Tuesday, October 30, 2012

AUTUMN LEAVES


Here is something I thought about, that is going to tickle and delight your heart and mind. Oh oh… no.. Don’t get too excited though as I am not going to tell you anything remotely new or ground-breaking. I am sure it is going to be déjà vu for most of you. (But wait wait.. don’t run away. Please read on! :P) Imagine asking your child to draw a tree. Ah.. I see some nostalgic smiles there. Well… what do you do? You give her a nice big sheet of paper, drawing pencils, crayons of different colors and even paint brushes and water colors if she is a pro.

Now I am sure your kid is not new to such an exercise but would nevertheless enjoy another opportunity to unleash her creativity. So the child goes about effortlessly outlining the tree as she has done several times in drawing classes at school. She carves out a broad trunk for the tree, designs the branches generously and then carefully and delicately fills them with leaves. Then she throws in some fruits and may be gets fancy with birds, squirrels and other potential inhabitants too. If she is a stickler for detail, she may even go underground chalking out the roots.

Then what does she do? Well… she turns towards the crayon box or water colors that have been lying there craving for her attention. It is time to add some color in the tree’s life. It is only very fitting as trees add so much color to our lives. She starts with the trunk and works her way up to the leaves. She picks her favorite color green and splatters it all over the leaves. Now she looks at the box: there are so many colors left, she thinks.

So she picks up her favorite maroon and starts pondering. After a bit of debating, she decides to color a few leaves with this new exciting color. She takes a look at it: Not bad, she thinks. The few specks of maroon have added to the beauty of the tree. Now she gets even more creative. She mixes yellow and orange to get the golden tinge. She adds some glitter to the tree by decorating some leaves in gold. She is not yet satisfied. She does some more blending and comes up with some purple, golden brown and dark red leaves as well. Now she looks at her work of art with great bliss. She seems quite pleased.

It is time for some “show-off”. She comes running to you to display her wizardry with the brush. You look at the tree and for a moment you are shocked. You were expecting a “green” tree fresh and full of foliage. Now here is your kid who has sort of made a rainbow out of the tree. But then it strikes you (hopefully; otherwise there is always Wikipedia) that there is a season called autumn, which we had once read about when we were in 1st or 2nd standard. Your child has unknowingly but ever so beautifully crystallized a tree that displays “Fall Foliage”. Isn’t that magical? That is why they say: “Children are God’s greatest gift to us”. They can see the purity and splendor of God’s creations better than us.


Now you might be wondering why in the first place I am writing all this. I don’t know either. This week I have been noticing the first glimpses of autumn and the gentle rustling and crumbling of the leaves as they sweep across me made me think about it. The trees around have been slowly but steadily becoming more and more colorful and against a grey sky on a rainy evening, they sure look poetic. And they keep distracting me. There was this simple question as to why all this happens in my mind that has kept me intrigued. By now, most of you would be aware of my intelligence quotient. So after having unsuccessfully raked my brains trying to understand the “Autumn leaf phenomenon”, I sought the help of none other than Professor Eisenkleiftovich! I know you guys would have missed him and his genius. He is busy with his research on “Martian sand” but promised to make a full fledged appearance soon.

So here is an excerpt from what he had to say about “Autumn leaves”. As usual he was a bit philosophical too.

“We always think (such a misplaced thought) that we are the only ones who can think. But it would come as a surprise to many of us to know that even plants have “Intelligence”. First of all, as we know, they not only produce food for themselves, but also for us. And by food for us I meant “Oxygen”. Leaves are nature’s food factories. Well, as you would know, “Photosynthesis” is a phenomenon wherein leaves use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. They keep the “glucose” for themselves and gift us the Oxygen.

Now every factory has a shutdown. As summer draws to a close and autumn comes by, the days become shorter and shorter and the trees know and sense that winter is coming. During winter there won’t be enough sunshine for photosynthesis and hence the trees will shut down and live off of stored food. Now a leaf is green because of chlorophyll and its abundance dominates and masks any other pigments present in the leaf and “Chlorophyll” is the “Photosynthesis” guy. So now since he is not needed, he slowly disappears from the leaves and other guys start showing up. And that’s when we start seeing the yellows, oranges, bright reds and purples. If you want to know more about the science, do visit the references and enlighten yourself.”

So that was Mr.Eisenkleiftovich for you guys giving me some “leaf” gyan. Now it is time for me to signoff on this lovely Friday afternoon as I leave office early to take my parents on an autumn “leaf peeping” tour in the evening.   


And I shall leave you with a lovely poetic welcome to Autumn by a dear fellow blogger Rahul. You can read it here: Welcome Autumn.


