Millennium Post

For Auld Lang Syne

For Auld Lang Syne
They say, all’s well that ends well. And, 2014 couldn’t have seen a worse end than it did. That pretty much sums up the year that we’re set to bid adieu to. It’s been gloomy, dreary, and hopeless, with very few reasons to rejoice. From the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft to the emergence of the ISIS, from the Palestine-Israel standoff to the Peshawar killings- 2014 has been a year of unprecedented loss. People across the world were united in grief. Tears were shed for strangers, for children not our own, for sisters we’ll never see. Yet, as the year nears its end, I see hope floating around me. In jazz great Louis Armstrong’s words:

“I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed the day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
I hear baby’s crying and I watched them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
Yes, I think to myself what a wonderful world.”
And, I wonder why…

What is it really that makes us hope against hope? What is it that drives us, motivates us, and pushes us forward? It’s hope. Hope is what is at the crux of it all. We study because we hope to learn. We fight because we hope to win. We cry because we hope it would reduce the pain. We work because we hope to make money. We make money because we hope it will bring us comforts. We want comforts because we hope they would make us happy. We love because we hope to be happy, be loved back. All our actions are driven, fuelled by one common force- HOPE. And, it’s this same hope that makes us want to leave the past behind and look ahead.

I’m not sure if we’ll ever run out of hope, and have to go looking for it elsewhere (remember James Cameron’s Avatar and unobtainium?), but for now, here are a few things that happened this year which ensured I don’t lose hope yet!

MOM: The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is India’s first interplanetary mission making ISRO only the 4th space agency in the world, after the Soviet space program, NASA, and the European Space Agency, to reach Mars. MOM has been orbiting Mars since September 24 this year. And, what really sets it apart is that a lot of women were at the forefront of this project. For a still misogynistic society like ours, it’s a huge achievement!

Peace Nobel: A lot has been discussed about MalalaYousufzai being the youngest Nobel laureate ever. She shared the honor with India’s child rights’ campaigner KailashSatyarthi of the BachpanBachaoAndolan. I’m nobody to comment on if she was the correct choice to receive the award, because I didn’t have to face bullets when I went to school. But, I have high hopes of her. In the wake of the Peshawar incident where innocent children were gunned down on school premises, I feel Malala will have a big role to play in the future of children in parts of the world where they are denied the right to education. When I look at Malala I see hope- hope for a better tomorrow for our children and theirs 

Work Permits for illegal immigrants in the US- In what I believe is a step in the right direction, US president Barack Obama’s administration decided to grant two-year work visas (which can be renewed indefinitely) to talented, US-born, illegal immigrants under the age of 30, and saved them from certain deportation. While there has been ample debate about decision, and a whole lot of people think Americans will lose out on jobs, I’m in agreement with Obama and feel India ought to follow in the US’ footsteps. We have an extremely critical and sensitive immigration issue (with Bangladesh and Nepal) on hand, and we would do well to address it at the soonest!

2014, you’ve been horrible. You were the nadir, almost. But, you haven’t dampened our spirit. You’ve only made us stronger in our resolve that tomorrow will be better!

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind??
Should old acquaintance be forgot,?
And, auld lang syne?
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!?
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,?
For auld langsyne.
For auld langsyne, my dear,
For auld langsyne,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld langsyne.

Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, and 
dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy
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