The new coexists with the old – that’s what ancient civilisations teach us. Here’s Mamta’s take on the year has gone by and the New Year coming, as Special Feature, exclusively for Different Truths.
“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you”, says a Maori proverb. While we were waiting for dramatic things to unleash before us and take us to a higher altitude, the last month of the previous year is already is behind us and a brand new package of crispy, crackling new year has been delivered to us to unravel. New calendars, new diaries, new resolutions, new plans and a whole new range of dates, weeks and months to celebrate the new rhythm.
What is it about the new that excites us? Is it the mystery of what will unfold before us, leading us to exciting adventures or is it patting ourselves on the back for the maturity that we gained from our misadventures, making us wiser? Why is the old so willingly discarded and abandoned, tucking it into the folder called yesterday?
We have all lived in yesterday. There were good things that existed in the past; the budgets were small but the hearts bigger; things that were in plenty were concerned not with material goods. The music, excitement, laughter, and joy was all home-grown. Nothing was synthetic or driven by the market. Family bonding was concrete, unshakable because of personal touch. The children and the aged had a field day because there was always a benign person looking after them without impatient and critical eyes. A staple of storybooks and comics filled the lazy days of summer; not tutorials, tutorials, and more tutorials. The grandmothers and the grandpas whittled away their time, keeping an eye on the entire bustling clan, better than any CCTV, had a sharper memory than a million Giga-byte computer and conveyed messages faster than a fax machine.
Traditions are wearing away now, like a bar of soap; smaller in size though better packaged than before. If a moving advertisement doesn’t remind us to call parents or be home during the festival, we mull over it is a time when the box is thinking for us instead of us thinking out of the box.
It is not about giving a gloss to the past. It is about giving a sheen to the present by retaining the glitter of what was in rich in the past. As we move into the New Year, we should be like Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions. He has two faces; looking into the future and to the past. His name was thus an obvious choice for the first month of the year as a representative of contemplation on the happenings of an old year while looking forward to the new.
Let’s ring in the new, without forgetting the old!
Photos from the Internet
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