P.S: Did I mention to you that after I wrote the article “An Alternate Hypothesis to Einstein’s theory of relativity”, I got a post-card from the man himself! It read: “Nice try, fella!”

References:


85 comments:

  1. Lovely.....the write up unfolds beautifully, drawing one deeply into the colors of autumn.Beautifully written, Raj!

    This one reminds me of a wonderful quote:
    " Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
    George Eliot!

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    1. Thank you so much Panchali. :) The colors of autumn bring enormous bliss to the heart and the magic the season creates in just so soothing to the eyes and heart. :)

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    2. And thank you so much for that soulful and beautiful quote. A fitting poetic tribute to the autumn season. :)

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  2. Did you take the pic? One of the most beautiful fall pics I have seen. Unfortunately, for us fall comes in late and can hardly see all the beautiful colors. Beautiful post from a beautiful mind :)

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    1. Hi Latha.. no.. I didn't take that pic. :) I am not that good. :P I had picked it up from the net. Yeah.. it was a fascinatingly colorful pic.

      Oh.. when does fall come for you? I wish you would see some of the colors. :)

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  3. Welcome Autumn :D that was a nice Gyan :D thanksssss Raj :D
    and Loved the way your described the kid painting a tree I fully visualized it brilliant.

    And for the note in PS hello we dont believe all that you say ;) scan the card and post it here!!!

    :D Happy Autumn RAJ :D

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    Replies
    1. And thats a fantastic poem by Rahul sir!!!

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    2. Thank you so much Ramya. Autumn indeed fills your life with lots of colors and your imagination takes flight. :) And as for the gyan.. thanks to Prof Eisenkleiftovich and google/wikipedia.

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    3. And yeah.. Rahul's poem was a fascinating tribute and a wonderful welcome to this beautiful season. :) A wonderful read indeed.

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    4. He he.. how come you not believe such a truthful soul! :P I can't scan Einstein's postcard. It is from heaven and its ink cannot be scanned! :P :D It is only for my eyes.

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    5. :P Now I know how truthful soul it is :D ;) Enjoy madi!!!

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    6. Errr.. you mean myself or Einstein? :P

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  4. A beautiful thought from a beautiful mind for the beautiful weather of Autumn, Raj! A big thanks for linking my post to your lovely blog post!

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    1. Thank you so much Rahul for the wonderful compliment. :) And you are most welcome. It was an absolutely fascinating poem.. :)

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  5. We hardly see fall in India, Raj! In Bangalore, the trees and plants are always green :). I recently visited Ooty and went through a lush green forest and lush hills. And, then we will straight go into a winter. About kids' drawing, you are right on target. I have two sons who do some pretty creative (read weird) kind of drawing. With them one can never say what will finally turn up on paper :). They seem to have inherited their skills from my brother who used to do some form of modern art in his drawing. I had to mostly redo all his biology diagrams :).

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    1. India has a different kind of seasonal beauty. Lush green makes our heart serene. We don't quite get the colors of autumn in many places. So it has indeed been a very different and refreshing experience to see all the trees adorn such fabulous colors. :)

      oh yeah... children are so fascinating. Their creativity knows no bounds. I remember my dad redoing all my drawings when I was young and I also used to be jealous at his perfection! :)

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  6. Lucky u to witness such a lovely view of nature.. Here in Karnataka I never saw leaves with so many different colors.. They are always green.. I am sure your parents are definitely going to enjoy the autumn "leaf peeping" tour.. Great write up as always :)

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    1. Yeah.. I am indeed lucky to witness such magic of mother nature. In India, it is the lush green that symbolizes the beauty of our nature. But the colors are fascinating in their own unique way. :) Yeah.. my parents were thrilled by the colors and since the time I wrote this, we have gone out on a few leaf peeping tours. :)

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  7. Nice one.. I was just taken back to the days I witnessed such a colorful fall. It really is a beauty of nature. Nice post.

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Ashwini. :) I am glad you too got to witness the beauty and color of fall. It is one mesmerizing experience. :) Glad you liked the post. :)

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  8. What a great lead up to a wonderful post on such colourful season! And thanks for Professor Eisenkleiftovich now I know the mystery behind the changing colours :)

    I have seen the glory of autumn in Chandigarh and the first time I saw the colours I was so happy I was grinning like an idiot while trying to pick up as many coloured leaves as I could. Lovely lovely shades of every kind from green all the way to maroon and beyond :)

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    1. Thank you so much for this lovely comment. :) I have heard about autumn in Chandigarh but I have never had the opportunity to experience the magic. Despite being very close while studying. I am glad you have experienced the beauty of autumn there. I hope soon I also get to enjoy that. :)

      hee hee.. Eisenkleiftovich is always full of gyan, isn't it? ;)

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    2. Tell me, how you came up with the name, though :D

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    3. Prof Eisenkleiftovich?? :P he hee.. I don't even know how I came up with it. I wanted to have some nerdy name and some relation to Einstein! :P So this came out of a figment of my imagination! ;)

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  9. Fall is nearly invisible in India but I did witness it in Chandigarh in full bloom and those memories stay with me. This post of your reminded me of those times...

