Apr 1, 2013

A is for Autumn !

I have always associated Autumn with loneliness and a feeling of melancholy. Its actually a joyous time in India because most of the Indian festivals like Diwali and Durga Puja come in Autumn. Autumn is also when the weather gods bestow us with perfect weather. The unbearable heat wave and the sticky humid months of monsoon are gone and the days are pleasant and mild. The air is crisp with just the hint of the coming winter in it.

In Summer the Gulmohars and Amaltas turn North India into a flamboyant red and yellow and that is followed by the lush greenery of the Monsoons. But come Autumn and the trees turn leafless and bare.The brown leaves falling from the branches always remind me of tired souls drifting down at the end of their lives. The sun is not as bright and darkness starts creeping in earlier and earlier. It seems that by Autumn, even Mother Nature becomes a bit tired and slows down !

This is a picture I took a few years back in Autumn. I suppose you can see the desolation of the coming winter in it !


It reminds me of a Haiku by the famous Japanese poet Basho. 
Won't you come
and see loneliness?
Just one leaf on the kiri tree

However Autumn took a whole new meaning for me when I went to Japan and experienced it there for the first time. 

Autumn is a glorious time in Japan. The maple leaves turn the whole country into a medley of colors– rust, orange, red, yellow. The colors of Autumn can be experienced even in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka but the true beauty of it can only be seen in the countryside or in places like Kyoto and Nara. Kyoto and Nara are known for their beautiful shrines. The shrines, specially the Shinto shrines are always surrounded by nature so they are usually an oasis of beauty and tranquility at any time but it is in Autumn that their beauty reaches an altogether new level. The whole countryside turns into a palette of colors making the visit to the shrines truly worthwhile. 

I remember spending all my weekends in November and early December going to various places to see the splendor of Autumn unfold.There is something unmistakably beautiful in seeing the leaves turn first a translucent green, then a flaming red or orange and then fade to a light yellow. 

Here are a few pictures I took about 5 years Back. 





Most of the Haiku poets in Japan celebrate Autumn but their poetry speaks of melancholy and Solitude. 

Here is the translation of one of my favorite Autumn Haiku By Basho.

Along this road
not a single soul 
This autumn night

56 comments:

  1. True, autumn is usually associated with melancholy but just like Japan, Kashmir is so very beautiful in autumn. The whole country line has myriad hues of gold and red and that is simply fascinating. Also the weather is simply beautiful too.

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    1. I have always wanted to go to Kashmir in Autumn.Its truly paradise ! It would be great to see Autumn colors in India !

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  2. Fabulous girl. Your post took me across a wonderful hue of emotions this morning. Loved the traces of you in it. And beautiful photography. Can't wait for tomorrow. :)

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  3. Lovely pics and nice post - made me homesick for India.

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    1. But New Zealand is beautiful too !

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  4. Autumn always brings visions of gorgeous weather and beautiful walks in nature, Ruchira! Lovely "A" word:-)

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    1. Thank you Vidya. Glad you liked the post ! I loved walking through the Fall foliage !

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  5. have heard about the autumn hues in Japan from a friend. Nice pics and writing too :) The haiku poems have my attention

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    1. Haikus are usually based on seasons .. and the Autumn ones are usually Melancholic !

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  6. Amazing clicks and a heartfelt post Ruchira :)

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  7. Great pictures. And even greater prose to accompany them! And you are so right about Autumn - so melancholic, and yet all that anticipation around the festivals, celebration and a cozy, woolly winter!

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    1. Thanks Rickie ! Its a lovely festive weather .. as long as we don't get to see drab trees :)

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  8. Lovely pics. Autumn in the Indian context is a happy time. Festivals, weddings and of course the blessed winter. To me it brings joy, not sadness

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    1. You are Lucky then ! I always get melancholic around that time !

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  9. I wish I could visit Japan in autumn, I will one day :) Enjoyed seeing the beautiful pictures you shared, look forward to more of your posts in this challenge.

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    1. You must. Japan is breathtaking in Autumn.

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  10. Lovely Pics!!!

    And like u I too associate autumn with a little sadness and ya, Exams!! God Knows why!

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    1. Thank you ! Exams ... I always associate march with exams !

