The morning sky when you wake up and for the large part of the day has bright blue sky. A few white clouds float past once in a while against this backdrop. The sunlight is not so harsh on skin. A few varieties of flowers spread their fragrance in the air. The evening has a lovely orange hue of the setting sun. The nights are pleasantly cool and the sky presents itself with bright stars. Mild due settles on benches in parks, on vehicle seats and elsewhere. Yes, this is that time of the year when all of the above happens.
Two months of the year which I would count from mid of September to mid of November is a special time of the year. That the weather becomes pleasant in many parts of the country is true but not only that, the festivities of this time period made it all the more special. Navratri, Eid, Durga Puja, Diwali being the primary festivals, involve large swathes of people across the country providing that time of the year where you can buy new clothes, meet relatives, be religious, hog on food, burst crackers or go on a vacation to name few.
It is rightly said that memories shaped in the formative years of childhood stays with you forever. And for years together after having taken out of the environment where the memories were formed they come back to make you nostalgic. A similar thing happens during this time of the year to me. Having grown up in a big extended family, in a place where Durga Puja is celebrated pompously, and ten odd days of holidays and friends around, it has always been a fun time, this part of the year. The nostalgia therefore grips tight during this time.
Seeing the idol of goddess Durga being made, monitoring its progress after school each day, then seeing the bamboo gates and structures starting to get erect and the colourful clothes draped around them always built up a strong curiosity. The family get together, the distant uncle and aunts, the delicious dishes being made and the ritual shopping at the nearest big city has so deep embedded in psyche that one comes to feel of emptiness with the lack of it. The evening trips of the festival with friends, taking enough money to have chaat and ice creams, or the toy guns and huge balloons when still younger which seem just a normal child-play now has definitely formed emotions that express during these times.
Life takes you to places, removes you from your natural habitat, becomes more complex by the day, and simply changes everything. But however far, how much ever time apart, the memories that had been formed into in your childhood will always stay, even though dormant like a volcano, only to erupt when provided with the right environment, one of which is this time of the year...