“Four seasons fill the measure of the year;”-wrote Keats, the famous English poet.
However, while writing so, Keats was thinking only of the seasons of the year in England. But, in India, we have as many as six seasons. These are summer, rainy season, early autumn, late autumn, winter, and spring. In Assamese, these seasons are called Greeshma, Barsha, Sharat, Hemanta, Sheet, and Basanta.
Each of these six seasons is distinguished by its own particular characteristics. Summer is very hot and we are more plagued by flies and mosquitoes than in the other seasons. But it is also a season of plenty of flowers, vegetables, and fruits including the mango, the king of fruits. The rainy season is the season of rains, floods, and mud. But it supplies the necessary water for every kind of vegetation and without rains, we will all be dead.
The rainy season, too, has its own fruits and vegetables. With the advent of early autumn, the dark clouds gradually vanish and the sky appears clear. With this, our minds also become bright, clear, and hopeful, especially because the buds of the paddy seedlings start opening. We celebrate several festivals including the Durga Puja. Late autumn is the season of harvest and plenty. Varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers appear everywhere and the roads become completely free from mud and dirt. It was of late autumn that Keats was thinking when he called it the ‘‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.
Winter is extremely cold. In some places, during this season, people die due to cold waves just as they die due to heat waves in summer. For the poor people who have no warm clothes, winter is a nightmare. There are no rains and the trees appear almost naked because they’ll drop their leaves. However, vegetables, fish, fruits, and all kinds of eatables are found in plenty because of the recent harvest. And, lastly, there is spring. But let me discuss it separately. For, I have my reasons for doing so.
I have kept spring deliberately aloof from the others because it is the season I like most. It is true that, like the other five seasons, spring also has few unpleasant aspects. For example, during this season, we are most and constantly troubled by strong gusts of wind which often blow away rooftops, destroy houses and cause many other damages, particularly to the poor. Moreover, they bring in their train not only a lot of dust but also germs of epidemics like chickenpox and smallpox, etc.
But the pleasant aspect of the spring season far outweighs its own unpleasant ones as well as the pleasant ones of the other seasons. To me, as also to many others, it is the king of seasons. Every year, I keep eagerly looking forward to the spring season, first because I can see the leafless, dry trees and plants once again coming back to real life after several months of life in death, as it were. It is as if April, with his sweet showers of rain, pierces the dry earth of March to the root, bathes all its (the earth’s) veins with his liquor (the rain), and brings forth the many-colored flowers. Everywhere one sees the juiceless tree twigs of winter budding again with soft, green leaves as well as trees, plants, and creepers drooping with the weight of their flowers displaying the bright vibgyor colors of the rainbow. The air is filled with fragrance and the mind dances in joy. Spring is the season of the young. It is as if the green leaves and the parti-colored flowers only reflect, our sweet colorful dreams. Keats said that during the “lusty Spring”, man’s fancy “takes in all beauty with an easy span”.
Secondly, I like the spring also because the first few showers of the season wash away the oppressive dust of the winter and enliven the whole atmosphere with a fresh breath of air. The weather is neither bot nor cold, but just pleasantly warm.
And, finally, I like the spring because it is the season of Rongalee Bihu, the national festival of the Assamese. My longing for Rongalee Bihu knows no bounds because it is a truly secular and catholic festival. There are no bars of any kind for participation in this festival. Everybody irrespective of his religion, language, race, or caste, rejoices with a spirit of gay abandon.
To praise the spring so much does not mean that I dislike the other seasons. Every season has its own peculiar charm, beauty, and relevance. I only like spring most because I am an optimist and it arouses hope.
It is not for nothing that Shelley had said – “O, Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”.