The season is changing.
There’s a distinct nip in the air in the mornings these days. Mumbai is beginning to get cooler. While the days are still hot, one can actually feel the relief of a cooler night. Everyone is talking about the changing season. And like all change of seasons this will bring with it the good and the bad.
It’s funny how in Mumbai we herald each season with all its demerits. The rainy season brings out the best in “pot-hole” conversations. The summer makes humidity a hero. But now comes, to my mind the best part of the year: the cooler season (people from New Delhi laugh when we call it winter!) Still… Mumbaikars will go on relentlessly against it.
You’ll hear a colleague cough, point painfully at her throat, shake her head mournfully and say, “Bad cough… this season!”
You’ll see someone who’s been AWOL in office after a few days and he will roll his eyes upwards and say, “Was down with a viral… this season!”
You’ll suggest an ice-cream after a movie and there’ll be a shocked voice saying, “Ice cream? This season?!!”
But demerits aside, it’s fun to watch the change.
Slowly Mumbai begins to dress warmer, long sleeves, jackets, caps, socks, shawls (however flimsy) and the occasional pullover. The air is full of the musty smell of winter clothing stacked away through the last eight months. Moth ball perfume reigns. By December Mumbai has pulled together a fairly decent winter wardrobe and people walk with bent backs and arms folded across, laughably, like those in Moscow do when the temperatures are sub-zero.
Welcome to a new season.
While we don’t experience Fall or Autumn out here, in the US, Autumn is slowly giving way to Winter. I was there last year around this time to witness this glorious change. In October all the trees were a riot of golden yellow, flaming orange, gorgeous red, burnt sienna, and brilliant brown. Toy houses flanked by red, yellow and orange trees looked straight out of picture postcards. Come Halloween and the leaves began to fall and below every bare tree the falling leaves patterned themselves to look like reflections of the tree itself. While most homeowners complained about the leaves they had to rake, I found the riot of autumnal colours almost a fitting welcome to a winter that would just be somber shades of grey and white. The season was changing and so were the colours.
And now, today we witness another historic change in the US – this autumn turning to winter season – with Barrack Obama leading in what will be a historical Presidential election in the US.
For the entire world witnessing this, it’s not just a change of season; it’s the season of change.