The Honge (Millettia Pinnata) tree planted in front of my house looks barren, the leaves have fallen. Nights are eerie as the dogs have taken to warmer shelters. The tomato plants have withered and I had to pluck them out. It’s winter.
Bengaluru’s winter isn’t cold compared to most parts that experience a cold wave. There’s no snowfall. What signifies winter are foggy mornings, mildly hot afternoons and a subtle chill at nights. The minimum temperature hovers around 13-16 degrees in Celsius, and the modern tall buildings shield us from the chill outside by keeping the room temperatures at comfortable levels. It’s only when you step out that you know it’s cold outside, that you may need a sweater. If you don’t wear one, you may ctach cold. It wasn’t always like this, but even today there are localities within the city limits as well as in the suburbs, that give a glimpse of what the weather used to be.
The rose plant in the porch has been standing tall at close to 16ft above ground for a decade now. It flowers perennially adding beauty to our house. The trunk has grown to about the size of my shoulder and we know, sooner or later, it’ll lose its will to stand tall.
The old man – the grandfather – sits next to the main door through the noon, drowsy, sleepy, he wakes up every few minutes, startled by my voice or may be a mosquito bite, and then falls asleep. His nights are mornings, his mornings are nights. My old man – the father – wakes up every morning with dark circles around his eyes, signifying the tiredness and lack of sleep that he endures for his old man. He’s losing his hair, and unlike the trees outside that he has planted, he may not regain what has fallen once spring is here. The ageing is evident.
The ageing is evident in the mother too. A bunch of chronic diseases and health problems that she endures day in, day out, has made her weak. I had to quit eating carbs and exercise intesnively to lose those first 5 kilos. She doesn’t have to do any of that, the 13 tablets she swallows everyday is also killing her from the inside, but there’s no escape. Winter’s bad for her, her arthritis only worsens and so does my sinusitis.
But there’s always hope, that of a spring that will bring in more joy. Yet, Bengaluru’s winter, like I mentioned before, aren’t that cold. The sun comes out around noon and for a few hours gives some warmth even as the cold breeze gives the chills. It’s nature’s own climate control, at least here.
The seasons in the past few years haven’t been easy. They’ve been confusing, warm in cold season, cold in warm seasons, drought sometimes, sometimes excessive rain. This year, however, has been pretty much normal except for a little too much of rain. The winter feels a little more like winter, the summer felt like a normal Bengaluru summer. It’s as if nature is trying to balance everything out. What’s out of balance will eventually reach equilibrium, that’s in the nature of Nature.
Hearts are in the cold storage, because there’s a certain fear. Confused, warm in cold, cold in warm, drought, excess. But eh, they’ll eventually reach equilibrium, it’s in their nature to do so.
The old man’s old man will pass away sometime, that’s reality. The old man find a new balance for what’s remaining for him as life, given that this is his second lease of life post the heart surgery. The old woman will continue to eat her tablets and try her best to pack my lunch even as she writhes in her pain. Hearts will again open up and know to love again. Life will reach equilibrium, that’s in the nature of Life.
A small leaf has sprouted off the Honge’s branches. A plum red shoot has shot off the old rose plant. New memories are being created, new friends and new relationships are blooming all around. They are not yet there, not yet. But the signs of spring arriving are there. There’s hope and that’s what drives this world.