Celebration of life in time of pandemic

| Updated: February 18, 2022 23:53:37

Celebration of life in time  of pandemic

Quite a lengthy Winter, indeed! Many complain against the 'untimely rain' and of course, the highly fluctuating temperatures within days or even within a day. Is Nature playing a hide-and-seek game, then? Well, if mist envelops the surrounding even at midday and the next day a few spells of shower announce their presence without prior notice, people are sure to be surprised. Before the rains, maybe, the mercury rises to a point when one needs the service of a fan, long unused, indoor. But before long, temperature once again dips to the lowest ever this season.
These are considered quirks of weather by many who have not experienced such capricious behaviours in decades. But the elderly people can feel nostalgic of a time left far behind. Winter was certainly chillier then and thick fog spread a hazy, white blanket all over. Yes, rain like this was not uncommon too. In fact, all the six seasons seem to have reconstructed them of late to a large extent only to stage a welcome comeback.
As part of a tropical region, the country actually needs restoration of its six seasons in their effusive and magical best. That the glacier on the Himalayas is melting at double the rate of its formation aeons before is highly disturbing. If the weather were cooler, the melting glacier would not pose the critical threat of scarcity of water to the millions of people in South Asia.
Moreover winter is seen as the time when life goes dormant. Indeed, it happens where temperature drops to well below zero degree Celsius and snow and ice make vegetation impossible to stay in their original shapes. In this country, trees become somewhat pale but not denuded. In fact, this is the time for the most regal and colourful flowers to bloom. Defying the wintry cold, palash (butea monosperma) leads the pack in its fiery regality.
Other colourful flowers such as marigold, chrysanthemum, sun flower, all come up to adorn the earth in their unique tapestries. The best of roses also favour this time for unfolding their beauty and scent. But it is the mustard flowers that paint a profuseness of yellow as far as eye can see. Plains of many areas of the country put up an exhibition of bright yellow like an unending carpet. Thus life's colours seem to announce their triumph notwithstanding the loads of anxiety, fear and uncertainty that have been pressing human soul so cruelly.
Had the pathogen not taken such a stranglehold, the advent of the Spring would be one of the finest. It is a favourable weather for celebration of the king of seasons as it is called here. For two successive days, flowers will take the centre stage of celebrations. Rabindranath introduced Basantosab (welcoming spring) at Shantiniketan and had composed some of the soulful songs that can be sung in chorus. The Bangalees will welcome the Spring but not the way they would like to.
Then there is the Valentine's Day which is incomplete without flowers. It is good that young people are developing the culture of loving flowers, expressing their feeling by the gift of flowers. Indeed, flowers are a creation, as if, out of this world that transpose everyone to a sweet and soft world away from this harsh and mundane world.
Sure enough, flowers have, then, a most important role to play. On the occasion of Ekushey February, epical in dimensions as it is, the Bangalees pay their tribute to the language martyrs. What a transformation of a tragic incident into one of proud achievement unparalleled in the annals of human history! What else other than flowers could carry the love and respect for those valiant sons and daughters who laid their lives for the cause of mother tongue!
Both life's contrast and conformity with Nature are thus expressed through the three separate days' celebrations. Contrast, because the chilly Winter and pleasant Spring are unlike each other and yet they are so arranged within the cycle of seasons to serve the ultimate purpose of life in its magnificent and mellifluous best.

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