Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welkom lente!!!

Yesterday was Gudi Padwa, the first day of the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra. The festival heralds the beginning of Vasant Rutu or spring.
On a long walk yesterday through Eindhoven I noticed that spring was slowly drawing her curtains with coy bursts of purple, white and yellow lilies on lawn carpets and in gardens all over the city. Wood pigeons and turtle doves were cooing with delight and the numerous ducks and coots were sitting on the banks of the Dommel sunning themselves.
The weather is now turning warmer, the sights greener and suddenly people seem to be crawling out on the streets like insects crawling out of the woodwork after a good fumigation turning otherwise deserted afternoon streets abuzz with activity.
It was 15 degrees today in Eindhoven, the warmest day so far since I've moved here and I couldn't let such a sunny day pass without stepping outdoors.
While our basil and daffodils sunned themselves in our balcony and the mushrooms sweated over a warm bed of sauteed onions and garlic I wore my walking shoes and stepped out in the sun.
Dressed in my new skin(I traded my thermals & woolen jacket for a plain T-shirt & Jeans) I walked to the Philips Jongh park which is a 30 minute walk from home. I wasn't the only one with that plan. I crossed lovers on the park bench, old ladies with their terriers, the mommies with their children and old men in wheelchairs. Many dog owners with their pooches of myriad breeds played on the lawn. The dogs seemed to have caught a whiff of the change in weather and today they seemed a little more boisterous than usual.
I walked around for almost two hours listening to the birds, smelling the air, treading softly on the long-dead maple leaves under huge trees that wore the promise of their replacement.
Finally I decided to sit down on a park bench for just a while penning my thoughts before walking back home and in my very limited Dutch scribbled on a note pad 'Welkom lente'.
(Written yesterday sitting on a park bench at the Philips Jongh Park, Eindhoven)