Is it only autumn when the leaves brown?
Being broken bit by bit
Withering away ever so gently
By the time it’s winter.
A silent farewell midst a riot of
Oranges, yellows and browns.
Picture book pretty even as they die.
So delicate, so fragile
Crumbling at the slightest touch.
Do they never get bruised
In the lushness of spring?
Well, birthdays call for some narcissistic indulgences, what? Not quite Dorian Gray, but a picture nonetheless.
Sunlight on the tips of dew drenched leaves.
The smell of wet vegetation overpowering the air.
Verdant. Evoking newness, the promise of spring.
The cacophony of songbirds as the small, naked feet run out the kitchen door, into the garden.
Somewhere in that garden with its orchards and thickets and dangerously twining vines and a dried up fountain with an angel looking up towards the sky with its mouth wide open. Naked. Like the small feet. Innocent in its nakedness. Without a sense of shame. Without the infiltration of sin.
The skin breaks into goose-flesh as it grazes the cold marble. As pure and lifeless as ice. The feet now hurry along the wet pebbled pathway, beyond the orchard. Past the tree house. Never looking back at the wooden fences. The kitchen door stays wide open.
February is my birthday month.
February is also a love-inducing-hopeful-month for me. And for many others. February sees the last flush of wintry chill. The mild fog, unwillingly making way for clearer, bluer skies. There’s suddenly more daylight, and there’s a sudden change in the way you plan your day. It’s the kind of month which makes you want to wake up just a bit earlier.
February is a month of wispy, cotton clouds that converge and pass. Its colour is blue.
February is a beautiful month. There’s something happy about it. It’s about pleasantness and pretty mornings that give way to breezy afternoons and nondescript evenings. It’s the let’s-plan-a-picnic-before-it’s-too-late month. It’s a negotiation with the sun, convincing him to stall the heat, just for one more day.
It’s the kind of month where one would step lightly, speak softly. Whisper little secrets that roll away like tumbleweed. It’s a mildewy month. It has the potential to be promising. It makes you believe. In whatever it is that you want the year ahead to bring. It can be a deceptive month. There’s no such thing as “spring” in Kolkata. But February? It makes you believe it’s spring.
February, for me, is like an extended tea party, sometime in the early 20th century. It’s about the late afternoon. A whitewash fence in a small little garden, just beyond a sprawling verandah. It’s an endless tea party. Conversations and superficialities and a whole lot of cake.
February is also a beautiful young woman. More narcissistic than beautiful. Indulgent, optimistic, and loved. But somehow a tad lonesome, like she’s overseeing an extravagant party from a balcony, nursing a drink. She needs that drink. And another drink after that.