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Mainstream, VOL LX No 2, New Delhi, January 1, 2022

New Year | Ajit Das

Tuesday 28 December 2021

‘The Year’s doors open

like those of language
towards the unknown’.
— ‘January First’ by Octavio Paz

New Year

And, once again, we sketch a roadmap
to enter the unknown, drawing
on the balance sheet of the year
fading into history at midnight stroke.

What is this balance sheet like?
Is it the survival of the ‘fittest’,
shriveled from within
by an abysmal lack of values?

Or are ideals, virtues, aesthetic qualities,
relegated to the periphery, now
breaking the confines, flowing towards
the centre stage to glorify life?

Or is it a pervasive surrealistic picture
of numbers game played over the roulette
in the dim, murky political casino
for wielding powers as the ultimate goal?

Or are the poor, neglected, depressed,
living in deprivation, lacking voice,
yet showing courage, a fighting spirit
to get them heard in an unequal society?

As the New Year dawns, erasing the dark,
casting a glow on the eastern horizon,
future beckons, a glimmer of hope draws
the outlines of a new, robust balance sheet.

Ajit Das

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