Love Letters To Spring: Of Isolated Muses & Longings

Love Letters To Spring: Of Isolated Muses & Longings
Bidisha Mahapatra

“And the days are not full enough

And the nights are not full enough

And life slips by like a field mouse

Not shaking the grass.”

Despite having problematic political affiliations, poet Ezra Pound probably hit the nail on the head with his verse about life slipping away. Deep into the thunderous monsoons, what remains of a spring locked down is its memories. The Great Indian Lockdown seemed to have timed itself perfectly with the advent of spring, and who would understand the lonely longings of the bountiful spring better than one who is at one with nature?

Bidisha Mahapatra, who returned home to nature during the spring season, writes about her initial hesitation and eventual oneness with it in a beautiful love letter.

Addressed to her beloved ‘Phaguna’, here’s Bidisha’s letter, in her own words.

Spring In Isolation

“I write a letter to the season we lost, shedding layers of skin, trying to make sense of the world around us. A letter to a spring spent in isolation.

Dear Spring,

I moved into my mother’s house while you were in early bloom during the month of March. The suffocating heat from the coast of Mumbai, my city of dreams, was one where the dust and soot made all the seasons aloof except monsoon, which was vivid, endless. I packed a suitcase full of clothes, left my job, and flew to my coastal home town in Odisha. The early yearnings of a deadly virus were floating in the air. But I was blissfully unfettered and said my goodbyes without any thought. Time halted the moment I stepped into my old childhood home and you welcomed me with a gush of summer air, wet humidity, and sickly sweet smell. I couldn’t breathe, surrounded by the abundance of flowers, and flooded with memories of earth and rain. I wanted to head back to the city with its bright lights, endless days and blissful ignorance. Home was a trap; I wished to leave the minute I stepped inside and crossed the threshold. While you were glorious in full bloom waiting to embrace me, I had forgotten all about you, like every other faint memory from my childhood. Our house is very old and my mother is a gardener with shears and tools, wildflowers and exotic seeds. She works like an alchemist, day and night propagating roots and feeding worms. Every day, I watched her go through the endless cycle of growth and decay I felt caged indoors. Caged inside a season that I couldn’t quite reconcile with. Meanwhile, painful memories of the people I left behind, the goodbyes I hadn’t said and the freedom I had taken for granted haunted me for days. I wanted to tear through the walls and run. This home was but a testimony to a season I didn’t want to experience. I would sit outside for hours surrounded by blooming flowers and I would run wild during the night with nowhere to go, only four corners of a small garden. A garden that held the secrets of the world but only gave me a taste of bitter nostalgia. I wanted to be free, to go atop a mountain or run in a valley of yellow flowers and make love. Every day that I spent wallowing in your embrace, I realised that there is an underlying frustration, a need to bloom and break free that lives within the happiness of your arrival. It was not a facade but a mirror that reflected my deep sense of isolation. You called for shameless desires slipping into my bones and I had nowhere else to go. So, I dreamt of body and mouth, fingertips — all the while waiting for you to become something else. And in the waiting, I learnt to let go. To exist with you till you became me, flesh and bone.

Now, months have gone by and I have gained the ability to live in pools of harmonious existence with nature. We all have. I have also learnt that vast periods of avoiding our true self or being uncomfortable in our natural habitat makes us feel alienated. I am aware, deep within my consciousness, that you have morphed, transformed into the pandemic itself. Maybe the virus has taken on some of your colours and agility, oh spring! Wherever I go I smell of earth and decay.

I live with an abstract sense of time, and the transient feeling of you leaving. But the flowers outside are still blooming and so is the virus. Everything is spreading despite itself, growing and syncing with the smell of spring.

Your seasonal friend,

Lost, found.

Title: Phaguna ; Medium: Acrylic on Canvas ; Artist: Bidisha Mahapatra


The word for spring,

a remnant from my native land,

rolls of my tongue,

pha, gu, naw.

Phagu is the colour of freshly ground flowers,

marking the eve of Holi.

I trace the tint of decaying blood,

a mud-stained hibiscus,

stamped unto the ground,

with two drops of evening rain.

We celebrate menstruating bodies under a cloudy sky,

every spring, in my mother’s house,

my childhood home,

near the coast,

walls seeping water,

staining stairwells,

The inner corners of a pale wall,

rotten, pink,

moulding green,

vibrant, with tints of turquoise,


The stench of wild mushrooms,

a faint odour of old bread.

These walls, they listen.

And speak.

Title: Portrait with Eyes; Medium: Acrylic on Canvas; Artist: Bidisha Mahapatra

Guna is a trait that defines the soul.

My mother is an alchemist,

garden soil, stinking manure,

bleeding worms, shears and tools,

abandoned dead roses, some alive,

sickly sweet,

exotic seeds and plastic ceramic bugs.

She works in an endless cycle, day and night,

mixing flowers, watering plants, plucking roots,

mixing flowers, watering plants, plucking roots,

mixing flowers, watering plants, plucking roots,

Again, and again,

Her muddy hands, wet and humid,

caged inside a house,

packed like sardines,

fresh sap, leaves green belching,

and flowers crowding,

blooming wild,

demanding space, strangling,


roots spreading, a home for summer bugs,

earthworms, rolling of green walls,

decomposing, death.

Title: Seasonal Bloom; Medium: Acrylic on Canvas; Artist: Bidisha Mahapatra

Naw is nine, nine lives, nine deaths and nine lovers.

Death is a goodbye, never said aloud,

blinding city lights, lovers left behind,

a box of polaroid memories,

murdered with bare hands.

Death is a spring in isolation,

while I run wild,

at odd hours in the night,

in a garden with only four corners,

and nowhere to go.

I look, only for nostalgia,

I beg, only to live,

in dreams.

Death is shameless desires,

slipping into white fermented bones,

as I become one with the soil,

and touch my bleeding vulva,

deep and brown, like krushnachuda.

Death is everything we see,

and everything we touch,

seal your mouth and listen,

deafening, defining,

a new word,

for a new world.

Spring is the season of decay,

alive, only in the voracious deaths,


bursting open the earth,

swarming and seeping into the skin,

breaking free,

springing wide open,

like my stinking body.

I smell like the walls, like the worms,

the sap and the mould,

Time is abstract,

and everything is morphing,






Bidisha Mahapatra is a copywriter, artist and visual communicator from India. She specialises in writing and designing meaningful narratives for the digital space. She has worked in the field of advocacy communication as a copywriter for CSR-led initiatives. She uses her background in politics, art, film and theatre to raise awareness and political consciousness about mental health, sexuality and gender issues.

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