Incorrigible calendar nuts that we journalists are, we reach for the crystal ball when the season changes, and the possibilities of commemoration drive us to read the tea leaves. It’s that time of the year when we all pretend to be prescient and wise. When the future is a palimpsest of codes and signs worthy of our struggle to make this world a bit more comprehensible. We profiled the year 2017 in these pages a couple of weeks ago as a study in power, its passions and pathologies. In this issue, we look at what it takes to sustain power politically, and what it demands from those who wield it. Our writers measure the political, financial and emotional quotients of power. We pray that a midnight tweet by the President of America won’t trigger a nuclear war, and we will be spared his phallic aphorisms and more of his ‘covfefe’, and, back home, that no politician will bore us by projecting defeats as moral victories as we enter 2018. Welcome to the penultimate year in the Indian calendar of power.