Monday, 21 October 2013

Fall colors

In school, we were often asked to prepare essays on 'Seasons of India' for our final exams. Given my limited writing potential, I would always ask Ma to write them for me and I would just memorize them and pour them out word-by-word in the exams. She would write about the six seasons- distinctively differentiating them with respect to the changes in weather, arrival of new fruits, vegetables, flowers and festivals. So while dub-er-jol (coconut-water) was a thing of Summer, pithe-puli (a Bengali dessert prepared with coconut and milk) would mean that Spring was round the corner. While unending rains would mean Monsoon, Durga Puja would mean Autumn and lightened up cathedrals and decorated Christmas trees would mean the arrival of Winter. No wonder, I started identifying the seasons not from the drop or rise in temperature but from the various activities and 'add-ons' they were associated with.

In Germany, however, seasons are different. They look and feel different too. Summer here means barbecue, beach volleyball, sunbathing and short dresses all around. Winter, which is painfully long, means intense cold, heavy snowfall, frozen nose, glühwein (mulled wine) and long overcoats and thick jackets. Winter also means Christmas markets, lights and candles and Christmas trees everywhere, and, gifts. Monsoon is vastly different from what we mean by Monsoon in India, and is marked by tiny patches of light to medium rains, severely cold winds and gloomy faces. Autumn, on the other hand, means unending Pujo posts on Facebook by friends back home, snapshots of the cloudless blue sky and kash-ful everywhere, Durga idols in the making, and acute homesickness. Maybe that is why, Autumn in Germany comes with a big dose of colors, that instantly lifts up the mood and partially takes away the pain of not being at home.


These pictures were taken while hiking with an ordinary phone camera, which, however did not manage to take away the essence of Autumn a bit :-)

This one I noticed a couple of days ago while coming back from the University. Red leaves adorning a window-sill. Colors never looked more pretty.

These were taken when I first came to Germany (strangely, it was in Autumn) two years back and decided to take a walk by myself in the hills one Sunday. Although I had no clue what awaited me, I was clearly bowled over. The sights mesmerized me, and I realized perhaps for the first time what Autumn meant. It meant a treat to the eyes.

This one, I used to pass by everyday while going to the University. The first time I saw it, it still had green leaves and I didn't give it a second look. But then the colors started changing and in a matter of just two months, the green leaves gave way to these dark yellow leaves. I wondered how something could look so beautiful and realized that Autumn, with its red and yellowish trees, fallen leaves everywhere, nice cold days, occasional blue sky, and, happy faces, did make up for the homesickness in the end :-)