The elements are just right for 2013. Here’s looking forward to a busy year that will celebrate many anniversaries — of great works of literature, inventions, music and speeches
This is supposed to be the year of the Yin Water Fire Snake. According to Chinese philosophy, the snake is all for brilliance, achievement and excellence. It symbolises potent positive energy that enables one to overcome anything and everything. There are many amazing things that will make 2013 momentous including anniversaries of historic events that changed the world. And then there are some events that are all set to happen. A list follows.
Yin, the sacred feminine, will lend to the year a touch of grace, elegance, sugar and spice and all things nice. This year happens to be the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s popular feminist novel that inspired various screen and stage versions of the book and thousands of men to use the line, “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Unfortunately, it also stirred lots of women to say “What a sufferable man!”
Speaking of feminism, the revolutionary book The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan came out 50 years ago. The book heralded second-wave feminism, which in turn led to a world more accepting of women.
This is the 50th anniversary of the release of the first album of The Beatles, Please Please Me. The breakthrough album jump started Beatlemania that went on to define the Love Generation of the Sixties. Half a century later their body of work still pleases many.
Back home, Raja Harishchandra, the first ever Bollywood film (silent) was released a hundred years ago. The film signalled the beginning of the one form of entertainment that would enthral our people for years to come. And still does. Watch out for Race 2 and Inkar, both to hit theatres this year. And yes, also the much-awaited third season of Sherlock will premier in September. Can’t wait to find out how Sherlock faked his own death.
The element water makes 2013 most suitable for scholarly pursuits, education, and innovations. Here’s hoping the Higher Education and Research Bill will get the nod this year. The year marks the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the quintessential scholar who saw education as the way to enlightenment and “the manifestation of the perfection already in man.” Incidentally, the Indian Mars probe mission ‘Mangalyaan’ is scheduled to be launched this November.
As far as inventions go, Lisa, the first commercial personal computer was introduced by Apple 30 years ago. Also, Isaac Pitman, the inventor of shorthand was born in 1813, 200 years ago. He once said, “Time saved, is life gained.” This could, should be our mantra this year.
2013 also has some fire in its belly. Fire, which destroys, purifies and makes space for newer ideas. Fifty years ago, on August 28 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. His dream was that the nation would “rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.”
A hundred years before that, in 1863, Abraham Lincoln read the Gettysburg address (four months after the battle of Gettysburg) at the soldiers’ cemetery, in which he urged those gathered to unite amidst war and conflict. He eulogized the doctrine of equality for all men and democracy. “The government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” The year will mark the anniversary of various epic events. Because of them, it’s a glorious year already, it can only get better.
This year just might have something equally lofty and monumental in store for us. Like we may start appreciating and loving life in all its forms, we may stop abusing the life-giving nature.
This is the year, we as a global community may just learn to appreciate the privilege of being the only ones blessed with “life” in the whole Universe and consequently “make love, not war.”