This beautiful feeling…this october sky, and the smell of Shiuli dancing with this nip in the air, the anticipation of festivals and lights, of meeting families and friends, of birthdays. This sheer shot of joy to the soul tells you that it’s that time of the year again.

I walk out of the building and realise that there is a nip in the air. It feels very familiar, like that friend who you haven’t met for a long time but loved all along, subconsciously waiting to meet her all over again. And I realise she is here, spread like a blanket over the city, come along with the smell of Shiuli flowers in the air. 

It’s Autumn across the October sky, again. 

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And that means that it is time to slowly heal from our sorrows because the best time of the year is upon us.

The first chill of Autumn is a poet’s dream. The smoky smell mingled with the smell of flowers that have fallen on the street and are still in full bloom, feeds your soul. Somehow, that smell manages to bring back a lot of memories, a lost nostalgia, and yet hints at a hope for everything that is yet to come.

It is ironic that Fall, a season when trees shed their leaves, brings so much hope for so many people: it is in the mellow cold that is actually very cosy and warm, it washes over you as you take a bus ride through tree-lined roads, it is in the euphoria you feel as you shop for various occasions, or put on fairy lights around your house, buy gifts for friends and family, or sometimes simply when you take a solo walk in a park at night. 

This is the time when streets, roads, cities come to life and light up; everyone is geared up for all the shopping, the food, the celebrations, the good times. It’s feel-good factor is something that many people need as a reminder that however bad the year might have been, happy times return. For others, it is beginning to an end of another year, a subtle reminder, a saving grace that time passes, and things heal. 

Maybe the fact that all the wonderful festivals are around the corner has a lot to do with the last quarter being the best time of the year. It all starts with the Navratras, followed closely by Durga Puja, Diwali, Bhai Dooj, all the way to Christmas and then the New Year. 

All of a sudden, everywhere you see, the city is decked up like a new bride. 

The lights, people and the decorations add to the whole pomp of the season. Then there are the melas that pop up everywhere, a whole array of shopping sprees waiting to happen, and we all know how much happiness new things and shopping bags bring. And if not the bags, it is the sweets, if not the meetha, it is the family time, if not that it is just the feeling in the air. A feeling of new beginnings, a feeling that anything is possible. All the positivity does wonders for your heart and soul. 

Somehow time seems to be flying by. Every year someone points out how it is October already and we all collectively marvel at how the years are going by so quickly. But as long as I can remember, every year around this time, something changes. All the people who have been hopeless, sad, depressed, tired, upset…they all get a little better.

There are reasons why Autumn is special. It is an interlude. A glass of wine before you sleep or maybe a lullaby. It is warm when it’s cold. The songs of summer have been sung, Winters are yet to come, and autumn is neither here nor there, and that’s why it has in it to hold everything. Autumn is the wait for better things, a season of change, of hope. 

Maybe it is all in the mind, maybe so many people love this season for so many subjective reasons that we have collectively made it out to be the best time of the year. But I haven’t heard of anyone contesting that fact. Maybe it is the belief that things are changing that make sure we change things, the cause and effect get muddled. 

Or maybe it’s just the smell of Shiuli, and everything yet to come.

Feature image via Purnesh Dev Nikhanj