Memories, Gratitude, and a Prayer!

This year, 31st Dec, most of the world will be doing what I have been doing every year for a decade and more – Just staying home! After my son was born, we never went out and I personally was never inclined to play tambola, dance to a DJ, and eat cold snacks, in our housing society’s open air arrangements.

We usually had travel plans for the first week of the new January and it compensated for not going gaga over New Year Eve’s celebrations. We will be sorely missing the travelling part.

I do have fond memories of celebrations in some of the best night clubs with friends, and in cold winter nights in cottages in the hills from my singleton days. Lessons learnt in this strange year is when you have the time and opportunity, do what you want to do, specially celebrate occassions. Memories are important; create them as you go.

As a young parent, I would be sad that we could never celebrate like so many of our friends who could manage babysitting or childcare arrangements to party or travel. I felt I was missing out on something but with time I compromised. Somewhere down the line, so many things, including the transition from an old year to a new one stopped mattering.

Most people around the world will feel this – the piling of days and the transition into a new day – without the fireworks and the joyful comfort of close ones. Many will be grieving. All will be fearful. Yet, in the corner lingers hope that the next year may be gentle on humankind.

The eve of 2021 may have a bigger and better celebration if we are victorious in our battle against the novel Corona virus. Next year, the son will be older, and I may be able to venture out and celebrate the way I like -with a plan, good company, a nice and warm ambience, scrumptious food, and definitely dressing up! Until then, it’s me and the cosy blanket and not a care that the clock strikes 12!

Oh wait! I do care with the realization and the gratitude that my family and I made it safely through a difficult year in the pandemic. And a prayer, may next year be kind to the world and let it heal!

The Lure of Power

Globally, the lure of power is something I can never understand. Men of ripe age wanting authority over a divided people, in a raging pandemic, faltering economy, and destroyed environment. There must be something about power and the privileges that makes one want to embrace the worst possible stress and constant criticism and scrutiny, every single moment of their remaining life. Is power an addiction or is it just a way of life? Why is it so difficult to hand over the baton to another, with grace, dignity, and sharing of experience?

The desire to control people and land has been an age-old one, as ancient as the stars that make us up. There is always this one person dominating the family, the tribe, the clan, defining religion, molding the laws, having the final say in disputes, and eventually leading the men to war and conquest. All good till it lasts, till it serves the people but the desire to cling on to power only grows. Unsatiated, it invests on itself the Divine right. God has the power, so has man. Power is indestructible, so is the man wielding it?

Over the years, philosophies tried to evolve and keep power holders and religion or religious influences separate from each other. But we are still in a world where religion continues to influence politics, and so do so many other divisive factors. Does the power of “Power” lie in keeping people divided?

If you ask me, the real power is in leadership that embraces planning, guiding, listening, braving it out for the weaker, and taking everyone along. How difficult that can be? It can be if power gets into your head and makes you a megalomaniac. I was reading the other day that the more inferior a person feels, the stronger the desire for unbridled control.

A friend mentioned that she has noticed people craving more control as they grow older. Do they believe that power is the privilege of age? Who knows what goes in the minds of people who can only think in terms of subjugation of others and privilege for the self. One can only debate the adage that money cannot make one happy is true. Even with all the money in the world, the desire for controlling the souls and lives of people seems to give the highest rush.

As a down-to-earth person, with limited ambitions, but a compassionate view of life, which I seek to nourish, I find the power-race in our world disturbing, confusing, and absolutely incomprehensible. I think the corridors of power can be crowded and noisy with fans, followers, advisors, sycophants, but the real challenge is in deciphering whether you are lonely at the pinnacle. Every person at the peak of power need not take the lonely high seat. It takes just a step down to be a part of the people and lead the soul of the community, be the power of the people. Maybe this is Utopia and for all that we know Utopia is also not perfect!

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