A wish list for 2013

Posted By: Annu CM                

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

For those of you not in the know, this is the opening verse of a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, a poem he wrote as part of an elegy for his sister’s young, deceased fiancé. But that’s another story.

Unlike Lord Tennyson’s poem, the going of a year is rarely tinged with sadness. It is a fact that we are never unhappy about the coming of a new year. That could either be because we are tipsy by the time the year passes on or perhaps it is simply that the very word ‘new’ holds a promise. So here we are today poised on an another ‘new year’ and what better time to put down a few statutory warnings for the clueless incumbent. And a fervent prayer or two for our own selves.

Dear 2013,

Welcome to this world. In case you find no one around to open the door, forgive us, as we may be passed out from the welcome party we organized for you. Some of us may be found on the streets but will still be passed out. But please don’t mind. Our hearts are in the right place. Mostly.

You will find us a resolute lot, for as a world we make lists of things we should do to make ourselves better and make you proud. These resolutions will range from not telling lies, doing our collective homework, being on time every time to bigger things like not driving rash, or not smoking our lungs out and not polluting our environment etc. Some of us become the better for it, and some of us let it get the better of us. Its mostly touch and go. But please don’t mind, we will make a collective resolution to get better at it this year.

Once you are here, you may want to pray that you are not the recipient of any ignominious titles. Titles that may range from "The Year of the Great war" or "the Plague, Dengue, Ebola and the like" to "the Year of the Big Flood / Tsunami / Cyclone / Drought / Famine" etc. It is in both our interest and yours that we steer clear of such calamities. Don’t mind, but we would prefer it if your brought us better luck.

We hope for your sake and ours, this year will punch smaller holes in the ozone layer and see lesser global warming. Yes, it is entirely in our hands to do so, but we always like to have someone handy around to blame. Like the year of our discontent.

We would also like all our despots and dictators to be over thrown around the world and peace be restored to all realms. It’s got nothing to do with you again, but it would be a matter of great prestige if it were to happen in your time. So get working on it.

What would also look great on your resume is that this be the year when ALL ethnic strife over the world ended. There are a few being played out as we put this down – in the middle east, parts of Europe, closer home in the Indian subcontinent. And some even in so called evolved societies. (You know who you are. Hang your heads in shame.)

While you’re at it you could also try and bridge the great divide. Between the haves and the have-nots. It’s something that’s been trying us since the beginning of time, and some noteworthy years have made brave attempts. Like that year 1789. Location - France. Mission – to level the divide between the haves and have-nots. But we all know how that one went. It did succeed on some counts, but was too bloody by far for anyone’s comfort. Also while it rid the world of one kind of haves, in the end it simply created another set of the same.

However, if that’s too tough a task, you could start small. Say, get the taxes down. It should be a start.

Another thing that’s been on our to do list for years now is a cure for the big C. You willing and God disposing, may it happen on your watch. Amen.

You may think us flippant and verging on the frivolous when dealing with some of our more serious issues. Like those of human rights and freedom. Or matters of global finance. Or Nuclear threat. That’s merely because even we as a race have little control over our own actions and would really like some divine intervention to set us right sometimes. Though some of us already think ourselves divine. And the keepers of freedom and life and the like on earth.

But overall we are not a bad sort. Just a bit misguided. Sometimes. Then again we have our new year resolutions to set us back on track. And that is the crux of our relationship with you. You inspire us to be better people. And we aspire to a new and better year. Each year.

So welcome and may it truly be a Happy New Year.

(Annu CM works in the Wellness and Entertainment division of NDTV Good Times. An alumnus of MCRC, New Delhi, Annu has been with NDTV for more than a decade. Her understanding and affection for Bollywood comes from an enduring love for old Hindi film songs.)
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