The year is turning soon. From the highways, it was as though South of this country is a glasshouse, separate from the Northern landmass. Days are pleasant here. Sun is soft. October and November are windy and the landscapes appear fluttering like flags in wind. With December, as Brigade Road lights up for Christmas and New Year’s eve, Church Street gets chirpy with youngsters hanging out under the lit boards of the many pubs. Meanwhile, on the same street, the more expensive, fine dining restaurants have the older, middle-aged people, sitting in for conversations and dinner. December ends with sounds of carols from the many churches. The old are sometimes brought along. There are few places that thinks of them and are designed for their presence. Either way, everyone gets to their spaces – drawing rooms or lonely balconies or the happening pub floors. The city gets a little more cold. Never too much to use the down-jackets. Just a windbreaker.
Returned home from the aborted cycle ride to put away this venture for a later time. Pick an unknown highway. That’s the learning. When one knows what comes next, it gets difficult to ride. Familiarity needs a different handling.
A pile of Hindi books are yet to be read. Poetry got read fast. This morning, thoughts were back to writers like Bradbury. The way they wrote about a place. The imagery. The sentiment. And how location affects all of it. Pulled out some, and began reading. His collection The October Country begins with these remarkable lines –
That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.
‘Autumn thoughts’ – a remarkable phrase to get that fall-time sentiment. One lives it and sometimes words follow what was lived. To live and feel as closely as Bradbury, would be a dream.
Year-end has always been a good time to read. These last eight weeks of the year… love them for the ease and respite. A year about to get scored off. An occasion to start again – more rides, more runs, more trails and more reading.