January 1, 2018

Dear Colleagues
A new dawn of 2018 has set in. Wish you all peaceful and joyous 2018.
Here is another random reflection for your perusal.

  1. Over this holiday week, we receive greetings from far & wide. Gone are the days of phone calls, greeting cards, even e-cards. Now, facebook, twitter & most widely used WhatsApp are means for expressing such greetings. I have been noticing that drawings, audio clips & text messages received this week suggest that new artistic and literary creativity is on the rise. Or, perhaps the fine art of copy-paste?
  2. Conferences and workshops in metro cities like Delhi have acquired a new character. There is no discussion now, only presentation. Different sessions have different speakers, who only come to attend their sessions and speak. There is no connection with what was said before, or what follows after. Social media tweets during and a glossy report after the conference complete the ritual. Does it add to new insights?
  3. In this era of war mongering and nuclear threats, a conclave of poets for peace brought passionate champions together one evening in Ottawa. Poetry as a source of expression for the popular mood in spciety has long been recognised and valued. Poets for peace write, recite and listen to such voices with passion. During Rekhta event in Delhi, likewise, poetry for protest was sung and listened to with great passion. There is a poet in us all, just needs a bit of encouragement!
  4. During these past weeks, Canada has been experiencing record cold weather, temperatures ranging to 30 or even 40 degree celsius below zero. Heavy snow fall and cold winds compound the hardships. Yet, people in rural parts of Canada have found ways to live with, and even enjoy such extreme weather. Snow fishing and ski-dooing are two such sports, in addition to more popular ice skating, ice hockey and curling. Kudos to human spirit!
  5. Another recent visit to Delhi’s sports arena, this time for cricket match against Sri Lanka, and another share of pains. Terrible pollution and smog frequently stopped play. Players were unable to run and bowl or field. As spectators, we were constantly rubbing our red eyes and covering our faces. Being a sunday, a large number of families with kids had also come to watch the game. Same story repeated again– Terrible food, dirty seats and stinking filthy toilets. Another year of lost hope?

All the very best

Sincerely
Rajesh