As this is my first column in 2022, I want to wish you all a happy new year. I hope and pray that this year will be better than last. That Omicron comes and goes like a bad dream and immunizes us all against the virus. And that this is the year in which the Covid pandemic finally ends and Corona is no more or less dangerous than the common cold.
So much for hopes and prayers!
But the New Year is always about resolutions, and here, in no particular order, are mine:
• To give in to worthy impulses. When I feel the urge to reconnect with a long-lost friend, to call a family member I haven’t spoken to in a long time, to contribute to a charity, I choose to do so before that Feeling goes away. The lesson from the pandemic is that we shouldn’t postpone anything that can be done today – because who knows what tomorrow may bring.
• Build closer bonds in my neighborhood. If the various Covid bans have taught us anything, then in times of crisis it is those around you who become your support structure. They’re the ones who step in when you get sick, who take you with them when you’re stranded, who send over a bowl of red-hot biryani just because they want to share. This is the year I will do my best to show you my appreciation in every possible way.
• Reduce my ‘friends’ list. Covid bubbles have, for better or worse, made us prioritize our “real” friends over those with whom we are just friends. And after a few years I start to wonder if there is any point in expanding my social circle to pre-pandemic levels. It makes more sense to invest in some meaningful friendships than to hang out with a larger group that I don’t really care about.
• Get back in touch with nature. Since Corona entered our lives, vacations are few and far between. And for the most part, I’ve spent them in cities that are easily accessible by car from Delhi. Now, in my opinion, it is time to start exploring the great outdoors, be it a beach, a mountain resort or a nature reserve.
• Brush up on my languages. I signed up for French classes almost 20 years ago and Italian classes about 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve forgotten a lot of the grammar I learned, but I managed to keep my conversational French and Italian going by traveling to these two countries and forcing myself to speak in the local language instead of English. But it has now been almost three years since I went to either France or Italy and I fear that I have lost all the language skills I once had. So this year I will be watching a lot of French and Italian TV channels and trying to familiarize myself with these languages again – in the hope that I can travel to these parts soon.
• Reading instead of watching. During the pandemic, there was nothing like sitting on the sofa in the evening and watching another series on a streaming service. It was chewing gum for the eyes that asked nothing more than a willing silence of disbelief. But I think now is the time to ration my screen time and spend more evenings poking my head into a good book and using the author’s imagination to conjure up new worlds in my head.
• Start working on my new book. With the continuation too Race Course Road, Madam Prime MinisterNow in the world and in good bookstores around the country, it is time to go back to the spy novel I was working on before taking a break to write my political thrillers. The plot is worked out in my head. Now it’s just a matter of getting it down on paper. Wish me luck!
Spectator fans, watch out! Seema Goswami’s new book Prime Minister is now in the stands.
The views of the Columnists are personal
From HT Brunch, January 9, 2022
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