Thursday, December 29, 2005

What the Queen did and did not mention – looking back at 2006

This is part of an excellent read by Ros Taylor from one of the UK’s more interesting and well-written newspaper blogs, The Guardian, written the day after Christmas.

For the tabloids, the Queen's speech is the big shocker. "SNUBBUS HORRIBILIS", splashes the Sun. "THE Queen failed to welcome Camilla into her family yesterday — by NOT mentioning Prince Charles' wedding in her TV speech." In what the Mirror calls a "doom and gloom talk", the Queen reflected on a year dominated by the London bombings, the New Orleans floods, the earthquake in Pakistan and India and the aftermath of the Asian tsunami and spoke of the difficulty of maintaining one's faith in the knowledge of such suffering: "I have no doubt that the new year will be all the better if we do but try," she concluded. The Telegraph believes the speech hit exactly the right note: "The Queen's tone yesterday was one of human warmth and humility, and could not have been better judged to unite her audience."

I have been pondering over whether or not to do the whole ‘looking back at the year gone by’ deal before 2005 comes to a close. I keep going back to one point: what, really, can I write about if I embark on that route? So much has happened (some of the bigger casualties having been highlighted in the Queen’s speech above so I will not repeat those, though I feel quite strongly about them), but both globally and locally, so many other events have occurred that merit mentioning, and it would just not be possible to recap all of them fairly. In India, from the heinous molestation and murder of a BPO employee in Bangalore a few weeks ago to last night’s attack in the Indian Institute of Science, from Delhi’s bomb blasts as Diwali drew near to the fact that as of today, girls are actually being abducted IN ONE OF INDIA’S MOST IMPORTANT CITIES, MUMBAI, for refusing to marry within their castes (is this the 21st century? You could have had me fooled), it shows us that, to put in very simply, all is not well. And it doesn’t bode well for the future. It also doesn’t feel too good either – in fact, it’s made me feel downright depressed. I was indecisive about whether I could reason it away to a bout of PMS but I think there are larger issues at stake here.

Things are not too good with the world right now – yes. Does that realization make anyone feel better? No. I propose a solution – at a very basic level, let us do the best we can to live happy, simple lives. Maybe I am simplifying things too much, but I for one need a break from the overdose of misery that is going on. Wake up to see a sunrise from a hill. Trek up the hill or mountain first. Go for a run in a green, non-polluted park. Buy a bouquet of flowers for someone you love – for no reason at all. Buy flowers for yourself. Play with children for a while. Get a massage for yourself. Visit an old age home or an orphanage. Go out for a quiet dinner with your special someone, away from the smoke and crowds. Watch an episode of ‘Friends’ on TV on your favourite worn-out couch. Spend a day sleeping as much as you can without forcing yourself to wake up for work, or the gym, or any other pressing engagement. Smile at a stranger. Feel the rain hit your face. Clean your room (OK, now I’m exhibiting some of my Monica-esque tendencies, but it’s therapeutic for me at least!)…..

Life is not so bad. Yes there are issues which need to be dealt with. Government officials that have to be seen 10 times when just one would do to get things done, like I experienced yesterday. Crucial deal-making meetings to attend, as the bigwigs at my company were engaged in for many months till last week. Solutions to thwart terror attacks that have to be found, as Karnataka’s ministers are probably engaged in right now, as the Delhi cabinet ministers probably are ensconced in as well.

I wish I could help solve the problems of the world. Who doesn’t? Till I find a practical way to do that, I am going to do at least some of what I said above. I will probably be able to think more clearly after that.

For what it’s worth, have a blessed and prosperous New Year. May the coming year be better than the last.

Prospero ano y felicidad.

….And a Happy New Year too! (You can’t rid me of my infectious enthusiasm for life, you motherfucking terrorists – take that – and that – bambamdishoooooooooom!)

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