Time Flies

There is in our mind a hidden blueprint of many things to come or to be done; they will contribute to ‘structurize’ time in our psyche, aided and abetted by the media, which will cram our mind with the next emotional upheaval — whether local or abroad. We would have no time to cast a glance at the clock. Will 2016 also fly by?

Looking back, we might have had two types of weekends in our lives: some rare one where we were completely free, with no worries, read a book and dozed off on our canapé, doing nothing special. And by late Sunday night we would have wondered, while yawning, why was time so slow to pass. Then there was the second weekend, where we were very busy around the house and compound, had visitors or made a trip to the seaside, went to a wedding or funeral, so that on Monday morning we were still groggy. That weekend had flown by, and no one had noticed time passing. Years later, should we look back: the first weekend would be a total wash out and blank, completely non-existent, while we would still be remembering bits and pieces of the second one. Will 2015 resemble the latter?

December 2014 election and post…

Who can forget December 2014 election? There were surprises, and even the winners did not know that they would be soon at the helm of power. In Rose Hill we were told that the first of the three doubted that he would top the list. And then many of us had wondered why was it that on 11th December 14 the MBC-TV was so late with one constituency partial results. Then the change came.

Promises were made; but we were not sure which would come first, the old age pension quantum or other witch hunting ‘exercises’.

Suddenly the Mauritian nation was invited to scrutinize the ‘maldonne’ of many of our peers, while big business houses were dismantled. Many of us discovered that we had lost lots of financial dividends. Cardiac patients know about CABG: coronary bypass surgery; but SCBG was new to us – a financial wizard had invented some non-invasive cardiac electroshock, resulting in a few losing their lives.

Some of us had other worries after that election; the MRA was waiting for its fair share of flesh on that December end. Now, true to our Mauritian spirit, there has been reason to change in 2015, so as not to taint or spoil our end of year joviality by such unpleasant, nerve-racking financial exercises come September 2016.

That end of 2015 has revealed to us how immature our democracy is since its birth in 1968. We are incapable of finding someone to fill our post of Vice-President without raking up unwanted primeval emotions. Contradictory policies among ministries — Rs 150 or Rs 250 compensation — illustrated well our amateurism in governing.

We Mauritians were entertained to so many events in the past year, with the media providing the impetus, that we had barely time to breath. As our nation has so many communities, there comes a time when each one looks forward to their respective festivals or religious ceremonies.

History will repeat itself next January, with Thaipoosam Cavadee opening the ‘bal’ and vying with Varusha Pirapu for PH status. Then comes Spring festival, with its promise of ‘gateau lacire’, while many thousands would start planning what shape and size of kanwar will accompany them to the Ganga Talao pilgrimage. And all through this Gregorian year every community will be looking forward to their own New Year celebration with many a Hindu deity occupying centre stage; Easter will come and go while Mauritians of Islamic faith would feel comfortable for a winter Ramadan fast.

What does 2016 has in store?

Could 2016 be different? Maybe. Interspersed among these religious undertakings will be our daily routine, but there will be reason for rejoicing — for some. Speculation and opinions will run high, among civil servants, as to the promise and quantum of the new PRB report. While some football enthusiasts will look to an early Champions League in Europe — always amazed by the performance of the South Americans Barcelonian trio, Messi, Neymar and Suarez. Each seems to have that sixth sense that triggers chaos in the back rank of the opponent.

That’s not all; there will follow the European ‘Coupe des Nations’ where France hopes to win another final, which is very doubtful. By the time we know the winner we will be fine-tuning our TV to go to Brazil for the Olympics Games — where we would like to see H. Bolt exhibiting his thunderous speed once again. We hope to be the rare witness of new records. Yet we wonder how much underhand doping strategy will be deployed.

By that time we will be nearing September or October — with another disappointing English League lying ahead; will the B-team Liverpool come of age at last? And the Manchester fans will be seeing red or blue for months to come; and will Arsenal be doing its best to secure its much-coveted 4th place in the league, once again? All of us go on expecting glory from our teams but ‘plus ça change plus c’est la même chose’. Somehow or other we succeed in keeping an evergreen optimism, year in year out, but the disappointment always befuddles our psychology.

Our children and grandchildren? Some will be hoping to see that much hated CPE formula for the last time in October next, while their elders will be hoping to join the employed club. Meanwhile some youngsters will be dreaming: will a drone be the most coveted gift Santa Claus could afford this Christmas?

Will we have much rain and floods; will climate change include us in its sweep and bring devastating cyclones to our shores? And who are the unlucky 100 among us who will experience the devastating truth of F= M x A, effect of mass, acceleration and force (fate) on the road? No one knows.

By that time next year our mango and litchi trees should provide us with more fruits. 2015 has been a total disappointment; the bats, now a controversial aspect of our natural heritage, had been imposing their will; and we people have seen and eaten less fruits than usual. Will 2016 be different after the shooting of these poor mammals? Fortunately we can rely on our faithful flamboyant to console and gladden our heart.

And in a year’s time we will be looking back and thinking of our much debated bill on good governance, and discover whether our democracy has prospered by having new regulations to stamp down corruption. Will human nature change for the better overnight? Or do we need the strategy of the carrot and the stick? Must we have reasons to fear? Are we not after all children of the deep jungle and caves — still evolving biologically and psychologically? The trouble is that we have also developed a faculty of reason, and it demands that we become less corrupt and corruptible as time goes by; otherwise we’ll have a price to pay — our species is yearning for nobleness.

Around the world

We do not hope to see the end of sporadic bombing around the world, or peace in Syria; in fact nowadays we feel that something is abnormal and amiss when there is no bomb going off, just as USA is no USA, unfortunately, if there is not a spree of gun shooting in one school or another. That reminds us of the republican DT (not delirium Tremens but DonaldTrump!) running for the White House seat; had he been dressed in aboriginal or third world indigenous dresses, rather than in his western two-piece suit, we would have already branded him as a fanatic or extremist.

Have we noticed how DT resembles another extremist, having the same smile and facial expression — Jean Marie Le Pen — both raising their arms in the same old style? All those extremists won’t turn moderate overnight, so we can expect to hear a lot from them in the coming year. Will the OPEC countries despair as the price of petrol goes on slumping, and the dollar go on gaining value? Market speculators would be having a field day. Meanwhile COP21 would have given an optimistic verdict — but will we stick to the promises or will we play the ostrich yet again?

Each one of us has some secret agenda on our mind for the coming year — to give better education to our children, to enrich ourselves, to buy a piece of land and build a new house, to plan for a coming marriage, to see where our smart cities and malls will be and start speculating in the vicinity, or to go on vacation and visit some long forgotten good friends.

There is in our mind a hidden blueprint of many things to come or to be done; they will contribute to ‘structurize’ time in our psyche, aided and abetted by the media, which will cram our mind with the next emotional upheaval — whether local or abroad. We would have no time to cast a glance at the clock. Will 2016 also fly by?

Best Wishes and Season’s Greetings.


* Published in print edition on 18 December 2015

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