"What's your favourite season?"
"What else other than winter!"
I know the answer yet I ask to see the beautiful smile every time she replies. She loves winter a lot. I asked her to name some winter flowers. "Calendula, Cosmos, Ground Water lilies, Daisy, Dahlia, Dianthus…", she continues. She knows a lot of flowers. Sometimes I wonder if she herself is one!
Renessa and I walk along Fuller road in Dhaka on a cold night in December. We both love this street. We walk slowly, as if the slower we walk, the slower time gets. Fog covers us, trying to separate us two from the entire world. We keep walking and laughing, holding our hands. When we get around TSC, we drink tea. I love coffee tea, she prefers the lemon one.
"After decades from today we will be walking here again, in another December"
"Perhaps we won't be two in number. You know what I mean."
She strikes my head with her fist, blushing.
I discover myself back as Moheen calls. Moheen, my 16 years old nephew, is trying to pick the best book to read and make the best use of vacation. Finally, he decides to pick Harry Potter. Annual exam is over. As soon as it is over, it doesn't really matter how good the exams were. There is a saying 'All's well that ends well'. He nailed the last exam and that's all that matters for now. In cricket, there's a thing called nervous ninety. When a batsman is in his 90s, the closer he moves towards scoring a century, the more nervous he gets. Similarly, students often mess up their last exam for over excitement.
"See! My new year resolution", saying that Moheen hands over a piece of paper to me that shows he is going to be an 'almost saint' from the new year. He sets a number of promises to himself. Won't miss school, won't miss prayer and so on. I read and smile, trying to remember how many new year resolutions I have made and failed to follow in my life so far. Oh god! Maybe this is bullshit or I am a failure.
However, the optimistic vibe the arrival of a new year gives is really overwhelming. At a stage, like at the age of Moheen, we only see life forward. There is nothing named past. When it exists, we don't feel much thrilled about what is coming next, maybe we don't care at all.
"What makes you enthusiastic about the new year?", I asked.
"A new year feels like a new life. As it feels good to be reborn in a GTA game. What about you?", Moheen replied in bright eyes.
I smiled. I asked myself if I should hit the positivity of a young boy. Simply ignored and asked, "When are you going to the village?"
"Oh, the day after tomorrow. Winter cakes, the foggy weather, dewdrops on grass, badminton with cousins… ah it's thrilling me out. Can't wait to go."
My grandma and I are at home. Moheen and all others left for the village. It's covered with fog all around. However, winter made a bit of a delay to reach here this year. It was stuck in a traffic jam maybe- my grandma says.
"What do you see when you look back at your long life?"
After a short interval, she replied, "Decembers".
"What is your most favourite memory with grandpa?"
"Oh! There are plenty. Once we visited Sikkim together, threw ice to each other and ate winter cakes. He was wearing a sweater I sewed for him." Grandma blushes.
"It was a cold afternoon in December", she adds.
Coincidentally, grandpa died in December last year.
December comes and brings back memories of everything we lost throughout our journey of life. There is a weird similarity among time, memories and December- it kills us, again it keeps us alive, I thought.
A decade has passed and Renessa is only a part of my memory now, but the most precious part of it. I said we might not be two in number, we are one today, living lives separately in parallel universes! As if her name was reasonable, as she got lost like the time of Renaissance.
Does December take everyone back to his/her lost love? I am walking on Fuller road, alone. A Bengali song titled "December er shohore" is playing in my earbuds. I am disappearing in fog. We all disappear, sometimes in fog, sometimes in oblivion. But whatever gets lost in oblivion, remains alive in nostalgia.