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January has drawn to a close, well almost, with only a few minutes of it left. And I realize I have forgotten an important date.

The tree outside my window had shed its leaves earlier on this month, its bare branches showcasing a different sort of beauty set against the blue sky. Not all of them do that in my part of the world. The jackfruit, karacka and tamarind trees, like most others here, remain as green as ever even though they shed a lot this season too. In January, the evening air is thick with the smoke of dried leaves being burnt in most backyards.

The light early morning mists are now a thing of the past. The sun is being merciless and beating down on us without respite, we who are used to him taking an off every now and then and letting the dark clouds have their way. With no showers to hold them in place, dust is everywhere, gleefully spreading on the half wall of the verandah, the TV screen, the curtains, the floor, invading eyes and throat. The leaves on trees and plants are coated by a thick layer, giving them a dull, listless look unlike their usual vibrant self. Summer is almost at our doorstep, give or take a couple of weeks for us to start feeling the real heat.

As children, we were taught of the four seasons in school: summer, autumn, winter, spring. But no one thought it fit to tell us that it does not apply to us. Adults are strange creatures that way. They have these textbooks and prepared lessons to be taught to the young. It never seems to enter their heads they owe an explanation when they teach certain stuff that’s not really about the place in which the young learners live, thus turning the lessons to balderdash.

To teach a child in the tropics about the four seasons IS balderdash. For it to be not so, the teaching system and the parents are duty bound to make it clear to the child/children that it does NOT apply to every place on earth and certainly not to us in the tropics. I was born during a time when questions (read, thinking on your own) was not encouraged, especially not by a girl child. So you can imagine how confused I was, how much time I spent trying to figure out exactly how this thing called seasons worked. Just when I saw a tree shedding leaves and concluded it was autumn, there would be another right beside it growing tiny shoots of baby leaves stopping me from doing that.

Now I am grown up and know better. Whatever the poet said, if winter comes (it doesn’t actually, not where I live, unless you want to call that light mist I was talking about as winter, to which observation incidentally, the Delhiites might take strong exception, and who am I to take them on?!) spring can be a long time coming or not coming at all. Summer-spring, they are not well defined for us, and sort of merge to form a mish-mash season, something that would have been better named as Sprummer or Sumpring.

The bare branches of the tree outside my window now have beautiful tiny shoots of pale green. Within weeks it will have a new head of a darker hue of green, right when summer will be settling in. Well, what did I say?! It is Sprummer/Sumpring time, with the sun shining bright, plus new shoots and flowers happening too. But for all the plants to really grow lush, grass to grow enviously luxuriant, trees to look that fresh green, the rainy season or monsoons will have to start. That’s my favorite season. So now, the wait starts.

At the end pf this aimless and rambling post, let me tell you of that important date I had let slip by. It was the 27th of Jan. On that day in 2006, I wrote my very first blog at Yahoo 360. The mind boggles thinking of what life would have been like if I hadn’t. But let that be for another day. Time these days is at premium and I have to snatch whatever bits and pieces come my way.

©Shail Mohan 2015

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