Hemanta…. or Late Autumn

All of my seasonal posts will begin with my favourite poet and his songs… Here is what Tagore says on Hemanta or late Autumn..

হেমন্তে কোন্‌ বসন্তেরই বাণী   পূর্ণশশী ওই-যে দিল আনি॥
বকুল ডালের আগায়   জ্যোৎস্না যেন ফুলের স্বপন লাগায়।
কোন্‌   গোপন কানাকানি   পূর্ণশশী  ওই-যে দিল আনি॥
আবেশ লাগে বনে   শ্বেতকরবীর অকাল জাগরণে।
ডাকছে থাকি থাকি  ঘুমহারা কোন্‌ নাম-না-জানা পাখি।
কার   মধুর স্মরণখানি   পূর্ণশশী ওই-যে দিল আনি॥

Voice of spring in autumn
The full moon does carry
As if paints floral dreams
Moonlight on Bakul stems
What secret whisperings
The full moon does carry
Enraptured are forests
With untimely blossoms
Of the white oleander
Warbles time and again
The sleep bereft bird
Whose name no one knows
Sweet memories of whom
The full moon does carry

Now is Hemanta, or in English we call it Late Autumn. This is my favourite season of the year, as I am this season’s child, born in November. The cool breeze, slightly chilled air and the morning dew, makes the season dreamy. After Monsoon and Early Autumn the land comes into sight, being drowned under water for nearly four months. The soil is filled with minerals and nutrients it gathered from the flood, thus late autumn is the time to get harvest.

Picnic in early December, at the end of Hemanta. Kushtia 2013
Picnic in early December, at the end of Hemanta.
Kushtia 2013 Photo: Author

During this season, the land is at its best condition. Festivals, we call it Nobanno in Bangla, flourish to celebrate the harvest. As the farmers get their harvest in home, their faces beam with light and laughter as money comes to their home, otherwise gloomy poverty stricken nests. Hemanta or Late Autumn is the forth season of the Bangla calendar. Bangla months Kartik and Aughrohaun make Hemanta. From fifteenth of October to fifteenth of December the breezy cool weather we enjoy is Hemanta.

Bramhapurta River, early hemanta morning. 2011 Photo: Author
Bramhapurta River, early hemanta morning. 2011
Photo: Author

The land and its people come to life during Hemanto. The farmers are the happiest and as they shine, so does flowers. Beautiful flowers like jasmine, water lily, rose, magnolia, hibiscus and bougainvillea bloom during this season. Around the last part of the season the stuffy jute drying smell is replaced by fresh scents of early winter.

Water Lily Photo Credit: Udisa Emon
Water Lily
Photo Credit: Udisa Emon

With the beginning of late autumn, the green grasses are covered with dews during dawn. Pearl like dew drops on grasses, leaves and petals make the nature look stunning as the first ray of the sun falls on them. We experience a much sensible weather in this season. It is neither hot nor cold but very comfortable; however in the rural areas, during night people do feel cold, or rather starts feeling cold.

White Hibiscus Photo Credit: Farzana Sumaiya
White Hibiscus
Photo Credit: Farzana Sumaiya

Nabanno or the harvesting festival is one of the biggest celebration of the season. Jagatdatri Puja, Kali puja, Bhai Fonta, Ras Mela are some of the other festivals people celebrate. Chalta, Star fruit, beetle leaf and most of all Aman rice grows in plenty during Hemanta. As the harvesting ends, feasting begins. Many traditional food items like payesh, naru are made to sweeten the celebrations. Common cold, flue, influenza are seen among people. This is pretty much a pleasant and enjoyable season. Enjoy the best of Hemanta.

Ras Mela taken from the book Reetupedia, page 121.
Ras Mela taken from the book Reetupedia, page 121.

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