Tuesday, January 3, 2012
So. Another year is over. 2011 has stretched and twisted its tentacles in our faces and passed us by. And it is time for me, once again, to recapitulate the year that is gone. So sit back, gentle reader, I shall try not to bore you for too long.
One thing that has struck me about 2011 is that it has had more than its fair share of misery and deaths. Everywhere, people we know or know of, have passed away, leaving our lives just that much emptier. Far too many visits have been made to the crematoriums and funerals; the year has been pockmarked with them. And yet, life too has triumphed, joys have walked hand in hand with sorrow, and the children’s laughter has found it’s way into my darkest dreams…..
The year, if you really think about it, passed by in a flash: a flash flood of work and routine that increasingly seems to become overbearing at times. In it all was the usual medley of Isha and Amisha’s studies, their exams, their class work, their projects and all the assorted paraphernalia of two unruly tween girls! I laughed, cried and as usual muddled my way through the trials of parenthood: screaming my head off one instant and teasing them through another. Yes, the girls’ year passed in a cacophony of noise and colours: Isha has made it to the school choir and she wears her badge with pride. Amisha is engrossed in her craft and even I have to admire her very creative creations from time to time! The rest of my children are thriving and well, my nephew left for Canada to study, leaving more space for us in the car when we go out on our mad excursions but he is missed.
And there is always space in our lives for him. My nieces are well and my youngest nephew who turns all of two this month charms everyone with his smile and baby talk.
One of our holidays took us all the way to Kashmir, which was, truly, paradise on earth. This was my first visit and the raw beauty of the place swept me away. I found myself confiding in my husband that this was one place I could actually live in. And that is a feeling that I rarely, very rarely, have for places I visit. We also had two amazing trips to Bandhavgarh-Panchmarhi-Jabalpur and to Guwahati-Kaziranga. The jungles left me wanting more of that birdsong, the stillness, the monkey chatter, the solitude of the setting sun…. but it also made me realise I have become that much older, the dust made me breathless, the cold entered my body and chilled my bones!
And although I never mention politics or world events at these annual diaries, this year I shall make an exception. For the year also saw the deaths of quite a few well-known personalities, Jagjit Singh, Bhupen Hazarika, M.F.Hussain, Pt Bhimsen Joshi, Steve Jobs, Amy Winehouse, Liz Taylor, Shammi Kapoor and Dev Anand, to name a few. No I did not know any of them personally although I had on occasion listened to Jagjit Singh live on stage, but somewhere in my mind forms a picture. It figures all these personalities, jamming and dancing together and having a hell of a party where-ever they are, forever reminding us that life’s too short for hang-ups, life’s too short for grudges.
And of course in India, when you say 2011, you cannot but mention Anna Hazare. The self proclaimed leader of the people who seems to have captivated the hearts and minds of a million Indians the world over. Initially I too listened. For who does not want to eliminate all forms of corruption from our lives, who wants scandals and scams? We are just peace loving individuals and want peace. But then I turned away. I too want a corruption free nation but I am not willing to sacrifice my freedom and democracy for it. I do not agree with Anna’s means, his autocratic diktats and his attempts to hold the country to ransom. On many social networks many of you have asked why I dislike him. I shudder to think that the common man supports him! It will indeed be a sad day for our nation the day Anna Hazare (or someone like him) leads us.
And I cannot help mention the AMRI tragedy, at a hospital right up our street, one that I have visited on multiple occasions, one where Amitesh has stayed twice. Somehow it was too close to home. All that day I remained glued to the news in shock and horror and the next day, for the first time that I can remember, the newspapers made me cry.
Amid all that, Amitesh has become exceptionally busy, I see him less and less as his work hours have increased thanks to his appointment as a government lawyer. Ah yes, I forgot, we have thrown off the yoke of Communism, that too was in 2011! (Though, frankly, if you ask me, the more things change, the more they remain the same……don’t tell hubby I said that!) .
On a personal front, 2011 saw my first book being published, yes, I hope there will be more! It was a moment of joy and pride, especially at the book reading in October. I sat there and gave a silent thanks to all of you out there who believe in me, all you who read through my ranting from time to time and most of all to my dad, who, I still believe, watches over me! And I have been busy too. Not just professional work but also other filial and maternal responsibilities, in fact it got so bad at times that I wished I could just leave it all and run away where the jack hammering of duties and responsibilities could not follow me! (And who knows, maybe someday I will get rid of this Maya lady and just dive into the depths of indifference! Hah.)
Anyway, so while I have been living my sterile life in my sterile tower and being content in my discontent, the world carries on, presumably exactly as it should.
That’s one thing the year has taught me: we are all individually too insignificant to matter. And yet together we make the larger picture. So lets broaden our horizons, stay alive, stay interested and may the new year that stretches languidly in front of us hold joys that we never thought possible. Let’s reach out, share, give. Not of money or wealth but of ourselves.
And yes, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “in the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”