There’s a vase of wilted flowers by my bedside that I refuse to throw away. Outside my window, there’s a tree the colour of the setting sun; its leaves are hanging so loose like they’re about to fall. After a minute or so, a light breeze sweeps one of those leaves right past me. It takes a mid air twirl before gently falling to the ground.
A butterfly is fluttering around the potted plants; there’s a jingle in its flight, but its wings are mellow.
Autumn is at its prime; I say it out loud.
It’s that interim period stretching between September’s residual monsoon and December’s looming winter; like a tiny intersection between the last shards of prickly raindrops and the first shivers of dry cold breezes.
It’s the season when leaves change colour; when grass turns yellow, when the air becomes stale, but mostly when once blossoming flowers transform into withered petals of despair.
On a parallel level though, autumn is symbolic of the transitional change from the lively to the lifeless. In some cases, symbolic of shedding the old to make space for the new.
For me, autumn is a time in life of relentless pursuit.
It starts when the last dregs of monsoon leave and the humidity engulfs the earth in heated flames: flowers dry, petals droop; your body burns and even seconds spent in the sunlight makes you hurt. Just when things become unbearable and you can stand it no longer, the temperature quietly drops.
Autumn arrives and you make peace with the new climate.
But you notice a change in the outside, this coolness comes at a price: the flowers you watched so passionately have all wilted and withered away. They’ve changed colour and distorted into shapes you never expected.
You can’t make sense of it… At first the barrenness makes you hate it, then it makes you love it. It’s got a melancholic essence to it, the aftermath of this season.
It’s hard to notice, but there’s an inexplicable beauty in desolation and that is, it makes you yearn for those youthful flowery buds. Like little emblems of life in the midst of death and decay.
And that’s what autumn really does for you: it pushes you to look, to spread your eyes beyond the places you didn’t even know you were capable of seeing. It forces you to seek out little fragments of lustre, little signs of hope. And somewhere in your relentless pursuit of life, in the midst of dead twigs, fallen leaves and decaying flowers; in the mush of browns, mustards and oranges, you see a little sliver of pink.
A brief distant outline of a single blossoming flower.
And sometimes – even in the deepest depths of your cynical little heart – you know that it takes just one before the rest will follow.