The Autumn wrap

My sister and cat, one amber evening

Right here, right now is that time of the year I love the most. It is officially called Autumn and is associated with golden leaved trees, pumpkins that are ridiculously orange that it can only be American and of course Halloween and Thanksgiving. But I live in Delhi, so I know non of it. Now, this period mid October to mid November is supposed to be autumn. Farmville tells me to buy pumpkin decorated fences. This is when the dogs will not sleep on top of the cars because the noise from the fire crackers magnify in their ears. The dinners get cosy and the streets are filled with the smell of aloo tikkis, kebabs and tandoors tandooring the life out that chicken. Malls tell you to buy their autumn winter collection (?) and there is that familiar smell of sulphur in the air.

The temperature of events in my typical Delhi year is crammed into just two seasons – summer and winter, hot and cold. But then there are ‘pockets’ of 20 -25 odd days before the heat or the cold starts, and that is when I pause.  I love the one before the cold.

Autumn (let’s just call it autumn) as a color is the last ray of sun burned into the leaves, it is the last drink before you say “I am knocking off people!” Autumn is when you leave the stupidity of summer and settle down to wait for your bones to start aching (hopefully not). It is heartache, loneliness, bad marks for not studying the whole year- it is the interlude before you say goodbye to the old year and prepare for the next. Autumn is all that- pretty and bittersweet. I have noticed a lot of people feel lonely though they don’t miss anyone in particular; ah! blame it on autumn.

The other effect is the “bouncy” effect; some people are just so chirpy and energetic. It’s not just because there is crispness in the air and also that the mind numbing 43c is finally over! But everyone can sense that there is a change coming.  You have the festivals that pounce on you and it kind of numbs the mind and we don’t notice anything. The glittery lights and feasting silences any sound of protest to sit and reflect that old winter with it cold is on his way.

When a struggle in your mind ends or when you finally bury a pain, there is a realization akin to freedom, that the questions that had plagued and kept you awake so many nights do not really matter. Maybe, you have an answer. Maybe, you don’t. But there is the knowledge that it has ceased to torment you. And just like that, this knowledge will take you to a new season.

Autumn is the moment, the space, the vacuum you dwell before you enter the next stage of your existence. And I love this place.