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    1. Ahh.. am so glad you have had lovely experience of fall in Chandigarh. That is one magic I would love to experience. :) Am glad this post reminded you of those blissful times. :)

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  10. You got to come over here sir , stay with me for a few days and the uk country side is awesome at the moment .. It is exactly as the picture you have embedded in the article.

    nature is so beautiful and each season has its own charm.. I have not had time to go out and click pictures .. but you come I will take you there :)

    You know I have a plant in my garden that changes its leaves as weather changes at the moment its BRIGHT RED.. lowly it will go ot yellow now and then as summers come it will be all green ..

    Hope your parents enjoyed the tour :) my regards to them
    Bikram's

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    1. Sirjii... thank you so much for the lovely invitation. So kind of you. I would love to come and stay with you, to experience the beauty and color of your countryside and also to feel the warmth and kindness of your wonderful heart. :)

      Wow.. I would love to have such a colorful plant. I am sure it brightens up every day of yours. Do share a pic of that plant.

      Yes.. my parents really enjoyed the tour and we have gone again a couple of times to see the lovely colors.

      And I shall definitely plan to make the trip to come see you. :) Thank you so much for your kindness. :)

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  11. That was a thought-provoking take on Autumn. You built up expectation bit by bit as the child drew up a tree and sketched out its various components and inhabitants. Then the child gets creative and her experiment with colours turns out a miraculous painting. Of course, the parent, perchance in the autumn of his life, frowns automatically as if hard-coded, realising eventually that she has captured the essence of Autumn after all! I am taking liberty to quote William Wordsworth:

    My heart leaps up when I behold
    A rainbow in the sky:
    So was it when my life began;
    So is it now I am a man;
    So be it when I shall grow old,
    Or let me die!
    The Child is father of the Man;
    I could wish my days to be
    Bound each to each by natural piety.

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    1. Thank you Umashankar for summoning Wordsworth with his soothing poetry to delight my senses. :)Refreshingly beautiful lines.

      You have captured the essence of the post and the essence of autumn so beautifully through your lovely words. Thank you so much for the lovely comment. :)

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  12. I have spent just one autumn in the US when I got to experience all of those rainbows on the trees....Its definitely a poetic sight!! Lovely article Raj....

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    1. Ahh.. that was a poetic comment Jaish. :) Rainbows on trees.. beautifully said. :) Yeah.. Autumn indeed is a fascinating experience and a delight to our senses. I am glad you got to feel it. Thank you so much for the lovely words. :)

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  13. very nice post Raj, new to your blog, glad I discovered it!

    'when air becomes crisp
    dyed in various shades
    when leaves claim ground
    autumn is here to stay!'

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    1. A very warm welcome to you here Meenakshi. :) I am so happy you found the blog and thank you so much for those lovely words! Poetic and serene. :)

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  14. Replies
    1. Ah... thank you much Maitreyee. :) Every visit of yours is so special for me.:)

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  15. Your lovely words and the beautiful picture sync perfectly. :)

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    1. That was such a heart warming comment Akshay. I am so glad you loved it. :)

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  16. Awesome post on autumn!

    You know what!? I can very well relate to the drawing part you've described. Last month, I drew a tree. When I was about to color, I thought why to color the leaves always green, Let me try different colors!

    It ended up like this

    I actually didn't plan to draw it as autumn....But now, While reading your post, I got the feeling that I unknowingly drew the feel of autumn!

    This post made me happy :) Thank you :D

    Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.
    ~ Albert Camus

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    1. Valli.. I am sure you would very well be able to relate to the drawing part. You are such a fantastic artist. I am in awe of your drawings and paintings. So vivid and colorful. :)

      I am so happy that this post made you happy. :) It means a lot. :)

      And thanks for that lovely little quote. It was just perfect. :)

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    2. And yeah.. I saw that lovely tree you had painted. So much similar to the one I had described. :) The drawing made my heart smile. And you have colored it beautifully. Lovely! :)

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  17. Your narration and the accompanying pic are both enticing.I like autumn because it heralds the coming of winter.

