Many winters pass me by

The days are lengthening now. Nights are getting shorter and noisier.

Another winter is passing away.

I wait for winter every year, more than any other season. For me, winter evokes images of silence, solitude, scribblings, the surreal, the spiritual, and everything unreal and fantastic. Other seasons are a festival of life, an expression of joy that is life. Winters signify something that is beyond life, something that is inside, and at the same time out of this world. When the noise and clamour of the real recedes into the distance, you are free to unfold and expand your inner world, let loose, dive long and deep inside.

However, as each year gives way to the next, life presses on inexorably, relentlessly. Reality demands attention. More attention than the last year. First there are fantasies, joy(borrowed from Christmas cartoons), and an enchanting sense of a wonderful world. Then the joy fades away, but fantasies remain, fantasies of love long lost and regained, warmth in a lonely cold winter. Slowly even the warmth fades away, and fantasies shape into dreams nurtured deep in the heart, yet to come to the surface. Silence and solitude become the refuge from the unceasing din of life.

Still later, reality breaks the shell in the end, buries the dreams, and forces the winter out of the mind. Winter departs, taking whatever remains of the fantastic with it, and all you are left with is a cold weather, which meant something to you, but you can’t quite catch the feeling now. Days are spent in air-conditioned cuboids of factories, maufacturing bits and pieces of distorted reality.  Nights are spent eating junk food and cigarettes, and testosterone fuelled entries into dens of desire, where noise is used as a mask to hide the hideous awkwardness of reality facing its own ugliness. Reality begets reality. And it feeds on itself to produce more, deformed, variants of reality.

Next morning, back to work. Manufacture reality. Buy reality. Consume and flaunt reality. Lust for this reality. Fear sleep, silence and solitude, for there is nothing to fill the void in the absence of reality.

There are no winters, no springs and no autumns in this world.

An Ode to Winter

The world has changed. It’s no longer your daily world, full of humdrum, everyday sadness and happiness, lost in the delirium of chaotic over-activity leading to nothingness. It’s nothingness itself, in the deepest sense of the world, anything but that. The winters have come.

The winters have come. And the campus is a cold paradise, an icy heaven of staggering beauty, untethered from the shackles of space and time, existing in the oneness and nothingness of eternity.

It’s evening, and I’m walking in the campus. It’s amazingly beautiful. Everything around me is bathed completely in mist. The fog has conquered the world, conquered the light. The fog floats all around me, it permeates my skin, and reaches down to the very core of my bones. I breathe fog, and its icy smell alters my sense of reality. A hazy, grayish darkness has taken over the evening, a darkness which feels so permanent that it feels that we have been living in this artificial darkness for eternity, a darkness complete in itself, which doesn’t need light to complement its nature.

The street lamps along the road are waging solitary, futile struggles against the all-encompassing fog, disappearing into a dreamy oblivion as one goes along his path. The path itself is blinded by fog, obliterating its past with each footstep and veiling the future with white shadows of uncertainty. It’s like being marooned on a mobile island, which never lets you get away from it, forever stranded amidst the infinite sea of fog.

The trees have become more silent than usual, and every tree, with a few stranded rays of dull light, coursing through it, reminds me of weeping willows. It’s as if they’ve gone to sleep, finally weary of the eternal commotion around them, taking the sound of the birds, and the wind, with them.

The talk of two students passing by me, about coding in android, is blasphemy for my ears. I think, “It’s sacrilege! To talk about technology as you walk around in the enchanted kingdom of winter.” The silence around you admonishes you for your wayward thoughts.

Aahh…winters! Winter evokes in one, the deepest, most primeval of emotions, inexpressible in any languages, existing since ages when language was yet to be invented. The wordless, pristine, other-worldly emotions, which can only be approximated by death, silence, love, sadness and a feeling of profound, eternal loneliness. You are weighed down, crushed by the weight of your emotions which you can’t comprehend, emotions which resonate to something beyond yourself, beyond humanity, beyond God, something which can only be called Nature.

Winter

Today I feel the arrival of winter. I feel the subtle change in the temperature of the wind.

Winter always comes gradually, very imperceptibly, to the unobservant. But to more keen eyes, winter’s arrival can be tracked down to a period of 4-5 days, when you can feel the air suddenly pricking on your forehead and earlobes, and a refreshing coolness caressing your body.
I’ve lived all my life observing seasons, and I always get a certain kind of peculiar feelings and sensations on observing season’s changes and peaking of a season.
For me, winter has always signified the arrival of a special spark in life. It feels like the arrival of cold (the mild one, not the toe-numbing cold of January) stirs and stimulates the soul and set the creative, positive and a special kind of life-force into motion within oneself. Somehow, the world seems to emerge fully out of the stupor of the unbearably long summers and seems fresh after bathing in the monsoons (and a brief humid season after that). This vivacity in the environment encourages simultaneously solitary introspection and warm and amiable gathering with friends and loved ones. I usually feel both of these feelings in equal amounts which makes winters all the more tantalizing and add charm to its enigmatic beauty.
I am a lover of winter’s beauty. Ever since my childhood. I still remember that used to be in my home in the months of October and November. The exotic aroma of the winter wind, the lonely (with lots of books) afternoon hours, the gregarious outings of evenings and finally, late hours of night spent alone on roof, responding to the strange calls of the heart which longed to be in nature’s lap.