The ushering in of a Global Indian 2021 seemed so extraordinary – surreal in fact.

No family and friends mingling, no hugs and handshakes for the neighbours – for the very first time in my life, and I suspect for countless others, the dawning of the new year could not have been so different as it was last night.

The hell and fury of a violent lightning storm a couple of hours before served as the storm before the lull.

Yet this ominous prelude ended as it had begun – suddenly. It all seemed so bizarre and uncanny.

There was a deafening, yet eerie stillness before the stroke of midnight – as if time stood still – even if for a moment.

And then it began.

The night sky became ablaze with fireworks all around as the clock struck twelve – like a war zone – screams and cheers filled the air – it spoke to relief and the ease of burden of a year that has consumed and consumed – and consumed.

I guess, in many respects, there was a release of frustration, angst and despair – and as the skies brightened with artificial light, it signified hope – a quiet hope that the challenge we are all facing is indeed surmountable.  

While there will be an empty seat – or seats, at many-a-dinner table and deep sadness for many more, we can only wish and pray and hope that we will be spared the affliction that so many of our loved ones were not as fortunate to escape.

The dice of life is being played out at a frenetic pace suddenly and we need to be on our guard.

And then there was silence!

So begins Anno Domini 2021 – with fear and hope – with an enduring human spirit to survive – with anxiety and uncertainty, but with a universal prayer that we all must make this year one of redemption for all humankind against Covid-19.

A happy, blessed and safe 2021.

By our Global Indian correspondent in South Africa Narendh Ganesh

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