The flower plant beside my window blooms with renewed ecstasy and euphoria every day. I named it Purnia after the scenic forested district of Bihar from Bibhutibhuasan’s Aronyak. Finally, the 12 months of the Bengali year were coming to their end and the first day of Baishakh had arrived, like a pale windflower peeping shyly from across the dense foliage.
It was a foggy morning and like shining pearls, light raindrops frolicked on the rooftop in soft whispers. When I woke up there was nothing but the Bengali calendar dangling from a peg to remind me of the happiness of the New Year. Purnia was still smiling like a child and singing merrily in the drizzle.
Disgusted, I asked Purnia, “You look delighted everyday no matter whether it rains or shines. So how do I know that today is a special one, a day of new beginnings, that today is Nababarsha?”
Purnia answered, “Why, because it’s raining today after such a long time!”
What a stupid answer. Of course I knew that! I further enquired, “So what does that signify? It makes the day gloomier, doesn’t it?” Purnia looked at me as if I was the most spoilt child in the world. Shaking her leaves a bit, she replied, “You human beings are so confusing! Just now, you mentioned new beginnings and the very next moment, you cannot accept a new change in the weather and say that a new change makes the day gloomy for you! I don’t understand, what does rain have to do with sadness, tears and homesickness? A rainy day is just so lovely, so tender and so motherly in its gentle touch! Don’t you feel the raindrops flowing all over you in sweet enchantment, beguiling you?” “I don’t like to get wet in the rain and it doesn’t enchant me the least!”
“The problem with you is that you try to make only a handful of days special for you and the rest are just pieces of worn-out daydreams. You try to mark one single day as a new beginning and that is why you fail to do so. For us, every single day heralds a reason for new enthusiasm.
Every day is delightful for us as each new day sings a song of unspoken dreams and desires within me and I tune in with its rhythm day and night.” I listened and listened till I lapsed into a dreamy silence. I wondered how it would have been to be a flower-plant, with nothing to do but sing all through the day. “Maybe, that is because you have no exams, no assignments, coachings and home works to trouble your head with,” I uttered slowly. “Who said that? I have to trouble my head over a lot more serious things than your foolish exams. I need to collect my food and organise my thoughts to ensure that they’re properly distributed, settle disputes amongst my flowers and frame contracts with the honey bees at regular intervals.” She paused and then continued, “Basically, each one of us has our own business to mind but that should not prevent us from accepting and ushering in God’s cherished gifts into the garden of our hearts. You have so many new years, birthday parties and so many festivals all the year round. Yet half the year, you sit beside me and shed copious tears. But we have no such occasions or so-called Nababarsha but still we are giggling and laughing every day over nothing. Really, human beings are fools!”
I sighed, “But tell me one thing, Purnia, whose problem is greater, yours or mine?”
“But I say, mine!”
And so we continued quarrelling till we both broke into infectious laughter.
Then, I got off my bed to get ready and send my Nababarsha greetings to my near and dear ones. However, one thing I was sure of. It was a novel Nababarsha for me. It had taught me how to live. Purnia had given me a new lesson on how to deal with life. Never will I get bored with life. Even when Purnia will not be there by my bedside window, she will be there in my dreams, in my heart and in my understanding. Forever.
Class X, Coordinator, Gokhale Memorial Girls’ School