'Shei to basanta fi re elo'
Nothing stays still for too long. In due time everything changes and nature is no exception. It burns you to a crisp during the summers, soaks you to the bone with rains and sends chills down to the last huddled atom in winter. Of course there is another incarnation that is much sought after and that happens during the Bangla month of basanta. It's the king of all seasons as its entrance is anticipated like that of royalty. The people of this earth wait anxiously for this short period of natural bliss. The mighty nature does not fall short of all the expectations, as it seems to literally do a lot of dusting and decorating of its own.
The old crinkly brown leaves of the winter are replaced by lush green foliage. Flowers abound with renewed vigour. It's as if nature just received a wakeup call.
“Basanea gaan pakhira gai
Batashe taar shur jhore jai”
The birds and the bees seem to be doing a whole lot more during this time. Their usual role is delegated to that of acting as models for parents who want to explain biological truths to inquisitive children. This time around the flighty, feathery creatures are busy belting out their songs at the break of dawn. Newly grown flowers and nectar is there for the taking. It's one short stop from one honey laden flower to the next.
You might not see too many birds in town due to the vigorous felling of trees but in the rural areas it is still a bird haven. Their songs carry far over the breeze. The birds seem to be a on a high during this particular season.
One of the very few open spaces left in our high-rise filled city is the Dhaka University campus. There you can still spot many different types of our two-legged feathery friends. It's an area imbued with nature's voice in more ways than one. The cuckoos calling amidst the scent of the wild flowers is a page torn out of any romantic poetry compilation. It goes to partially explain such budding romances in the area among the two legged creatures walking up right.
“Jemon dokhine baayu chuteche
Na jaani kothai ful futeche”
The breeze circulating all around carries in it a scent of elation. You could actually use that name if only you could bottle that particular scent. There is a mixed sweetness in the air, from wild flowers like chaapa, karabi, palash, shimul etc. and butterflies add a surreal image to the whole scenery. The dandelions, dahlias, chandramallika splash the landscape with colour.
Move a little out of the city and your horizon will be filled with endless rows of rice fields. The wind blowing over the green fields can easily outdo many a famous paintings.
“Mor bina uthe kon shure baaji
Kon nobo chonchol chhonde”
This change in nature brings out intense emotions among the people. The light chilly breeze sets the mind searching desperately for a missing puzzle piece. Poets and writers use this seasonal change to writes tomes. Rabindranath himself has created so many poems and stories that a count would be quite difficult. That's why only his lines could be paraphrased in between this article.
But it is not only the famed poets who fall prey to this season's charm. A person without a romantic bone in his body may unknowingly belt out a couple of lines of a song.
“Modhur basanta esheche
Modhur milon mela te”
It is amazing what power is possessed within the abstract confines of this season. It is like the advent of a new beginning. It makes one want to bare the soul and start all over again. The colours on the mind are easily expressed through colourful outfits. Bright colours are in to shun the gloomy palour of the past months.
“Momo chitte niti nritye ke je naache ta ta thoi thoi…………….”
Basanta seems to be the start of many romances. Lovers unite and go out into the cool breeze together. Many select the first day of basanta as a day to start their journey together. Some unfortunately end up having to try again next year. Old love on the other hand renews itself during this time with new pledges, promises and hopes.
Even die hard loners look at the scene and wish for someone to spend the time with….until that feeling passes. Streets, alleys, campuses, chotpoti shops and all other hangouts are filled with people in love or at the very least desperately trying to be in love. Basanta comes playing the tune of amour. You can almost visualize a form of marching and singing, “Kholo Kholo daar, rakhio na aar, bahire amay daraye.”
By Sultana Yasmin
Translated by Ehsanur Raza Ronny
Photo: Munem Wasif