Poet Bharathi has said in a poem that it is useless to worry about the past and asked that he should be reborn so that he can shape a better future. Those words can inspire us to welcome this new year with much hope.
At the same time, G Nagarajan, a prominent writer of Tamil Nadu, wrote that the New Year day is like any other day. These ideas are part of the book he wrote in 1973 titled ‘Nalai matroru nale’. The book was published in English too titled ‘Tomorrow is one more day’.
For a world beaten down by Covid second wave, those words may not be welcome this year. A more positive outlook will help. We want to get rid of the gloomy past more than ever and like Bharathi we want to start afresh, a new life iteself.
Yet, even as we gear up to celebrate New Year, mutant Omicron is spreading with vigour. New Year celebrations are banned. The deluge and gridlock dampened the spirits in Chennai. The unseasonal wind and rain have moved south and rocking other parts of Tamil Nadu as we write this.
With the Omicron scare, the need for administering boosters has come to the fore. Omicron seems to be affecting the fully vaccinated too. Young adults between 15 and 18 are going to be vaccinated this year. The sate government has come out with precautionary restrictions to prevent Omicron transmission.
The annual book fair has been postponed. The occupancy in cinema theatres has been sliced to 50 percent. Students from Classes 1 to 8 are to return to online classes. People are scared of Omicron destroying their livelihoods once again.
Meanwhile, the usual questions remain. What would happen to river water disputes with Kerala and Karnataka? What are the chances of Rajiv convicts getting a pardon? Will there be relief from NEET? The list goes on.
Another controversy of moving the Tamil New year to the Tamil month of Thai is brewing. But Time and Tide wait for none. Despite all, Vadivelu remains the meme material helping us to laugh at the adversities. Let us start this year with some of the memes.