As the year, 2021 moves towards the end, speculations on the oncoming year piques the mind. For some people the apprehensions are left to luck or divine interventions. And while some there is comfort in careful planning, others the stars take the helm. The zodiac signs, tarot cards, palmistry and fortune cookies: all give hints to the new beginning. The uniting factor for all of us planning or checking on the horoscope is the benefit of doubt in the future. We are sandwiched between fear and hope on the crossroads of time.
Before the Internet took over much of our information resource, we depended on books and magazines with Zodiac readings. They were sold like hot cakes especially when a new year was marked on the calendar. The bookstores stocked up on calendars, small and big. The diaries came in with glittering numbers showing the coming year; and, of course, the New Year greeting cards. The horoscope enthusiasts sought detailed readings on their signs and they spent blissful reading hours. Then there were the reflective of which horoscope was going to come true. With every affirmation momentary doubts came and then hope took over to whisper.’ There are good things yet to come.’
We are creatures of habit around our daily lives to a great extent. Between the horoscope and dreams. Mr. Razzak, a family friend, takes his dreams seriously and spends lavishly on books relating to them. He pays attention to them on the basis of what part of the night they come and the year-end ones as well. He is wired to translate the November- December dreams to come with messages for the New Year. One cold winter day he told my father, “Last night I dreamed that I was rowing a boat in a choppy sea. I think I have some difficult times coming in the New Year.” While Sigmund Freud authored his book The Interpretations of Dreams with the theory of unconsciousness and the interpretations of dreams, the readers find questions and different versions of their dreams. Kahlil Gibran with his thoughts on them, “Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream. How can I lose faith in the justice of life, when the dreams of those who sleep upon feathers are not more beautiful than the dreams of those who sleep upon the earth?”
The yearend brings out superlative words to the surface and one finds words like, “The most effective ways to plan the new yea”’ or “Be the excellent organizer and organize your calendar for the 2021” and so on. Some people will turn to the Google calendar for the digital world of convenience and others might shop for paper stuff- notebooks they can hold and feel the world is more real with the tangible things. One turn on the corner with the COVID-19 during the past months is that people have got to using wall calendars more. The remote work and the excessive use of the screens have eyes too weary and more appreciative of calendars of the wall or in the back of their planners.
While wisdom lends hands at dreams and the predictions of what is yet to come, the horoscopes and fortune tellers strike louder chords in daily lives. It takes all kinds of people to make the world of humans to ponder and discover life in our journey from birth to death. The calendar may be speculated according to days, weeks, months or years: if we get to choose our planning, we are lucky. Not everyone gets a choice in making plans or making them work. At the end of the day, we sigh and say, “Fate has its strings to draw our lives, may the Lord be our shepherd.”
Tulip Chowdhury writes from Massachusetts, USA