The last day of the last month of the year is an excitingly liminal stage, between the year that is fading out and expectant wait for the imminent new year, amidst tinsel of parties and clinquant events to ring out the old and usher in the new. In a few hours from now as the sun sets on 31st December in Cochin, the city I live in, the celebrations will commence at the Durbar Hall ground, carrying the relics of royalties of yore, and alongside walkways at the Marine Drive; away from mainland across the Ernakulam channel, the night long festivity, viva la vida, is set to unveil in Fort Cochin, strongly echoing beautifully nostalgic sentiments of a colonial past. The Spanish title ‘viva la vida’, meaning ‘long live life’, is drawn from the twentieth century painting of the same title by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and Chris Martin’s musical rendition of love and life. Frida suffered health problems throughout her short life, initially vide a debilitating polio and a bus accident in later teenage years, and yet her paintings, in spite of a life of suffering and anguish, acclaim life proclaiming viva la vida. In the context of present reality in many parts of the world, there is no dearth of pain, and problems are galore; nonetheless, the spirit would continue to prompt that preciousness of life is to be celebrated in togetherness, fun and gaiety. Erich Fromm captures it well in his rhetorically questioning words , “Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies?”
The desire for a better world order arises from inequities in the present and hope, which is always for tomorrow. So, on to another year, awaiting flight 2016. The boarding has just been announced. The bad and depressing events of 2015 must be consigned to garbage bins and the check-in luggage ought to be containing only the best souvenirs of the year flowing irrevocably into the ocean of time. Hence fasten the seat-belts. The duration of the flight will be twelve months. The stops-over are Health, Love, Happiness, Harmony, Wellness and Peace. The Captain offers the following menu to be served during the flight: a cocktail of Friendship, a supreme of Health, a gratin of Prosperity, a bowl of Excellent News, a salad of Success, and a cake of Happiness, all accompanied by peals of laughter. Wishing you and families an enjoyable trip on board flight 2016.
As the curtains wring down on 2015, may I thank every one of my wp friends out there for adding virtual meanings to my days. My prayers for your many blessings in the year ahead. As Martin Luther King Jr profoundly stated, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”. Have a blissful transition into the new year, followed by all the goodness of the universe.