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    1. Thank you so much Indu. I am so delighted by your lovely comment. Yeah.. I love autumn a lot. Every season has its unique charm and autumn is indeed a season of colors and then it makes way to the white carpet of snow that winter brings along. :)

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  18. A wonderful description of the season, an amazing photo and, being a geek, I love the Professor's take on it too!!

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment. Am so glad you loved the writing. :)

      I am a geek too. The professor has a unique take to most things which I find very intriguing. :)

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  19. Lovely and enlightening post. Unfortunately the yellow and orange fall season does not exist in Hyderabad but the skies are brilliant blue and the ground is misty white in the mornings.

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    1. Ahh... thank you so much Sandeep for the beautiful comment. Yeah.. we don't have too much of autumn in India but there is enough beauty to compensate that. Yeah.. I remember the beautiful mornings in Hyderabad. They have a unique charm. Thanks for bringing back those memories. :)

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  20. Loved how you associated that picture with a wonderful short story, Creativity at its best you know :-) and this does look poetic and even inspires people like me, the amateurs to write ;-)

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    1. Thank you so much for that lovely lovely compliment. :) Sometimes nature mesmerizes you and makes you write things. ;) So I guess the credit is not mine.

      And you are a fantastic writer yourself.. And I know nature inspires you very much as you write such beautiful posts about it. :)

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  21. Very evocative but I felt you should have stopped at "Only they can see the purity and splendour..."

    Unfortunately, Autumn is the prerogative of a selected few. In India this season lasts barely a few weeks and we certainly don't get to see the gorgeous hues of ochre.

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    1. Yeah Purba.. I agree with you. That would have made more sense. :)

      Yeah.. Autumn in India is a rare sighting in very few places. But I guess there is enough beauty to compensate. :)

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  22. Raj, you do have a 'beautiful mind.' :)
    Hey, and thanks for the leaf gyan eh. I'd almost forgotten all of that. I hope you had a great fall-colour trip that evening. Where are the pictures?

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    1. Divya.. thank you so much for that out of the world compliment. You really made my day. :)

      he he.. All credit for the leaf gyan goes to the Professor. I had forgotten all about it as well. :)



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    2. oh yeah.. the fall color trip was superb. And we did it two or three times again after that.

      Didn't take too many pictures.. but there would be some.. I can surely find them. :)

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  23. Okie so I am in one of those trees! why? becuase you just blew me away with those story sir! I regret being away from blogosphere! Such good things I miss reading always. I dont want to go away again now.

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    1. That was such a beautiful comment Jenny. :) You just made me so much more happy.

      Yeah. I missed your wonderful writing so much. Welcome back and don't go away again. :)

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  24. Autumn is my favorite season- loved how you approached this blog post! LOVED the pic you chose- and of course, the professor...it is always a treat to hear his wisdom ;)...really great!

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    1. woww.. first of all.. welcome back Anjuli. It has been such a long long time. :) Your comment has made my day today. I am so delighted that you liked this. Autumn has such an effect on us. :)

      And yeah.. the professor is always fun, isnt he! :)

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  25. That was nice to read! Autumn is colorful..that makes it special.

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    1. Thank you so much Abhinav. Yeah. Autumn is indeed so colorful and special. Makes the heart flutter. :)

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  26. One warm way to welcome autumn!

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    1. Thank you so much Kappu. :) Glad you liked it. :)

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  28. well, i am not the right person to comment on this post. as a matter of fact, i thought i wouldn't understand the essence of it. however, it turned out to be an absolutely absorbing read. thank you so much for writing this lovely lovely post!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Deb... Every comment of yours is very special. :) I wouldn't write anything nerdy that one couldn't understand, trust me! Because I cant! ;)

      Am so delighted that you loved this one. Thank you soo much. :) And I am so glad you are back with a bang! :)

      Delete
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  30. Children have much more observation than us and the paragraphs in the beginning reflects how we adults live bonded in popular beliefs, we have to break free. I agree, the fall is very poetic. The touch of Prof is lovely, though the spellings of his name is difficult to remember.


    Good work Fella! Autumn is truly inspiring and Rahul Sir's poem is beautiful too :)

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    1. You said it beautifully Saru. :) Children have a very beautiful and simple perspective about everything and they see a lot of things we ignore. They are not bound by the invisible chains that stop us from flying free. Yeah.. Fall is magical and its magic is becoming bigger every time I experience it. :)

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    2. he he.. Prof's spelling is indeed difficult. I don't know.. probably I spell it different every time. ;) And you got the "Good fella" accent perfect! ;)

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