Today is the first day of December, my favourite month of the year. The most important reason for this is that it is the month which marks a periodic checkpoint in my life, giving it a sense of progress and growth. In other words, my birthday falls in this month! But if I were to widen my view and look down the various alleys of my life, I would still find December to be most favourable, the one month which brings a smile to my face. The year may have begun in January, but that is one month which only gives me a sense of time. I mean, January. So? It’s a new year. So? You gotta add 1 to the year you thought you were living in. Nothing more, or less, to that. Apart from telling me January was done with, February gives me a sense of freshness and rebirth. It is as if I were trapped in the all-pervading and ruthless claws of January, confined in the memory that time is just passing. Living in January is nothing like this, but these are the only things February tells me off. It must be angry that it couldn’t to be the first month.

March! March has always been white (swift), red (bloody), and blue (inspiring mania) to me. The days seem to just pass me by, even if I lay in a stupor in my room. Since I haven’t completed my education as yet, all these could be because it’s the last month before the examinations set in in April/May. I mean, March seems onomatopoeic to me. Away from the grasp of January, away from the melancholy of February, a new beginning to set us all off in the new year. March should have been the first month, even if it then poses a threat of assuming the overbearingness of January or the pride of February. To say March is here brings to mind the hammer and sickle of the Red Army, the eagle of the capitalists, the towering fortresses during the Dark Ages, a ceaseless clamour that is the voice of the people. Having lived through the first two months, the third one seems to say, “I am your King now! And I am a just King!”.

But all good things must come to an end. And they do with the advent of April, a queen so fair and deceitful that you only risk the possibility of betrayal. The summer is promised, but warm days don’t seem to prevail. You wait for the sunrise to begin sooner in the day, but the nights only yawn away even as you stand guard over the eastern horizon. April defeats the white of March, and brings it down to being the colour of a lily. April makes you sink into your couch in hopelessness – you have now lost the will to push on no matter what. Don’t you hear the name? April. So soft. Eight more months to go till you can hope for it, but in twelve, you will wish it hadn’t shown up. April is a tautology that speaks otherwise only in the puppetry of fate.

May. Ambiguity? I don’t know. The summer is hinted at again, but when warmer days do show up, you can mark the difference between this benevolent month and its vile predecessor. I can wake up in a morning of May, and walk out the door, into the streets, on and on till I am prompted to turn back for breakfast, lunch, or whatever it may be. “I understand what you have been through, but you will have to forgive me for my silence. I am just a month in twelve, and all I can hope to do in good faith is leave you alone”. Aahhh… don’t you think those words inspire a belief in you, a belief in yourself? In leaving you to deal with your wounds, May has so magnanimously offered to be around for thirty-one full days, while at the same time only coming to define the margins of the pages of your life: the month when you can think of scripting your own future.

In class 12, I had attended these IIT-JEE preparation classes, and we had an eccentric professor of inorganic chemistry handling one of the sessions. He said he thought the periodic table was a table comprising more than just metals: he said it had musical notes! It was never Iron, Cobalt, Nickel. It was always “Iron-Cobalt-Nickel”, with a little uplifting lilt in between to imbue a feeling of impending joy. And so is June-July-August! One for all and all for one, Athos, Porthos and Aramis have not only found themselves preserved in literature, but in time as well! June begins just like its name: a consonant neutral in its standing, not like the ‘M’ in ‘Mordor’ or the ‘I’ in ‘Imladris’, but just a silent, poetic, reasonable, and just ‘J’; going on to inspire a continuity with an end in ‘E’, an extension of the peace of May. July, which, for all I care, is the brother of June, prefers not to disturb the system, instead choosing to concede another month of ‘J’! However, August does not wish to portray a difference. August. Hmm… the name. Like the winds of change. A preparatory phase before you enter the sorrows of September. August demands that you stop and consider, but only for your own good, the road upon which you will now begin to travel. For the next three months do not ordain well.

The month with the longest name, September will always come to represent the beginning of an attempted contrast between itself, the orange of October, the green of November, and the dawn of December. Don’t you see it? The cunning that February couldn’t show in the disguise of its sorrow laden days, the deceit that April couldn’t guard in the folds of its betrayal, come forth in all their glory in the stretch of September. In my mind’s eye, I think you would see a dark smear on the pages of these thirty days. But there is something you should know before you move on to defile the ninth month: September doesn’t mean any of the things it happens to be the cause for. They happen because of the misguided expectations of man. When he is allowed a reprieve in the form of May, and a fulfilled promise in the form of the summer months, he only always asks for more. Schools have reopened, offices have reopened, life as it is has reopened, and mankind only ignorantly drowns in the utopia that is life as it should have been. But there is no such thing as a free lunch!

Did I say the ‘orange of October’? Interesting. I don’t know where that came from. But if the year were a parchment of old linen lying idly on my lap, the section that is October would have appeared faded. But I do know the reason for this fading: it is a decline of glory, a surrender. October has thrown up its arms in frustration. Time can no longer handle the foolishness of man. Something must be done. And in walks November, amidst drum rolls and crashing cymbals and roaring lions.

November is here, fool, and you will now learn your lesson! Despair not, for it is the will of Magnanimous Time that you deserve a second chance!

Remember the scene from ‘Lord of the Rings’, where Gandalf rides down the dunes with Eomer, leading the Rohirrim, beside him? And then the Uruk-Hai gather at the base with outstretched pikes and spears? And then Gandalf flicks the switch on his staff, whence pours forth a blinding light whose brilliance is stacked with the rising aura of the eastern sun? And then, the Uruk-Hai withdraw their pikes while they shield their eyes? Well, just cut out the light and aura parts of it, and you should quite a few horses succumb to the pointy sharpness of the pikes. That is November for you. You did not heed August; you must heed November. Stop to reconsider. Just once. At least once. One more month to go, and God knows which other month you eagerly wait for, but now, only December stands between you and the point of time that will make this year history!

But, you might argue, why November when December should have held these sessions of reconsideration? Why can’t December bear the brunt of the follies of man, and thereby also project a more sharper contrast with January? That way, the first month of the new year can boast of a new face. Let me tell you why.

December is here!

December is here!

December is the end. How many ever starts there may have been in your life, each one happening after a fall, there will only be one end. If you were to observe the flame on the wick of an oil lamp, the fire will gain one last breath of fuel and go out not with a flicker, but in an appreciably small and daring fireball, only to leave you dangling in the ensuing darkness. The analogy? The fuel is the reconsideration of man, the fire is the dawn of December, the darkness is the change imposed in your life by thrusting you to the face of January! December will bless you for what you have done, December will punish you for your sins, and December will vindicate you in the end that is itself. The glee of the triple ‘E’, the impish pranks of but one ‘C’, the wholesome curvature of ‘D’, the imprisonment of ‘M’, the buoyancy of ‘B’, and the conclusivity of ‘R’. What more would you need? A peace loving soul in the hearts of growth, December has not only made itself to be so, but in the ignorantly chosen destiny of and by January, December is your last refuge.

And welcomes you with open arms!

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