To be a sentimental martyr

T Siamchinthang

Getting sentimental by looking at nature around can be quite natural and often leads to an outburst of our feelings. The rising sun, the cool breeze, the sound of rain pitter-pattering on the rooftops, the hazy twilight beyond the hills etc can make one feel nostalgic. Nothing makes me more nostalgic or rather sentimental than basking under the autumn sun. The falling leaves, the naked trees and the change of weather due to the onset of winter season makes me feel like humming a sad song. Especially from the window of my house here in Aizawl, I can see greenery all around getting enveloped in hazy mist. If I had the voice of Kishore Kumar, I feel like humming songs of love lost never to be found again. Songs that remind me of the days gone by. No wonder, my DVDs play only sentimental or instrumental these days. I hope you get the feeling.

A walk especially on the countryside at this time of the year can be very exhilarating. The bevy of women with their prized vegetables behind their back against the backdrop of the setting sun is enough to inspire a thousand artists the likes of Pablo Picasso. The calm streams, the silent tall grasses, the birds returning to their nest, the call of the insects after dusk can fire the imagination of the likes of Javed Akhtar to fen a thousand lyrics. It can make people like me, a sentimental fool, to think of things that can only bleed the lonesome heart.

Autumn also symbolises the end of hard labour for the sons of the soil who toiled endlessly for a bumper harvest. It is the time of the year where they can put down their hoes and forget the cares of the world. For the Chin-Kuki-Mizo, its Chavang Kut times which celebrates life, love and happiness. In the olden days, they dance, sing and make merry with bamboo mugs full of frothing rice beer. Imagine, the hills being alive with songs and dances that can go deep into the night under the serene autumn moon.

If a spring brings hope and charity, then autumn heralds the realisation of how much one has achieved. Its time for retrospection on what we have done and how things have enriched other’s and ours lives. It is also the time to look back and laugh at our silly mistakes and learn a lesson or two from them.

As the world around us begins to take rest and go into a deep slumber with winter approaching, it is a lesson for us to learn how rest and peace is necessary in our life. We need to learn what being sentimental is all about. We need to have self-examination and learn to keep ourselves from the busy world for a while. If Mother Nature can take a rest, why should we not.

Forgive me if I sound like an old sentimental fool. But the climate and the weather forced me to be just lonesome for no reason at all. But if being sentimental is a big crime, I do not mind paying for it. I am ready to be flogged a thousand times on my back for my misdeeds. And I am even ready to walk with my heads high down the scaffold gallows to become a sentimental martyr.