India has always believed in the harmonious relation between man and forces of nature and the importance of each season has been beautifully brought into light by the great poet Kalidasa in Ritu Samhaara, a poem written by him. It can be called the "Medley of Seasons" or "Garland of Seasons". The Ritusamharam has been divided into six main chapters, each chapter describing vividly, the different seasons of India. The six seasons that have been described by Kalidasa are Summer, Spring, Monsoons, Autumn, Frost and Winters. This poem is much shorter when compared with his other works. To know more about this beautiful poetry called Ritusamhara, continue to read this insightful article on it.
Each of these seasons is described as a pair of lovers who experience changes in their relation like the changing seasons of India. The poem starts with the description of summer. The dry weather and the extreme heat conditions make the lands extremely parched. Everyone yearns for a few drops of rain to soak the soil. But even in this time of extreme heat, one gets joy through mangoes and the cool moonlit nights. There is shown how young women try to entice their men who have lost their passion because of the heat. Their passions are restored and their longing reignited. It is also shown how people travel to faraway places due to work during summers and they get separated from their partners. Their love pangs and unfortunate distance that separates them is described in the poem. Even animals are shown to be going through a relentless thirst, looking for water to quench their insatiable thirst. They even forget animosity towards other animals and roam around in the search of water, letting other fellow animals come and go through their personal territories. There is no fear of getting hunted by the large animals as these big ones are suffering from sharp scorch of the sun. The poem ends with a description of forest fire caused by the heat of the son.
Then come the much-awaited monsoons and the whole of India gets drenched and clean in the fresh monsoon rains. Everything looks spic and span and not a speck of dust is seen anywhere. The black clouds and the rumbling thunder add to the magic of the monsoons. Everything on earth is covered with the darkness of the rain clouds. Animals and birds get affected by this, they cannot contain their happiness. The peacocks break into dance of liberation and freedom, from the heat and misery. The rivers are shown to be flowing fast due to all the water added into them from the rain water. These rivers flow furiously towards the oceans, uprooting every tree that has been growing on its bank until now. The forests look all lush and luxuriant now; there are green trees and delicate flowers everywhere. With the thundering of clouds women are shown to be running towards their lovers because they are scared of it. These women have decorated themselves with flowers and they have put some perfume on themselves. The women who still have not heard from their lovers and husbands are shown to be sitting outside, staring at the thundering clouds—relating the suffering of their longing hearts with it.
Then comes the season of autumn where people look forward to celebrating festivals and spread cheer and joy. Though the weather remains pleasant, the afternoons can be hot and it is almost like a second summer. However, the weather changes and one can feel the nip in the air. This is when the frost season arrives. The sudden nip in the air, the chilly winds in the morning and nights and the biting cold all signify the season of frost. The women are shown donning jasmine flowers in their hair and their ears are covered in blue lotus.
Then comes the more severe form of frost in the form of winter season. The temperatures drop really low and people are seen wearing layers of clothes. However, he severity of winters is not as much as in Western countries. It only snows in the hilly regions and the south of India hardly experiences any winters. It is shown that during the cold nights of the winter season, lovers are shown drinking wine together and igniting their passions with it and lose themselves in the long nights of love making and ardor.
After winters, the weather starts to warm a bit and then comes spring season. This season is popular for the harvest festivals that take place and one can see blooming flowers all around. Thus, the variety of seasons in India is used to signify the changes that take place in the minds of lovers and how they change. Every change has some good and some bad effects, but in totality it is a pleasant feeling.