Friday, June 8, 2012

Seasons!!

"Which season is the best to visit that place?" Does this question sounds familiar to you? I think yes, you must have heard this typical question frequently, especially when somebody is packing his/her baggage for a journey. Most of us follow this practice, by finding out the best season and then plan a journey which allows you to uninterrupted access everywhere.
    But I believe every season has it's own beauty, whether it may be  a coldest winter of Siberia going down to 30 degrees below freezing point or  hottest summer of northern India rising up to 48 degree Celsius  or it may be heavy rainfall of Cherrapunji in Indian state of Meghalya showering average rainfall of 11500 millimeters a year, have their own specialty.
   
I have experienced 'Fall or Autumn season' in UK, with colorful trees every where, falling of leaves in huge quantity and with bearable cold for a person from hot climate like me. During my stay in UK, gradually I had started learning to watch the weather report first and then to plan the activities of the day. I have seen the joyous people when sun starts shining, I have also experienced the sudden change in weather but I could not experience so called cruel winter when I was in UK but I experienced that in mainland Europe.
   By chance of luck I got opportunity to experience the 'Sakura' or cherry blossom season in Japan, with people's gathering under the Sakura tree and enjoying with friends and relatives. Also experience of hot and humid summer months of Tokyo from July to September reminded me my days in "Mumbai".

 My English colleague asked me once "How many seasons do you have in India?" I replied  "well, we consider there are three seasons, Summer, Winter and Monsoon".  In India, Monsoon or rainy season is considered as a separate season unlike the most part of the world.
     I have typical memories of all the three Indian seasons at my home town. From my boyhood I have always tasted the different flavors of these seasons and  tried to enjoy it.
    Monsoon hits my state, Maharashtra in mid June, giving the cooling effect to overall atmosphere. This is the period when all the schools starts their new academic year. I remember my shopping with my parents in a gloomy atmosphere with umbrella in hand. When it starts showering for the first time, you can watch everybody out of their homes experiencing the first showers of the season. In other few weeks it starts becoming greener and you will see the farmers getting busy in their activities all over the countryside and young people enjoying the motorcycle rides in the rains. It is believed in our Marathi (Indian state of Maharashtra) culture that when it rains it gives you richness and happiness. Then in the month of July, Monsoon settles and starts showering heavily, you can find helpless people waiting for the bus or train who desperately wants to reach their destination in time but the mighty rainfall comes in between with a solid challenge. This is also time to enjoy the mug of coffee when you reach home in the evening with a your favorite book  in your hand and looking at the rains from your balcony. According to Hindu calender, in the month of July, August and September we celebrate lots of festivals. At the end of September when Monsoon starts preparing to leave, everybody breathe a sigh of relief. Month of October usually is a period of October heat or mini summer.


    Winter in my state, too mild in nature and of very short duration is considered as a best season of the land, known for its cool atmosphere, greenery all over because of the  recent monsoon and time for various sports events in school, starts from mid December till February end.  I remember my wandering in the Sahyadri ranges and treks to various mountainous forts during winter. When I heard the term "Cruel Winter"  first time, I was surprised, because I haven't had experienced that before. But when I was in Germany, few years later, the German winter gave me the first hand experience of that and I felt like the winter in my state is really like a kindhearted old man.
    Once the month of February passes, its the time for annual examinations of most of the schools, you will find the studious pupils everywhere preparing for the examinations, making the most quiet period of the year.   
From the end of March, the hot, scorching or a 'cruel' summer starts indicating it's presence. Sudden rise of temperature, which goes as much as 36 degree Celsius, starts preventing people from going outside without a sunglasses and suddenly you will find a plenty of hawkers sitting a roadside selling the summer caps. For me, summer had always meant, to get a new cap, visiting the sugarcane juice centers, going for a swimming and playing cricket for whole day without bothering the heat. 
    By the mid of April the mercury rises to almost 39- 40 degree Celsius and people become restless, the ceiling fan never gets switched off and you will find people in small groups at the ice cream parlors till the midnight. Around this time the king of all the fruits the 'mango' starts coming in the market. But people will start buying 'The Alphonso mango' from the April end, because the expensive mango becomes cheaper till then. By the April most of the school results are out  and pupils breaths a sigh of relief, the real vacations starts for them and the various amusement parks and the hill stations starts getting crowded. The students appearing for the secondary or higher secondary school certificates starts attending their vacation classes and those appearing for graduation and post graduation starts visiting the examination halls. Slowly and steadily the May ends, the summer vacation gets over, the pupils start preparing for their first day of new academic year, the bookshops and  stationary stores gets flooded and the people wait eagerly for the first showers of Monsoon.

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