The seasons circle the earth. Something of a spring is to be deciphered in their orbit, for that is one way of observing their graces, their movements, as they add substance to life on this planet, indeed to the concept of time and space. And that precisely is what you notice this morning on your doorsteps.
There is a sudden profusion of colours around you, that timeless scented presence of flowers in a season redolent of the floral and therefore the melodious. We speak of Pahela Falgun, of Bashanta, of that celebration of life which has consistently fortified our belief in the beauty of life, in its resilience.
It is Pahela Falgun today. It is that time of year when the heart and the soul of this land come together to inform us that it is that precious moment when nature is pregnant with festivity. There is a pristine charm which comes into the beauty of women as they reach for blossoms to place on their hair and garlands to rest around the necks.
Colour, a diversity of it in all its myriad dimensions, is all. Sarees drenched in yellow, in orange, in what you would call bashanti, border themselves in red before coiling themselves around an abundance of feminine beauty. If that is how the Bengali belle rings in Falgun, the Bengali man, be he in his youth or dotage, will not remain behind. His raiment speaks of the turn in the seasons.
His laughter, his sense of romance, his taking in of the life force from the environment around him --- these are the elements that revive the poetry in him. On Pahela Falgun, for the people of this country, an explosion of colours and a breaking of new ground in the landscape of poetry are the defining spirit of the new times that are upon them.
Glory underlies the arrival of Falgun and not just in the sense of the natural. For Falgun, coming in tandem with February, is also a time to remember. It was in Falgun that the shedding of young Bengali blood added to the diversity of colours. Crimson, besides being a recalling of a sudden, cruel end, is also a reminder of life born anew, borne forth on the wings of history.
In Bashanta, in the serenity of our ageless spring, a spring comes into our steps. 'Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems', sang the poet long ago. We murmur that song, in good cheer, this morning.
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