Sunday, 27 November 2011

And all its twined flowers

Now I can write. Now that the man who was peeing in the neighbour's garden has gone, I can sit easy and write.
Autumn has set in. In full swing. Glorious. I personally don't think there is any other season better to be in Kashmir.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

There is an earthiness everywhere. Brown grass, red chinars, yellow leaves. And the fog that enshrouds the Sulaiman Teng (Shankaracharya Hill) giving it an air of mystery. I was hoping to go there for an evening walk, but I don’t think that’s possible now. Occupied somewhere else. But whenever I go, I’ll be posting some pictures here. I actually want to see how the city looks from the top in autumn.

Not just that, autumn comes with the permanent virtue of making you nostalgic. I never associated autumn with death and decay. To me, it was ever beautiful. A charm which spring or summer, or even winters, cannot replace. It belongs to autumns in entirety.

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

The lines of poetry are from Ode to Autumn by Keats.

PS: I did go. Read here

Friday, 25 November 2011

In Good Time

This is a good time to get blogging. I think it is. Finally, after two years of procrastinating and pondering over titles and topics, themes and theses I have decided that if I have to blog, I must get started anyway.
There are not many bloggers from Kashmir who would write about things other than politics, which is unfortunate. But that doesn’t mean that we are obsessed with politics. Occupied we may be, but obsessed? I wouldn’t agree. Or well, may be a little obsessed too.

But a good time to blogging it is for another reason. I am reading Oliver Twist, and he is the reason. More than a decade ago, Oliver Twist was the first novel I ever read. And now, a decade after that, Oliver Twist has reappeared, unabridged and complete. With illustrations.

Call it karma, or life’s full circle or whatever. (Actually, there is no need to invoke philosophy, just yet.) I would just say that I missed reading Dickens, and I realize eerily that its been two years since I read a book of his. The last was Nicholas Nickelby (The Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, for those who stress on full names). Time flies, doesn’t it?

Now, when I bought this book I thought what shall I do after it’s done? As no one at home seems to be interested enough to discuss books with me, I better find someone who may be? Blogging’s a good thing for that, isn’t it? A book club too, but there are no book clubs in Kashmir. None that I know of. But that doesn’t mean there are any less readers here. I know for sure, that I have been surprised by the number of bookshops that have opened in the past 5 years, selling books which are not ‘course books’, books which only book-lovers read – like novels. I mean, other than those who have to read to pass exams. Ah! The way we study here!