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  11. This is brilliant, Ruchira. Loved the translated haikus and the fantastic autumn pictures. Looking forward to learning much more from you through this challenge.

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    1. Glad you liekd it Corinne. No post on japan's nature is complete without a Haiku !

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  12. What an awesome ode to Autumn!!! Seriously what a contrast between autumns here and some other countries. Japan has always been in the top of my 'Must Visit' list. And the way you have described it both in words and through photographs, i just can't wait for my chance to visit Japan. Hopefully one fine day. Sigh!!

    and yeah Same Pinch for A for Autumn. :D

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    1. Same Pinch ! You would simply love japan ! Yes there is a huge contrast between Autumn here and in other countries. But as Shilpa pointed out, Autumn in Kashmir is also beautiful !

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  13. Awesome pics Ruchira. The colors changing is so true and can be related to one's own life !!
    Loved ur pics and Japan and CHina are always in my hit list to visit to observe the various traditions , to learn their hardwork etc etc but ya defntly need to make some arrangements for food :)

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    1. Yes they do relate yo our lives don't they ! New leaves always symbolize new beginnings and Autumn always symbolizes the end of things !

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  14. Lovely bright pictures. Yesterday, we went to a quaint little eatery in Gurgaon called Kyoto which serves authentic Jap food. And I love autumn, as long as I can control my sneezing.
    :)

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    1. Thank you Alka ! I simply love Japanese food. How did you find it !

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  15. A gr8 start Ruchira. Now i know when i do get to visit Japan, it must be Autumn :).

    Happy challenge!

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  16. Lovely words and photos. Looking forward to more.

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  17. Love the fall color pictures from Japan. Look forward to your blogathon this month

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    1. Thanks Vamsee. Fall in Japan is truly beautiful !

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  18. Enjoyed the post, but suggest you make your future posts shorter or they probably won't be read, we have hundreds of other posts to visit.

    Thanks for dropping by.

    JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

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    1. Welcome here Jo. You might be right but I suppose the readers will stay till the end if they find the post interesting. I am sure the idea is to read interesting posts and discover new blogs and not just to skim through posts for the sake of reading/commenting !

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  19. I never thought of Autumn as being melancholic...rains makes me. But, I love rains. Nice pictures.

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    1. Rains make me sad too :( Actually it is the lack of sunshine !

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  20. Autumn is lovely methinks. You know as for us in the South, we have only two seasons, summer and monsoon! The pictures are lovely.

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    1. Ahh but then Kerala is paradise in its own right !

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  21. For me too autumn holds mixed feelings. I love the pleasant weather, the joy and spirit of festivals but I dont like the sadness of long nights, approaching winter with a nip in the air.
    Your pictures speak so much! Only pictures I have mostly seen based on Japan are Cherry blossoms.

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    1. Exactly my feelings about Autumn. Cherry Blossoms are really famous in japan and Autumn leaves get over shadowed because of that !

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  22. Autumn or Fall (as designated in the US) is definitely beautiful in cold places!! I'm sure Japan is especially amazing....their whole country is so beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing these lovely photos!

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    1. Glad you lied them ! Japan is a beautiful country !

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  23. Leaves shed and the new ones that sprout..they bring hope and such joy!

    Lovely post, and wonderful pics. Always wanted to go to Japan ( to see the beautiful cherry trees in their full bloom).

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    1. Welcome here Nandana !
      Autumn, Winter and then spring ... Yes it is a circle of life isn't it !
      Cherry Blossoms are really worth seeing !

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  24. Beautiful photos. I love Autumn, well in Ireland anyway.

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    1. Ireland is beautiful at any time.! Welcome to my blog !

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  25. I love Autumn and my reason is festivals. As you said it has the perfect weather and we have weddings and festivals in this season. Even in west Autumn is colorful. Love the pictures and haiku. Looking forward to B.

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    1. Glad you liked it ! Yes I have heard how beautiful Fall is in the west !

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  26. I have been dying to watch fall colors... its in my bucket list

    PS: this is not an long post, if someone tells u that, they havent read some of my posts :P

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  27. Lovely pictures and autumn is my favourite season too!!

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  28. You reminded me of Manchester. The whole city turned so beautiful during fall. That was the time when I truly fell in love with the city.

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