Good riddance, 2020!


Be thankful, you are alive! Kul Bhushan’s thoughts about last year and the present.

January is named after Janus, a Roman god with two faces. He looks at the past, at the year that has gone, and at the year that is to come.

Yes, goodbye to this horrendous year! One after another, the disasters kept thumping all of us. Natural calamities, fires, floods, cyclones, hurricanes, et al, went on throughout the year. Riding on top was the virus which killed many people.

Our lives have been turned upside down. From March onwards, everything just closed down for the next eight months or so. Businesses were shut down, jobs lost, schools and colleges closed, cinema theatres locked, restaurants bolted, streets deserted; we were confined to our homes with our families. No remedy was on the horizon. Strict precautions were advised and implemented. Some who did not follow these instructions might have paid with their lives. So, 2020 can be dubbed annus horribilis or a horrible year.

Despite all these disasters, it is time to be thankful because you are reading this. You are still breathing. It means that you are alive and survived the annus horribilis. You will get a new job or re-start your business but if you had succumbed to this virus, you would be no more. Thus, it is time to show your gratitude to be just alive.

As you look forward to the new year, you make plans for ‘revenge’ indulgence of all the pleasures you were denied during the lockdown. If it is travelling or holidays, you will go out with a vengeance to live it up. If it is movies, you will line up outside the theatres. If it is dining, you will head to the restaurants more frequently. And so on with your personal favourites.

But if you had plenty of time to ponder over life and meditate, you will take a new course of self-discovery and delve deeper into the unknown which was so overwhelmingly powerful in 2020. Instead of exploring the far corners of the earth, you will try and discover your virgin inner space.

So bid goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021!

The first month, January, is named after Janus because the first day of January looks both ways – at the past, at the last year that has gone, and at the year that is to come. Janus is a Roman god with two faces, facing in both directions.

Osho says, “Man is a Janus; his whole life is a January. And both directions have something appealing and something that creates fear. One has to decide. If one decides to fall back, one disappears as an alive being; one has committed suicide. If one decides to go ahead in spite of all the fear that arises with the new, one is born spiritually. Remember it. Listen to the call of the unknown – and it is always there. Whatsoever becomes known has to be dropped.”

So, what is your new year’s resolution? “This and only this can be the new year’s resolution,” Osho says. “I resolve never to make any resolutions because all resolutions are restrictions for the future. All resolutions are imprisonments. You decide today for tomorrow? You have destroyed tomorrow.”

So just be grateful, very, very grateful, that you are alive and you survived.

Quotes by Osho from
Hallelujah! Ch 2
Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Ch 5, Q 4

Kul Bhushan

Anand Kul Bhushan is a writer, journalist, UN media consultant and workshop/meditation leader.

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