Monday Musings 219 – …and it passed away!
A year passing away is at best a symbolic event, if at all it can be called an event – for in reality nothing really happens on that day. There is nothing big bang about the day, the year passes away in sleep really. So like all his ancestors 2014 also will pass way tonight. May its soul rest in peace.
Each year has its own biography, adorned with events and idiosyncrasies, for each year we give the year an opportunity to swing from the heights of imaginative brilliance to the lows of mind numbing stupidities. It is through this concoction the year acquires a flavor, so distinctly its own. At the end of 12 months, on the day of its passing the specific events are forgotten and may be they are irrelevant, only the lingering taste of it remains. It’s like food. Once the food is cooked and eaten, only its zayka remains. Now zayka is an interesting word – it means a combination of taste, aftertaste and flavor. The question then is what is the zayka that is left behind as the year has passed. That and only that matters.
The counter question is equally powerful – does passing off of a year really matter? What is the fuss about passing off of the number on a measuring tool called the calendar? The sooner we recognize the ephemeral nature of things, people and fortunes, the sooner we shall rest in peace – pun intended. Our significance in the larger scheme of things is always a heightened mirage, a story of indispensability we have been telling ourselves only to delude the mind, quite well knowing that the world will go on even without us, may be a wee bit better. So this soul will drink an extra glass in exasperation while everyone around him will drink in celebration.
I like the internet forward which says it best – “we all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one”. It can be a truly liberating view. In the last few years, just like everyone I have made a few resolutions, missed following most of them by the end of January, but managed to limp forward with a few of them. I don’t think there is anything wrong in making resolutions but it will be naïve to believe in its magical ability to make things any better that what they were, a fact that will become amply clear by end of January or at best by end of March. The recognition and the realization that there is only one life or its miniature version, that this year will exist only once can be very burdensome or can be very liberating. It decides our attitude towards that very abstract notion called time.
I ask myself what is my attitude towards time and get no clear answers. Do I treat it like a perishable goods and hence with soft hands, fearful to spend it on things that do not merit spending something as precious? Do I treat it with nonchalance of a king, who knows that he has enough and more of it and hence treats time with disdain? Do I ignore it like one would ignore seasons, for they come and go, of their own accord and over whom we have little control – for we can only chose our clothes and not the season? I ask myself much more and get no clear answers.
So I also ask myself, how should I treat this day which shall pass away in its sleep? Should I treat it as just another day or should I make an event out of it, just like many around me are making? I don’t have clear answers.