Happy New Year, people. For some, today is just the morning after the night before; for others, it’s a curtain raiser for Hope. I’m hovering somewhere in between—still recovering from the ravages of last year (and night) but holding up a chalice of optimism about the possibilities that the next 52 weeks hold.
Hope and I are old mates, who’ve travelled together far and long. We’ve dodged curveballs and been beaten back and stomped upon by life, periodically. But we’ve got back on our feet each time, ready for the change in fortune that we believe is lurking around the next corner. We never know whether the break will be professional, personal, financial or social; we just know it’s coming. Customised for us.
It’s the same in 2017. Good luck and grace are still hovering beyond the horizon, but before my friend and I set off to claim them, let me emulate the North Americans and do some Thanksgiving. I’m told the custom started in the US, in 1621, when the ‘Pilgrims’ (who were religious refugees from England) invited Native Americans to a feast celebrating a successful harvest after a miserable crop and many starvation deaths the previous year. The only things I’ve planted this year have been some ideas in my children’s heads. The outcome is still awaited, but I don’t want to let that stop me from giving thanks for the good things, big and small, that have happened to and around me the last year.
First of all, with demonetization top of mind, thank you, Supreme Force, for making me too lazy to visit the ATM on December 8 evening, thereby leaving me with only one soon-to-be-useless Rs 500 note in my wallet.
Thank you for letting in Netflix with new shows and movies. This not only set us free from the tyranny of Tata Sky (with Jackie Chan on loop), it also kept us from spending money (that we didn’t have) in movie halls. No more Rs 2,000 outings for a movie, cola and popcorn.
Thank you for proving (yet again) that when the going gets tough, it’s the women who get going. I’m referring specifically to wrestler Sakshi Malik, who won India its first medal at the Rio Olympics, badminton player P V Sindhu, who got home a silver, and the Produnova-vaulting Dipa Karmakar, who was the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics and the first Indian gymnast to do so in 52 years.
Thank you for letting Air India make a profit (after nine years) so that, on the many flights that I take for work, I can continue to find an Economy seat that accommodates my entire posterior and eat my meal without a co-passenger lying on my lap. That too at prices that aren’t much higher than the so-called low-cost carriers’.
Finally, a special thank you to everyone working to save our tigers, who now number 2,226, up from 1,706 five years ago. Happily, India now houses 70 per cent of the world’s tigers. It would be a shame if the national animal didn’t live in the nation.