The Joyous Spring is in the Air

Dear readers, I have penned down my reflections and a few of my old recollections about spring, and its significance. The last three photos in the blog are from my home garden. by Shashi Thakur

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After a long spell of winter, comes the pleasant springtime, that’s neither too cold nor too hot. In India, it’s referred to as Basant Ritu, the king of all seasons, when nature wears fresh greenery. All kinds of flowers blossom to their best and tender leaves come out after the shedding of the leaves of trees.

I have fond memories of my childhood, watching the trees of Gulmohar gradually blooming in the street lane outside of my home, from the start of March. That was also the time when I would be busy preparing for the annual school exam.

The orangish-red flowers and the tender leaves coming out of the Gulmohar trees would relax my mind and eyes, whenever I took a short break from my studies. A variety of other flowers in the garden, like marigolds, poppies, and roses, were also a treat to watch.

As soon as the exams got over, I used to spend maximum time on the balcony of my childhood home, admiring nature from the morning till night. Not just sunlight, even the streetlights at night brought out the charm of every flowering tree and plant. Not to speak of a mild soft whiff of fragrance that used to come out from the roses and the Amaltas trees, during a windy air.

For me, apart from the Gulmohar and roses, the other star attraction of the spring is the sound of a Cuckoo, especially in the morning. I couldn’t remain asleep as soon as I heard the first sound of this singing bird. Jumping out of bed, I’d go to the window to open it and gleefully hear the melodious voice of Cuckoo, till it flew away.

Some very important festivals fall during the spring season. Starting from Basant Panchami, Saraswati Puja, and Mahashivaratri in Feb, then Holi, Baisakhi, and Gudipadwa in March, to Hanuman Jayanti, Ramnavami, and Chaitra Navratri at the beginning of April. 

For the yearlong blessings, enjoyment and worship go hand in hand during the entire spring, from the mid of February to the mid of April.

By this time, the harvest of winter crops like wheat and gram is done in many parts of India. And one can spot the soft flowers from mango trees, from the start of March, before they ripen in May.

I also have cherished memories of celebrating Saraswati Puja during my school life in Bengal and Jharkhand. For the students, it was their favorite time of the year. All of them would come to school wearing new clothes, attend the Puja, collect sweets and fruits, without any studies on that day.

After my marriage, I came to live at my in-laws’ home, which has a big lawn to grow flowers and ornamental plants, and a backyard to plant veggies. Both sides are taken care of by my mother-in-law along with a gardener. 

A variety of flowers blossom especially in the spring, making our garden look like a paradise. Observing my mom-in-law for her efforts, I realized that gardening is much like parenting, requiring lots of patience and diligence.

Spring reflects celebration and prosperity in life. It’s the fabulous weather or season for all things pleasant, blooming, and flourishing. From the trees, plants, birds, and animals to us humans, all feel replenished and are filled with life.

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