucking, the leaves on the trees started swaying with a sudden vigor and you could hear the thud of a mango or two dropping down. She looked out on to the river. A drop fell from the sky and formed circles in the water. One more, then another one, each adding their own imprint of love. The faint far away rumble drifted closer and shocked the girl out of her dreams with a sudden jolt of thunder. A streak of light shot out of the dark sky and disappeared into the water.
Drops of water fed on each other and turned into mighty streams that gushed out of the grey clouds. Water emptied itself out into water. The soothing sound of the drizzle turned into a deluge of fury.The sky cried its eyes out onto the roof, emptied itself over the awning, and turned into rivulets over the earth before they finally disappeared somewhere deep inside.After what seemed like ages, the sun pushed its way back slowly through. The clouds had sucked out some of its lustre, though.
The girl sat transfixed as the drama unfolded in front of her. The weather gods were kind, the summer holidays always ended like this. As she grew old, a cup of coffee was added to one hand while the other hand held on tightly to a book, as always.
As she now looks out at an excuse for a rain in the big city, the longing for the lost dreams pulls at her heart. She looks lost as she yearns for the smell of her mother’s coffee, the first drops of rain on the river, the smell of earth after the fresh shower and the busy cackle of those chicks running madly around.
The shrill sound of a horn brings her back to reality with a heavy thud. Did you hear the heavy sigh that escaped her heart?
(Image courtesy – asianwindow.com)