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.’
I haven’t really given much thought to styling my hair for most of my life. When I was a child my mother gave me the ‘fringe cut’ with straight hair at the back. It remained my haircut for years.
The first time I really took charge of styling my hair was in my early adolescence: I grew out the fringe and started to center part my hair. The second time was after graduating school when I got myself the ‘layered cut’. It was the rage. The third time was at the end of Junior College when I started to dislike layers and got myself the ‘Victoria Beckham’ bob.
I’m sitting on a lounge chair overlooking a vast swimming pool. The sun is out but the giant umbrella above me is keeping it at bay. Basking under the cool shade, I slide further down into my chair. My eyes are shut, but somewhere in the distance I can hear a child-like laughter.
I learned early on that I have a bad affliction of not making concrete weekend plans. Usually I’m just lazy, but when I do, it’s mostly a one-on-one with a single individual friend who I can speak to at length about life.
A couple of weekends back, I made exactly such a plan. I reached out to an old friend after nearly 2 years, and to celebrate our union we decided to meet for brunch at quaint little café on a hill on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The location was a mid point between both our houses – symbolic of our mutual excitement to see each another.
It was Jan 2018 when I found myself in the winter section of H&M. It was filled with knitwear and discounts, but for me the joy was in walking between the racks of knitted sweaters and cardigans. I enjoyed caressing my fingers against each and every one of them; I enjoyed feeling their intricate woven looms; I loved how soft the wool felt against my palms.
I had nothing particular in mind that I wanted to buy, but it’s funny how when you go without expecting anything that sometimes you find some of the best things ever. For me it came in the form of a white woolen ribbed sweater.