A week at home turns out to rush by even before you catch it by the tail,almost in a flash there you are looking upwards at the signage on the airport glowing in the setting sun the letters spelling out DEHRADUN, as you climb out of the wobbly ATR and before you know it, you are back in time watch the sunrise out of the hills as you prepare to catch an early morning flight back at the end of the vacation that sped by. October is the best time to be in Dehradun, well-atleast it is close contest with June( the litchis in June,sometimes add an edge to being home in June perhaps). But October has its merits. With the rains receding, the sun comes out to dry out the musty walls (and piles of damp washing that my mother struggles with through the monsoon and extended monsoon that Dehradun is famous for).
October stands stark,lined with the dregs of the monsoon initially and the mellow sun heralding the onset of winter as the month progress. There is slight briskness to the air early in the morning as the sun begins to shine fearlessly, devoid of the cloud cover that masks it through the previous months. Evenings get longer and pink and peach hues cast their presence across the horizon. It is not time to be swaddled in the scarves , jackets and woolly socks that make up winters in Dehradun, but the nip in the air calls for some extra moments of clingyness with the blanket each morning.
Memories of October are laced with smells and sounds just peculiar to October- of paint , of acrid smoke from crackers pre and post Diwali, of chikki in school being prepared just in time for Founders Day, of frentic excitement and a buzz that takes over as the festival season kicks off. October was always about unpacking school blazers and de-tangling Diwali lights, of hot cups of coffee and watching the trellised shadows of yellowing leaves on the walls.
Chrysanthemums jostle with marigold and the city seems cast in a faint yellow glow-of autumn, of the receding monsoon, of the upcoming festivals and of nature about to welcome a cold winter.