For the last about one month, I am witnessing a conspicuous change in the weather and can’t help marveling at nature’s timed commitments. Just by the middle of September we were freed from the tentacles of belated monsoon rains and withstood suffocating humidity and dampness all around. Then we had hardly had our fill of the pleasures of the improved weather conditions, when another natural phenomenon of falling leaves caught our attention.
It is said that in Kashmir the fallen leaves of chinar trees look delightful and saffron fields are a feast for the eyes during autumn.
In the US this season is aptly called the fall and I recall the breath taking beauty of autumn on both sides of the road, while driving from New York to Philadelphia with our daughter. The resplendent golden yellow, red and orange hued foliage shimmered in the sun giving an impression of a scene out of this world.
In Punjabi the nomenclature for this season is ‘Pat jharh’; Pat means leaves and jharh means shedding. In our part of the country, the season drags itself and continues to hold sway up to severe winter in January. In fact autumn and winter don’t have clear-cut boundaries and tend to over lap.
Autumn ushers in some nip in the air. Sweaters are out and mornings and evenings are pleasantly chilly. Fresh vegetables are available in abundance. Carrots, radishes, spinach, turnips and mustard greens are winter boons and are in great demand. The cooking buffs have a gala time fixing innovative dishes
Poets have eulogized this season in their muse. John Keats calls it the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and has elevated it to great heights (Ode to Autumn) and compares its beauty with that of spring.
‘ Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,---'….
Some poets strike a melancholic mood and juxtapose the advent of wintry autumn with that of the aging human body which gets deprived of sharpness of vision, hearing, taste buds, reflexes and muscle power just like the bared trees.
Autumn has its own distinct personality in the cycle of seasons and its mild sunny days are meant to be enjoyed and appreciated.
What do you think of autumn, friends?