Friday, January 08, 2010

Twenty Ten

Twenty Ten made an ear-splitting entrée. Truckfulls of fireworks were set off in the Indian capital. Cold fog mingled with cracker fumes. Horns blared wildly. Vodka flowed. The rich gyrated and threw up at bar after another bar. The poor shivered under their perforated cloaks. News channels continued to waffle and re-play images from the year that was. Hawkers sold garish red Santa caps. Resolutions got made. Wishes popped like warm champagne. Even the entertainment-starved Kashmir rejoiced with rented rock bands. Hallelujah.

It is great to be young this year. Twenty Ten is going to be the year of the youth, the UN says. There would be sundry programmes to celebrate and government departments might have a budget dedicated to the hullabaloo. And the youth will continue to seek instant gratification. The age of revolutions is long over. Soon New Year resolutions will vanish like old oak tables. Old miseries will be upon us before we can say Jack Robinson. Already coffee colored bullets have pierced the winter chill of Kashmir.

January is the same each year. Cold and dreary. It doesn’t snow like a banshee anymore. Some people say it is climate change. Others assure that stuff happens and our planet has seen many ice-ages. Each camp accuses the other of conspiracy. Anyway we have become a nation of conspiracy-theorists. The macabre ritual of blood that played out in Srinagar -- this week -- too has opinion split in the middle. The handiwork of intelligence sleuths to thwart any attempts at troop reduction, avers one group. Gunmen, blessed by our notoriously naughty neighbor, struck, others opine. The binaries stay.

Often enough we like to lollygag in life. Flunking to add meaning to our existence. Sartre, the old French boy, perhaps had it right when he meant that human essence is simply existence. Hence the choices we make for ourselves are very important. And profound. Sad, we chose goofy over goodliness. Nutty us.

I think any Hazelnut flavored brew is a great way to beat the chill.