Nature is not always benign, at times it is devastating. The inclement weather this winter was excruciating but I used to get solace by repeating the last two lines of PB Shelley's 'Ode to the West Wind': "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" Whether far behind or not, spring has arrived even at places still covered with snow or interrupted by rain writes NS Tasneemchandigarh Updated: Mar 13, 2014 09:38 IST
Nature is not always benign, at times it is devastating. The inclement weather this winter was excruciating but I used to get solace by repeating the last two lines of PB Shelley's 'Ode to the West Wind': "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" Whether far behind or not, spring has arrived even at places still covered with snow or interrupted by rain.
In Shimla, I found that the branches of trees, dry and leafless during winter, suddenly blossomed with the advent of spring. It could be in the last week of February or the early days of March. The blossoms on the leafless branches heralded the new season by defying the nip in the air. Then in a few days, the buds surrounded by newly sprung leaves held out the promise of a good crop of fruit.
Spring not only changes the pattern of behaviour of birds and beasts, but also brings about the renewal of human life. New aspirations visit the heart and new resolves occupy the mind. Unfinished tasks draw the attention of the creative artists to complete their commitment. The thinkers are inclined to think new thoughts. The onrush of flowers like daisy, dahlia, zinnia and roses, besides the ever alert sunflower, fills the atmosphere with fragrance, apart from lending it a colourful touch. The rhododendrons that bloom in abundance at hill stations in early spring remind one of a couplet by celebrated Urdu poet Mir Taqi Mir-Gulshan mein aag lag rahi thi rang-e-gul se Mir Bulbul pukari dekh ke sahib, pare pare (The garden was ablaze with the colours of flowers. The nightingale warned the visitors to be wary of the fire ignited all around).
This is also the season of hopes and their fulfillments. Remember the preparation for the examination, burning of midnight oil, rising early in the morning, entering the examination hall with a palpitating heart, taking hold of the question paper with a shaky hand, unaware of the galloping time and then leaving the examination hall with a thumping heart? Later, expecting a windfall for a good career, nearer to the heart's desire?
The elderly, who never consider themselves too old, turn a new leaf in their life. During winter, they had remained muffled up from the top to toe. They had saved themselves from the icy winds and snowy weather. The blankets have now taken the place of quilts, coats of overcoats, socks of stockings and light headgears of woollen caps. Even basking in the sun is no more a day-long affair. Their brisk gait indicates willingness to go on morning and evening walks. They can even forget to take hold of the walking stick when they go out to discover a new world in their neighbourhood.
Spring is in the air and has given a fillip to activities of political parties with candidates in the process of getting nominated for the Lok Sabha election starting next month. The atmosphere is rife with charges and countercharges, real or imaginary. There is more smoke than fire, while voters have been enjoying the attention. Much heat will be generated this summer but for now the common man is content welcoming spring, the season of change.