3 Oct

It was 3 a.m. in early October, nine years ago, when I shut my books with finality, picked up my messenger bag and walked out of Bird Library into the night. Shivering as I hurried home, my eyes glanced at the temperature gauge on campus. It showed 51 degrees, the lowest since I landed in June. That chilly memory is my first of what would be many much-loved American Falls.

The seasons ensure you do not ignore the passing of their baton. The evenings get crisper, leaves nightly dip themselves in wine, pumpkins appear at stores and farmer’s markets, and orange-brown-red-gold hues spread their deep, warm glow on the streets, on new fashions, on suddenly-scurrying, back-to-school life.

Memories abound. Of trips to the Catskills. Of freshly-baked rolls. Of a boy on a bus for 17 hours, headed north to see me. Upstate New York runs a-riot, singing requiems for earth-bound leaves. Scarves snuggle against grateful necks and noses sniff the cinnamon-apple scent of preparation.

The Delaware river rushes past us. Everybody’s in a hurry to get to the City! But wait a while, there’s a town called New Hope. Stay, unwind, explore. It has amber pendants and Mexican flan and carries carefree laughter on its wind. If you look around, you’ll find three Indian girls in hats, grinning into the camera, the future and the sun.

Boston welcomes Fall like a mother-in-law’s sister. Acceptable, tolerable and mostly harmless. Unlike the Dreaded Real Thing. It’s hard to be excited about days that nudge you closer to feeling a knife in your bones. So we pick Halloween outfits (and ‘Indian Princess’ is done to death). And take trips to the pumpkin patch, carve sinister grins and light them up with candles on flickering doorsteps. And eat carrot-ginger soup. And throw in the aforementioned pumpkins. And end up looking like one, somewhere along the way.

Fall, to me, is a sign that life is beautiful, and even though hard times await, nobody’s going down without a deafening hurrah and the planet has it in her to charm the pants off you, even as your senses fade into blindness, deafness and wintry-white oblivion.

15 Responses to “Fall,Stay,Love”

  1. Sands October 3, 2010 at 1:33 am #

    Loved this post! More so because I live in New England, more so I liven Boston 🙂 and fall is for sure my favorite season . New leather bags, high boots, scarves in all shade of brown and orange, warm days and nippy nights. Love it!!

  2. Aunty G October 3, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    The weaver of words has done it again
    Keys on comp as easy as paper under pen
    OJ, you so fascinate
    As Earth does incubate
    A joy to read you — you Woman amongst women!

  3. AnotherKiranInNYC October 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Ahhh Bird library. Walking through campus. My first fall… too, too many years ago (psstt…ok a couple of decades ago). Memories. Thank you for capturing them better than I would have.

  4. Orange Jammies October 4, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    Sands: High boots. Sigh. I brought a pair back to Bombay and they’ve languished for four years.

    Aunty G: Aunty G, you’re supremely kind,
    I’m glad my words help you unwind,
    It makes me blush,
    To hear you gush,
    But go on, do, I’ll try not to mind. 😉

    AnotherKiranInNYC: Are you an SU alumna too?

  5. sukanya October 5, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    Amen , OJ
    beautifully written.

  6. v October 5, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Lovely post 🙂 Nights are chilly and malls are starting to lure ppl with the holiday lanes already.. Fun times ahead 🙂

  7. AnotherKiranInNYC October 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Orange jammies…yes undergrad was SU. In my day SU was a fabulous party school never mind the occasional trip to bird! For a sheltered mumbai teen whose first taste of America was SU, a party school like that was heaven… hehehe.

    Alas and alack, grad school at Ithaca and New Haven was never much fun 😦

    I still miss the landscape of the drumlins and visit sometimes.

  8. Orange Jammies October 9, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    sukanya: Thank you, Sukanya.

    v: *Sob!* 😦

    AnotherKiraninNYC: Drumlins! And Schine! And the Hall of Languages! And my beloved Newhouse! And Crouse College (that I called our Castle in the Air). Wow, never thought I’d be talking about them on this blog. 😀 Can you see my delight? :mrgreen:

  9. RM November 16, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    Nothing makes me miss America as much as your posts reminiscing her do. Big Sigh. But its a good, tugging your heart kind of pain, so Thank you for drawing up such a beautiful picture.

    -RM, An occasional visitor

  10. Orange Jammies November 26, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    RM: 🙂 You’re welcome, O occasional one.

  11. Divya September 8, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    Was just reading this blog….Damn cool to know your an SU Alumna+ Mumbaikar. I graduated last year. All the stuff you mentioned in one of the comments above is still there… Also love love fall in and around the campus 🙂

  12. Orange Jammies September 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Divya: Oh yay! 😀 Orange power! Which school?

  13. Divya September 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    School of Information Studies…which is quite new :D…It used to be clubbed with the Engineering School before. Its opposite to Bird Library :). I’m guessing your from Newhouse na 🙂 ?

    Also : Let’s go Orange 🙂

  14. Orange Jammies September 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Diyva: Yes, Newhouse. 🙂 Hoping to visit at some point. I was all set to be there this May, but had to cancel.


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