Friday, December 30, 2022

'Years Are Silly Segments Of Time': Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 29 December 2022 Guzarte Waqt Ka Ehsaas Hai Par Dil Nahin Udaas Hai Kyon Ke Ilm Hai 'Adam' Safar-E-Farda Ke Liye Aas Hai -Abdul Hameed ' Adam ' ' A New Year is a mere change of date/s on the calendars. What's most important is a change, nay transformation, in one's outlook. So, change from within.' -Joseph Conrad Every New Year must witness a better you. -A Turkish adage " Why should one change with the New Year? A change can be brought about every day, nay minute." Anon " Time slips away imperceptibly just like sands from the fist. " An Eastern proverb (I know that the time is gliding by/ Yet, I'm not sad/ Because I know 'Adam'/ I've hope for tomorrow's journey). " Years are silly segments of time. " William Faulkner (I know that the time is gliding by/ Yet, I'm not sad/ Because I know 'Adam'/ I've hope for tomorrow's journey). The concluding line of Abdul Hameed Adam's quatrain sums it up: Hope for a tomorrow that's on the anvil. The year is all set to bid adieu and a new year is on the threshold. This is the time, when all humans have a set of mixed and rather contradictory feelings: Hopeful joy to welcome the new (year) and a tinge of sadness for the year that'll soon be a part of the past. Psychologists opine that we feel a tad sad when the year is ending because all of us establish some kind of a familiar rapport with the year. So, when the new is on the horizon, we have joy and at the same time, a touch of apprehension as to how'll be the next year. Remember the Ottoman Turkish saying, ' Tera Men Ole Sobe Bena ' (tomorrow is always better than today and yesterday). It sure is. We tend to get used to the rut and routine and begin to love that as the sole option available to us. A sort of mental complacency sets in and we don't want to alter that. The human mind doesn't like to break a set pattern. But until that set and fixed pattern is broken, how can something new and even more exciting be welcomed? Just the way, a piece of land is ploughed before sowing, by the time we reach the fag-end of a year, the soil of our existence is ready for new experiences and beginnings that a new year brings about. Life is all about accepting and adjusting with new experiences. Remember, what we call new is just a part of time's cyclical evolution. Today's new is tomorrow's past. Walt Whitman aptly said, " New is often a drop of dew " because time past, time present and time future constitute the seamless expanse of time. While ushering us in the realm of a new (year), time breaks our pattern/s with the past and teaches us new patters to adjust with yet-to-come tomorrow. The Persian word ' Naqish' explains this. It means, sending salutations to a new phase. That's why, mystics dance and sing when a fellow mystic shuffles off this mortal coil. Death is no end but a conduit to paving the way for a new life, new phase and new entity. At this juncture, I'd like to refrain from using the word death and have used it only as a metaphor for something exciting and new. 2022 will soon merge into the ocean of time and a new year will be on us. That too will be consigned to the bin of the past by this time around in 2023 because every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. This reminds me of a Zen adage, " Who says time goes? Time stays, we go." We're always on the go. Let's make the best of the ongoing time for a better and finer tomorrow and concur with Mirza Ghalib, 'Ishrat-e-Qatrah Hai Dariya Mein Fana Ho Jaana / Dard Ka Had Se Guzarna Hai Dawa Ho Jaana' --- ‘The significance of a drop of water is to get merged into the river / When pain becomes unbearable, it turns into remedy’. We often perceive (painful) things through a tunnel vision. We don't let other options and opportunities emerge out of them. May we all find new ways and avenues in 2023. Happy New Year to all and sundry. Remember, time and tide wait for none. ---- Note: A shorter version of this article was first published in The Times of India A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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