Many many years ago when I was much younger and much more trusting an old family friend gifted my parents a piece of art he called ‘a work of genius’. It was a 15” by 12” printed frame with the exact same pattern of coloured dots and petal shapes spread across its surface.
At first we assumed it was the detailing that was the genius part about it. But then, some weeks later that same friend called up to inquire about the artwork. When our answers – revolved around similar phrases of praise, he finally revealed to us that hidden within those dots and shapes was a figure of a dancing Krishna. And that the genius part was to spot that hidden figure within its incredible detailing.
At the end of 2017, I wrote an article about whatthat year taught me about life. A little over two years now – in the wake of a new decade – here I am, reminding myself of, and implementing those lessons, through a year of gratitude.
The beginning of 2019 was very different from the beginning of 2020; for one, back then, the new year’s messages poured in till almost the 10th. This year, its been barely few days in, and I can already see that the messages and merriment has phased out.
A small part of me believes it’s because people have matured and moved on from the hysteria of overplaying it. But a more dominant part of me believes, it’s because of a universal decline in enthusiasm. I can’t speak on the behalf of the entire world population – but as I see it, and as Joan Didion once said ‘the world as I had understood it, no longer existed.’
There’s a vase of wilted flowers by my bedside that I refuse to throw away. Outside my window, there’s a tree the colour of the setting sun; its leaves are hanging so loose like they’re about to fall. After a minute or so, a light breeze sweeps one of those leaves right past me. It takes a mid air twirl before gently falling to the ground.
A butterfly is fluttering around the potted plants; there’s a jingle in its flight, but its wings are mellow.
I turned 24 on a Friday of the previous week, and for the weekend that followed it, I found myself celebrating with friends, feasting on basil dumplings, marveling at the deliciousness of my pizza, posing before my camera and laughing at every joke I heard.