Varanasi Again – 28: A Minor Detour

I have been telling my story – the story of my visit to Varanasi Again – for some time now. But I must pause now, stop a while, take a minor detour, if I may say so.

But why? The curious reader may ask.

For it is ‘the season’ again.

What season? The intelligent reader will enquire.

It is the season of love, comes the answer from the one who must pause awhile, before he continues his story again.

The reader is unconvinced, I am sure, and rolls his or her eyes, not sure if this path that I am about to take is to his or her liking.

But wait, I say, wait my friend. Let me show you what I see, see the world through my eyes, feel it as I feel, for that is what the purpose of this blog site is, after all. Isn’t it? Sharing my ‘Random Musings’.

To go back to the season, which has distracted me so…the season of love. This is the season of ‘Vasanta’ which can be loosely understood by the inexact translation – ‘Spring’. Let me explain.

The typical ‘English’ climate has four seasons – Summer, Autumn/Fall, Winter, and Spring. However, the Hindu/Vedic calendar (which is a Luni-Solar calendar as opposed to the Gregorian Solar calendar) divides the seasons in the Indian subcontinent into six – Grishma (Summer – blistering tropical heat, often humid), Varsha (Rains/Monsoon – time for greenery, malaria, cholera, choked drains, and overflowing rivers), Sharad (Autumn), Hemant (pre-Winter; code for ‘beautiful weather’), Shishir (Winter, or what goes for it in the tropics), and Vasant (Spring, almost but not quite).

The new year day in this luni-solar calendar, followed with variations across the whole of Indian subcontinent, and south/south-east Asia, also falls in the season of Vasant, in the month of Baishakh (Fool’s Day? More on that later). This month/season marks the blossoming of life again after the winter season of two months during which most deciduous trees shed their leaves.

Baishakh, or Vaishakh, thus marks the return of life, when nature turns youthful again, flowers blossom, and the weather is very agreeable. One could, if one wanted to, drive around during Vaishakh with the car windows pulled down, or with the cabin closed and the air-conditioner on, both are ok. One can enjoy the sun in the daytime, and snuggle in a quilt at night. Light winter clothing can be worn in the day to allow the first beads of perspiration to wet the skin after so many months, but one only has to stand in the shade for sometime to feel that sweat dry away, helped by the breeze which is still cool, and dry.

And then there are the flowers, of which I must mention at least three; three of my absolute favourites, which I associate with beautiful weather, and end of exams, and out-stations holidays, and road-trips, and visits to the hills, and driving through the narrow winding roads, and picking up flowers on the way, and smelling them………..

To be continued –

Check out these Amazon Bestsellers from the author –

The Battle of Panchavati and Other Stories from Indian Scriptures
Daffodils: A Bouquet of Short Stories

By Divya Narain

Additional Professor in Plastic Surgery, doting father, loving husband, newbie author. Love travel and literature. Love reading religion, politics and history!


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