Editorial (December 2020)

Sunil Sharma
---“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

– Lao Tzu

 

---“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” 

Seneca

 

And time to say goodbye to the year 2020 and welcome 2021!

 

New beginnings on old endings!

Old endings and new beginnings!

 

2020 was traumatic----and therapeutic as well for humankind battered by death, disease and dread, a triad occasioned by an invisible virus that infected the entire world and left it shaken down to its axis, and, refusing to retreat easily.

 

It also taught many lessons about health, wellness, wellbeing and nature-human interaction and a delicate dialectics in a greedy world out to destroy the former for the sake of profits for an extreme minority gone cynical in its pursuits of wealth and power, control and domination. The grim exploitation of resources, natural and human, has produced series of disasters and ecological crises.

 

Climate change---deniers and supporters ranged on opposite lines of raging debates---is real now, here to stay and the negative effects felt globally.

Nature is back seeking balance and unleashing fury on unrepentant humans and elites alike for their acts of violence.

Sacred has become new profane.

Nature and the planet degraded by the polluting practices.

 

If lessons learnt by the Corona pandemic are not remembered for long, such episodes will keep on repeating in coming years as well, at a heavy cost to the world.

The balance needs to be restored by all of us, the ultimate stakeholders in the future of the planet, otherwise, it will soon become a memory---the bountiful nature and earth itself.

What once was a prediction in art or grim artistic vision---like The Plague of Camus--- came to pass in the year 2020.

We should not take things for granted and begin acting proactively in such urgent matters.

Art and artistic endeavours are necessary interventions. These point out the way forward also.

 

Our special editions are appropriate responses to the changing contexts. This time, too, the focus is on positive action through fine writing.

Word and world!

Both reciprocally working on each other.

Nature. Life. Cognition. Expression.

Together---creativity!

 

This month's special edition is on nature, natural world and poetic experiences, something mystical, otherworldly, almost spiritual. It is titled: Seeking Solace and Sublime: Nature and Creative Cognition. Curated by  the senior surgeon Rameshwer Singh---a distinguished trilingual poet, photographer and singer, and above all, a devotee of nature and Sufi in taste and action---brings out the complex of relationships and interconnectedness of dimensions multiple through this special project by Setu. The writings selected testify to the philosophical and ethical views of nature---as sacred and primary source of life and overall meaning in a progressive narrative called culture and civilization.

 

We remain thankful to all the writers, readers and guest editors for their support to a bilingual journal with more than 18-lakh plus readership.

Wishing you all---a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Most importantly---peaceful year ahead!


Sunil Sharma,

Editor, Setu (English)
Mumbai Metro Area, Maharashtra (India)

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