The Spirit of Spring.

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Spring is a much awaited time of the year. The word spring rings a bell, brings a smile with its sunshine, warmth, flowers and colors. This season is all about green, growth and renewal of life, a perfect metaphor for the start of good times. The sudden spate of color on the barren trees brings forth all the gaiety in nature and mankind. There is jubilation in the air as the heart revels in the rhapsodic colors and splendors of nature. The Irish descendants have contributed conspicuously to the much awaited greenery around for the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, to commemorate the patron saint of Ireland. The festival is perfectly tuned to the rhythm and color of this season. There is festivity and merriment  with the three-leaf clover shamrock adorning all over the place.  At work the breakfast tables stand testimony to the great temptations of Ireland. 

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The warm freshly baked Irish soda bread with dill butter is often followed by some delectable Shepherd’s pie and smoked salmon at lunch. Relishing on all the mouth watering food prepared by my Irish co worker made me crave for more of their fare. The yearning for more opened up an opportunity for me to take a trip to one of the Irish pubs that I had been eyeing for a long time.  On my way to work I pass by this sleepy town through its main street with quaint shops. Cozily tucked among them is an Irish Pub that caught my fancy. Irish Pubs are known for being not child friendly and this deterred me from taking the fanciful venture for so long. The hype and talk of the grand parade at the New York City, the processions on Main Street, the free flowing Beer parties, the exuberance and joviality around set my soul soaring in a spring spree. Finally, I gave in to the long time allurement of tasting Irish coffee. The eve of St. Patrick’s Day seemed to be the perfect time for my visit. The place was packed with people in green attire celebrating their Irish lineage.  There was the aroma, the political arguing, the LCD screen flashing the Gaelic Football championships held in Cork. Men crowded around the bar gulping the popular Guinness Beer and reveling at their favorite sport. It was their place to drink, eat good food, chat, sing and tap their feet at the traditional music being played. I made myself comfortable soon enough, though I strikingly stood out as the only brown skinned person in the crowd.  The buoyancy of the atmosphere caught me on as I seated myself and watched people enjoy themselves. Here I was, marveling at the raised spirit of the people reflected in the glasses they held in their hands. I remembered the great Irish men I read about, my favorite Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, the Nobel Prize winning William Butler Yeats and even Jonathan Swift of Gulliver’s Travel I read as a child. This made me eulogize the only Irish connection I had through my years at Loreto House, an establishment by the Irish nuns in India. The strictest pedagogy of the nuns had no relevance to the fun loving crowd gathered around here.  I munched on the delicious crunch of the Potato skin with bacon and cheddar, the pork rolls, the traditional corn beef and cabbage menu.  There were choices galore with the bangers mash, roasted lamb and the potato stew.  Soon I swooped down my spoon on the Butter Scotch bread pudding with rum sauce. The food tasted all good. Finally, all the apprehension and anticipation of years for the much awaited Irish coffee with its concoction of Whiskey, Whipped cream and sugar was at my table.  As I sipped my coffee through the layer of floating cream I was already the feeling the warmth of the liquor running through me. It felt divine.  All that week long tiredness and stress I complained about was ebbed away with the flow of the spirit inside me. My feet did not feel heavy and my head never felt so light. The spirit was working its magic on me. I was rocking to the beat of “The Irish Rover” at the lively, cheerful and joyous ambiance.  I was confidently silly, rolling in laughter at the Irish wits I heard around me. I could not care less, I simply enjoyed my time. In short, it was my trip to an Irish heaven.  I jived out of the pub, among the fluttering daffodils and the soft cool breeze kissed my senses and sensibility to euphoric heights. Hail -St. Patrick and his shamrock, the holy trinity in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit (Whiskey). Amen.

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