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Come September . . .
|by Ananya S Guha|
Whenever September approaches, here in Shillong I feel a nip in the air, getting the vibes of winter. Suddenly the air seems to have changed, there maybe that unexpected shower but the 'wintry' feeling starts. Yes, it is sunny, and maybe a little warm by our hill town standards, but there is certainly the feeling of change.
Clothing becomes a trifle warmer, the climate change brings in the inevitable influenza, headaches, body aches. But in the basking of the sun, there is almost euphoria the feel good factor, to use a contemporary phrase. But I think of school then, the second term examinations, the concert all in Shillong's almost mythic past.
Now the town has changed, there is more congestion, traffic is as unkempt and boisterous as ever, but memory does play havoc. Childhood. September also presages the coming of the Puja festival which is pretty well celebrated here in Shillong.
I traverse roads of memory, traverse past and look towards winter as the season in the sun, although it is at times sporadic, and suddenly it wanes bringing the wind or a gloomy feeling. But September foreshadows the long three months of winter, when school ends, and traffic becomes lighter. We sleep in winter languidly and golden oranges call... Nowadays hardly anyone uses the fireplace, but the attribute of winter starts with the heady days of September and October.
September is a forceful change, it hits the mind suddenly and you know the change has started. Things even get more inert, schools and colleges seem to look forward to the end of the academic session and there is a rush to prepare for end term examinations. September calls you to another world when the year seems to be slowly coming to a close and you wonder that suddenly you are anticipating the New Year. The old order is slowly passing and you begin to take stock of the year.
To me September is closely associated with memories of childhood days and relating past to present is an uncanny exercise of correlating memories with present happenings. Past stares at you and you think 30 years have passed in such a short while. There is mild flutter of the breeze and autumn leaves scatter among the mind. Pathways to the school, memories have lanes and bye-lanes. Rustle of the past is leavening thoughts, in the mind's eye is wonder. September has come, so has autumn and will winter.
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