Not the “fall” but the rise- Autumn!

     Just as the new moon is a sign of prosperity, autumn is a sign of hope for me. A new moon can only grow; autumn will only set the stage for spring!  

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      Relating it to the countries I have lived in; autumn has different connotations, celebrations, and appearances. In India, which has its lunisolar calendar, this is the festive time. From celebrating Ganesha, the elephant head god, to Navaratri, the goddess of power – Durga, to Diwali, the festival of lights, it’s a festive time. Every tradition in the autumn is related to beating the cold around, swatting the mosquitoes that are on the rise because of the open drainage system, and post-monsoon water-puddles that breed them. English summer, marked by the lush greenery and the majestic aromatic plants, paves the way for autumn by either being dormant or shedding their leaves standing up tall; let us have a clear view of our neighbourhoods, but gradually the days get shorter.There will be days one may not see the sun at all, given their work hours. Carving pumpkins, gathering around the bonfires, apple plucking fests, and counting down for Santa Claus, help us navigate through the dark faster. In the US, it’s fascinating! End of June, we see pumpkins and Halloween decors in the retail shops. We do wonder at the commercial farsightedness. We see countdowns for Christmas by autumn, and those happy holidays signs everywhere reminding us to book our holidays, one more commercial push! It’s a unanimous decision that celebration is typical in autumn wherever we are.  Halloween brings the deadly creative side of everyone out. One significant aspect of any celebration is food. In the west, salads will be on the decline, and soups take the top spot. In India, every festival has its specialty dishes. But the most common festive delicacy in the south of India is, Tamarind rice, pulihara. The aroma of this rice brings vibrancy.

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Autumn brings dry leaves and cold weather to mind; that shouldn’t necessarily mean just the old leaves. For me, this implies getting rid of dry relations and bringing warmth closer to our hearts. What sounds promising is the cozy evenings with warm people anticipating the birth of new leaves and daffodils (in the UK), Blue Bonnets (in Texas, USA), Mangoes (in India). For me, autumn is a sign of hope!  

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