Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Deeya Bhattacharya writes

Autumn’s Delight

Autumn’s delight finds
itself in the shiulis
the early morning blossoms; as if
Mother ochre wore pearls
white teeth shining in her skull;
milky white, dawn-Mother ochre

noon turns afternoon; from
stubborn to the yielding
sunlight; turning the pale yellow
glass, deep amber; autumn’s delight.

The homebound sparrows;
the crooning; the chirping
all lessening in degrees
as the day prepares to retire
and small gnats flits by, in the
subtler shades, shades of denial
shades autumn delights in;
the delightful shades of autumn

soon, day’s provision be over,
and bitterness end; in little
chills, the wintry vapours arrive
and with it will set in motion
the ministrations and manoeuvrings
of the wild and untamed autumn
Autumn in all delight.

1 comment:

  1. The shiuli (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, also known as the night-flowering jasmine or the coral jasmine), the official state flower of West Bengal, India, and Kanchanaburi, Thailand, is a shrub that grows up to 10 m tall, with flaky gray bark. The fragrant leaves are 6–12 X 2–6.5 cm with a white corolla with 5-8 lobes and an orange-red center, produced in clusters of 2 to 7; the brown fruit is flat and heart-shaped or round. It is sometimes called the "tree of sorrow" because the flowers only open during the night (“arbor-tristis” also means "sad tree"). Its arrival in autumn (Sharad) and thus marks the year’s largest festival, Durga Puja, the 6-day period when Bengalis shed their worries and rejoice over Durga’s defeat of the buffalo demon Mahishasura. In addition to Durga herself, whom Hindu reformists identified with India and whom, became an icon for Indian independence (ironic since the festival seems to have been organized by Raja Nabakrishna Deb in honor of Robert Clive’s 1757 victory at Plassey over Mirza Muhammad Siraj ud-Daulah, the last independent nawab of Bengal at Plassey – the beginning of British rule in India), Durga Puja also includes the worship of her consort Shiva and her children Laxmi, Saraswati, Ganesha, and Kartikeya. The tree came into existence as the result of the Samudra Manthan (Churning of the Milky Ocean), and the gods coveted it, calling it harsingar, the ornament of the gods. After Krishna defeated Indra in a battle over its possession, both of his wives wanted it; so Krishna planted it in the backyard of his first wife Satyabhama in a way that its flowers would fall on the adjacent property of Rukmini, his favorite. It is also known as the parijat (As a condition for marriage, Surya the sun god demanded that princess Parijat would never turn away from him. But Surya suddenly appeared before her at the hottest moment of summer, and Parijat flinched, causing Surya to wilt her, but the gods restored her to life as a tree. Now the sun only visits her at night, and his kisses are the reasons for the flowers’ fragrance.


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