Onward

By Samir Shukla

No Resolutions. Adjustments.

Another year has dissolved into a permanent slumber while its young offspring has arrived at the door and is ready to go off to the races. Once more around the sun. It's another day in another year. We work, play, love, walk, run, cry, laugh, plan, dream, scheme. Live life. Our efforts sometimes pay off, while other times skid off the road and are redirected via bumps in the road or too heavy a load, societal dictates, biological bugs or political thugs, personal or familial trials and triumphs. Some of it our own making. Much of it out of our control. Lives rerouted. Adjusted.

We welcome the incoming year with hopes of faces smiling and noses breathing in air without facial coverings filtering out the aromas of our indoors. We need the scents, the air warmed by human breath, tingling our noses, yes, indeed, without masks. Will we reattain a sense of carefree? I don't want to call it normal, as every year we progress into an adjusted new normal. Will this year mark the return of carefree? I venture that it will.

Yes, it will be a year of carefree living akin to childhood, lives rebalanced. It must. We will work and adjust toward that end.

Of course, there are no guarantees of anything, but we are ever-adaptive creatures, continually rerouting our lives. All the tribal rumblings, planetary upheavals and climatic realignments are all within our power to manage. Adjust.

This year I don't want to make resolutions. I will adapt and adjust as circumstances present themselves and live my best life. We do that anyway without realizing it most of the time, but the coming time holds fresh promise.

It's winter and there will be times that a sharp chill will grab you, hold you and won't let go until you let your inner sun, your flares of humanity and adaptability chase it away. This is the nature of our beings. This is adjustment.

Onward.

Print It.

Don't stop the presses. Print the newspaper. Print the magazines and books. Read them. Print is looking backward, you may say, as we push further into this still young century. I disagree. Print medium has never left us and I don't believe it ever will. Paper books, and likely magazines, will be around for decades, centuries maybe. Print medium has survived radio, TV, Internet, social media, and will survive whatever else lurks ahead.

I've always been an avid reader and my love for print began at a very young age. I loved making little comics using folded papers and staplers as a kid. Draw, doodle, cut and paste.

It was the first year of college. I was in between classes as a student at the University of North Carolina Charlotte in 1981-82. It was late in the semester. I strolled into the building where the student media were based. The radio station, WFAE (Charlotte's NPR station, freshly born in 1981), the student newspaper Carolina Journal, and the literary magazine, named Sanskrit, were all based there. I walked into the college newspaper office on a whim. One of the editors must have mistaken me for someone else and asked if I was there for an assignment. I said, sure, I like to write. He assigned me a story, to cover an event. I covered it and wrote about it and saw my name in print and man I was hooked.

The editors gave me a quick rundown on the do's and don'ts of newspapering, about being objective, fair, and telling it like it is. My journalism training was firsthand. I started writing for them as a staff writer and later became the newspaper's editor.

In our world, traversing the canyons of digital information can get overwhelming. The slowness of the old print medium gives a sense of pause. Unplug. Print remains a unique, to tag this century's all-purpose buzzword, “experience." It may sound a bit self-promoting (you're reading this in a print magazine that we own and publish), but the experience of reading information in printed format has a different, dare I say, a deeper connection.

Saathee remains a part of that connection, the passion for the print medium, the paper and ink, connecting the larger community.

You can clip out a newspaper article, or a recipe from a magazine, or keep a dog-eared favorite book on a shelf, as part of that connection. Yeah, digital gives the immediacy, but it still doesn't match the printed medium in the most human of all needs, physical connection.

Raise a glass for printed media in this new year.

Rejoice adjustments and our rerouted lives.

And, yes, onward.

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Samir Shukla is the editor of Saathee magazine. Contact - Samir@saathee.com