A cautious welcome to 2010

Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

This quatrain of Omar Khayyam, as rendered by Edward Fitzgerald, comes to my mind and quite aptly, as I begin the new year, after an thankful end to the “Year of Great Betrayals”. It is too soon, not to say too presumptious, at this point in time to try to give 2010 a label or even try to predict how it will turn out but it is certain that it cannot be like 2009 for the simple reason…. let me put it poetically…..

The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.

Or in other words, no more betrayals left to expect.

However, it is too soon in the year to dwell on all this. Let me deal with some more pleasant themes. Having already being wished in advance by a Most Gracious Friend, the start of the new year – or more exactly its celebrations – was somewhat delayed as I reached home well afterwards but picked up within a few minutes. The icing in the cake was the wishes I received – the first was from the Brigadier sahab himself, then Hikmat and finally My Best Friend. Later, I got a call and it was Kidwai sahab himself, who spent a long time, discussing our common love – the Urdu language and its poetry. And if this was not enough, I also got a call from Mahmoud.

The day was also good. I maintained my tradition of picking up a book or two on the first day of the year but I hope the title of one of these does not prove prophetic – it is Erasmus’ In Praise of Folly. However….

In the evening followed a couple of much needed conversations with My Ustaad and My Best Friend and then there was a call from another old, old friend who still remembered me, and then some bandinage with the Most Gracious Friend.

I hope the coming days are filled with occasions like this……

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