Falguni Days

অতিথি লেখক's picture
Submitted by guest_writer on Thu, 06/03/2014 - 5:27am

I was reading a write-up by a friend on Falgun (the Bengali month that marks the beginning of spring in Bangladesh) where he compared the season and the festivity around it with Vincent van Gogh's "Wheatfield with Crows." A prolific writer, my friend's writing carried me back to the Falguni days I left behind in Dhaka.

Years come and go but I do not get a chance to watch and enjoy the Falguni festivity, something that I so looked forward to in Dhaka. I would always wear something yellow, never a sari though. I am still not comfortable in a sari. I would just wear a yellow salwar kameez and a dozen or so glass bangles. No, no flowers. I cannot recall tucking a flower ever in my hair. Don't get me wrong - I love flowers! I like to give and receive flowers. Anyway, I used to see girls on my college campus and on the streets wearing a yellow rose or a strand of marigold, or just a single marigold in the hair - they looked beautiful! Young men would wear orange, red or some other bright-colored "panjabi." Everything just looked so happy, as if Falgun was there to stay.

The first day of Falgun falls on Feb. 13, the day before Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day never carried any special meaning for me - I believe that love can and should be celebrated every day of any given year. While many would wear red to celebrate the day, I would always wear my regular clothes - it was probably never red - I never wore red much. But Pohela Falgun was a completely different thing - it celebrated the arrival of spring time when cuckoos sang and flowers blossomed.

Spring comes and goes here in America and I don't care. I await spring because spring means that winter is officially gone. I don't even keep a track of Falgun or when it begins here in this country, because it does not matter anymore. I know I would not go out in a yellow salwar kameez, nor would I see young men and women clad in vibrant yellow or orange garments on streets, parks and college campuses. No girl would be caught flaunting her fresh garland of marigold and giggling in front of the guy she loves but never admits.

My days in Dhaka and the first day of Falgun are nothing but pages of a diary now. No, I never wrote the diary - it is just there in my mind. I would turn its pages when I am alone, read a few lines and stop abruptly, for nostalgia only makes you feel go back to the place and time where you know you can never go back.


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