Murallitharan is a medical doctor from Malaysia and currently a Chevening scholar studying the MSc Health Policy, Planning & Financing, taught jointly by the School and LSE.
“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”― William Cullen Bryant
Arriving this September, the weather in London was still warm and sunny. In fact it seemed that like London had her best face on to welcome us as we started at the School. Having been here to London a couple of times before and being on the receiving end of numerous rainy showers and cold dreary evenings, I for one, was pleasantly surprised. Sure enough the past couple of weeks have done much to undo the memories of those early sunny days of September. Autumn is drawing to an end and Old Man Winter seems to be preparing to wrap his greatcoat around the city.
Yet autumn has revealed another side of London to this newcomer. In my younger days as a student in Europe, I always thought myself to be a lover of the summer. Long days filled with sunshine, lush green parks, bright colours, flowers and fruits everywhere… summer is about life. Older now and perhaps a little more mature (hopefully), I now see the beauty of autumn with a little more clarity. The rich browns and dark reds amidst the fading green, the leaf-littered sidewalks, the smell of freshly fallen leaves, squirrels in Bloomsbury Square hiding away their winter stocks. Autumn speaks to me of hope now, as the trees and the land prepare to sleep for a little while to awaken and live again in the spring.
Amidst the cold, the wet and the tempestuous winds, the city exhibits a different kind of ethereal beauty. Walking past the gargantuan stone edifice of the British Museum you see with clearer eyes the subtle lines of the arches and the warm cosy lights inside. Opposite the School at the junction of Gower street some of the buildings are already decked out festively, ushering in the spirit of the holidays.
In the initial days of autumn I was one of those people pulling close my jacket a little tighter to keep out those gusts of wind and rushing from one warm building to another. Nowadays, I walk slowly to and from the School. Take a little more time to breathe in the smell of freshly fallen leaves. Sit in the park benches in New Brunswick. Watch the leaves fall. Get a little cold and walk into one of the countless little cafes around Bloomsbury to warm myself up with a hot chocolate. Celebrate autumn in the great city of London. Like other things in my year-long London stay , this will be an experience in my book of life.
So join me. Walk around, and find yourself mesmerized with the beauty of autumn in Bloomsbury.