Hibernation is sleep, conservation, and a promise that what feels like falling is also about resuming one’s life
Eyram Hamid Khan
Autumn is the annual harvesting season in Kashmir, also known as ‘Harud’ locally. Farmers return to their fields to harvest paddy and saffron, as well as choose several species of apples for export, as the leaves in the valley turn yellow and golden.
Autumn has arrived, and the entire valley is bathed in various shades of red, orange, and gold. Under the shadow of the huge Chinar, which is a fundamental element of Kashmir’s spirit and existence, children rush around eagerly trampling leaves and playing cricket. In the autumn, the chinar trees take on a glistening appearance, and the sight of colourful leaves in shades of crimson, gold, and orange carpeting the ground appears fantastic.
The chinar trees of Kashmir may be found all across the landscape of the valley. In addition, the campus of University of Kashmir is a prominent autumn attraction in Kashmir. The most attractive portion of the campus, especially during the autumn, is Naseem Bagh, which literally means “Garden of Morning Breeze.” This picture-perfect garden, with its thousands of chinar trees, is unquestionably one of the most serene spots. Nothing compares to the splendour of this location in the season of fall. The vast length of the Dal Lake, as well as the stunning mountain peaks in the background, creates an out-of-this-world experience. The fresh wind from the Dal Lake adds to the allure of the garden.
Saffron fields, which blanket the countryside in a purple carpet, are a delicacy of fall in Kashmir. This is the flower that yields saffron, a priceless spice. Farmers and their entire families work in the fields in the countryside, handpicking the little purple saffron blossoms and placing them in wicker baskets. Each flower is then separated into three parts: petals, yellow strands, and red threads. The red strands are used to make pure saffron.
As autumn approaches, tens of thousands of migrating birds from far-flung Siberia, China, the Philippines, and Eastern Europe begin to arrive to spend the winter months in the local water bodies. Kashmir has a distinct wildlife department that safeguards local bird reserves from poaching and human intervention for the benefit of migratory birds.
Autumn is more subdued than summer, with less preconceived notions. It’s also full of beginnings. Even people who no longer attend school have a feeling of starting again: new books, new clothes, new thinking, and cooler, brisker air. The leaves will fall to the ground and feed additional trees. Hibernation is sleep, conservation, and a promise that what feels like falling is also about resuming one’s life, a kind of to use the wonderful phrase of Alice Oswald “Falling Awake”. Yes, autumn is here. And that is reason to rejoice.