By Mir Umar
After winter fled, the spirit of spring returned to the valley. Winter had tortured the landscape especially nature’s creatures. Trees, flowers were forced to strip off their skin. They were almost naked. There was no sign of life in their bodies. Land was also barren yearning for fertility. The fertility of land was dug down so that it could die out of its breath.
In the valley winter had made everything static. There was no joy around except presence of chill of winter. It had frozen the atmosphere with low temperatures. Then there was snow which brought some relief from the harshness of the winter. As the snow began to melt slowly to the reaping sun of spring, fragile hope returned to valley.
As the morning breaks, I let windows of my room open. It let my sight to have glimpses of snow clad mountains with snow still covered on their surface. Our house is situated in the middle of the town encompassing mountains. The window lets me have a sight of sunrise from east of the town. Horizon changes to crimson red and then orange and those colossal mountains remain hidden under the darkness. When the sun rose, I could feel warmth of its rays. The beautifully textured curtains let the light pass through its flowering patterns. In the winters sun couldn’t get away from those dark clouds. They would stop it on every step and cover it until sun drowns again. But the spring’s sun cherishes us with its mighty light. Also there is swirling of breeze in the mornings and its coldness feels good at times.
There is a beautiful plus marvelous kitchen garden in the realm of our house. It is a small and unique ‘enterprise’ of my mother. It’s not maintained for commercial purpose sand it doesn’t earn her money. The joy of working everyday in the kitchen garden keeps her happy. It is diverse in vegetables. It is specially maintained by my mother. She looks after it as her child. The kitchen garden is demarcated into equal parts. In each part, a particular vegetable plant grows. Mainly Kashmiri ‘Haakh’ can be found in most of the parts. A way is also steeped on the boundaries which become a way to go through the garden. The garden is exuberant in its own way.
Near our house there is a local park of the town. Children these days are playing cricket in it. I could clearly hear the noise of children when I’m home. They find it easy to play there as they don’t have to go far for playing. They call their friends, assemble and then there are sudden noises of ‘Out-Out’ in middle of the game.
Few days ago, I went to a place in my town. Its beauty was such magnificent that it will last in my memory. It was located amidst the forests and mountains and Jhelum River gliding in between. The encompassing was full of yellow flowers. A bridge connected the two places under which Jhelum swerved. This spot was far from the forests but one could have the sight of those as if they were near. I called it ‘the valley of yellow flowers’.
As I sat beside the river Jhelum, the fragrance of yellow flowers rose in the air. It felt pacified. The breeze swirled through my body and I felt its moistness. There were anglers too with their hooks spotting trouts. One could not ask them: are you done with fishing? Toward the west, the sun struggled. It was the time for it to set. But its last rays shone as they dwindled on the waters of Jhelum. After brief skirmish I saw the sun dying behind colossal mountains and its light disappearing from the water. Then there was no sign of life of light.
Most days I usually watch the sunset either from the window of my room or hills of the town. Sunsets are beautiful too. While I watch sunset on the hill, I could watch the darkness slowly creeping in and light leaving us. Then there are days when I watch it from the window of my room.
Now as the spring has returned with its colors and joys, I want to stop the time and remain static in its ecstatic motion. There are also frequent rains sometimes which should also remain. I want to remain alive in the colors of spring, the whispers of breeze, murmur of streams and cloudless open sky, so that the death doesn’t spot me.
—The author studies English Literature at the University of Delhi and can be reached at: email@example.com