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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Year of the Monkey

This is the year of the Rat, and very soon it will be the year of the Ox, if I'm not mistaken. Nope, I'm right; just checked the Chinese Zodiac article on Wikipedia and it confirmed my suspicions. That means, I'll have to wait until the year 2016 to see the next year of the Monkey. The scary thing is, it's not that far away. Sure, for those of you pulling out your fingers and going, "Hey, that's like one, two, more years man!" well D'uh! But time flies, I tell you. Here I am telling people stories about when I came back to India and started working here, and it sounds like I'm talking about stories from my days in "Vietnam". Speaking of this war, here's a brief aside; an interesting link popped up for a novel titled "The Year of the Monkey", by William W. Lewis. But coming back to the Chinese Zodiac, I started thinking about how many of these kinds of notions affect our lives. Mostly, by the amount of importance we pay each of these, fortunately or unfortunately.

An interesting pehnomenon about this kind of Zodiac, is that most people your age end up having the same sort of characteristics or even destinies as you. For example, most of the people in my class, who were all born the same year as I was, will have the same general outcome as far as their lives. And, it takes time into account on a more global scale, as compared to the Western Zodiac system which uses the passage of time, by observing the stars and their movement, to denote the manner in which those born under it will have their lives affected on a particular day. The only other 12-year system that I am personally familiar with is the blooming of the Kurinji flower. A quick aside, again, but individually, these flowers aren't much to look at, and don't even seem to have a particular smell. But see them in bloom on a hill or mountainside, and it just takes your breath away.

Coming back to the main idea of this post, I thought I'd look up what this year is going to be like for me, born in the year of the primate. And, what I found was that it was going to be like every other year. He he he... Isn't that the darnedst thing with trying to see into the future? I mean, there's going to be some good and then there's going to be some bad. Or it might even happen in the reverse order. That's like the weather reporter saying that it may or may not rain tomorrow. I could tell you that!!! But, this is something that I'll never learn. Worse, I'll probably keep making fun of it, but go running back to it at the drop of the proverbial hat!

Of slightly more interest in nature, were these little snippets on websites across the known web universe that I happened to glance at occasionally. They have the usual information, you know, the what-you're-like-in-general, what-you're-like-at-work, what-you're-like-as-a-parent/child/sister/brother, what-you're-like-in-bed, and who-you're-most-compatible-with kind of descriptions. That last one is actually quite amusing. Imagine asking someone what year they were born in so that you could be assured a long and happy life together. O-M-F-G!!! But, before I start getting all huffy-and-puffy about this, here are a couple of those links (Link 1,Link 2, Link 3). That last link is rather strange. It takes you to Everything for Primate Lovers. What? Well, don't look at me, I'm already taken. Even if I'm not!!! ;-)

Finally, this post is another example of the oxymoron that I call a mind. Some days I believe, other days I ridicule. And, still other days, I end up sitting in the middle and adopting an ascetic-like stance on the meaning of existence. But think about it for a second. Think about all the different things we have to identify ourselves with and by. How many are there? There's your ethnicity, your nationality, your region/state, your city, your ideology, your zodiac sign, your horoscope in whatever culture you may belong to, your religion, your social strata, your school/college/univeristy as an alumnus, your favorite pastimes, your worst fears, your habits good and bad, your interests, your missions, your insecurities...and the list goes on. And, here's one of them. The year you were born. According to traditional Chinese beliefs. All are true, and none are true, all at the same time. Wow...

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