Monday, December 31, 2007

31st December and all that !!!!!!

'So where are you partying on 31st nite ??' is a question that has been thrown at me repeatedly over the last few days. And after answering (always with a straight face) that I am going to be home, like almost all other evenings, I get back a look of surprise that seems to say 'Here you are, all of 28, recently married and doing decently well in life: You should be in Goa atleast !!'. But frankly, sitting at home is what I have been doing for the past 3 year-ends and I see no reason for that to change. Infact, I firmly believe that the '31st December' concept is highly over-hyped, created by smart marketing gurus just to have people spending more and more (I read of a couple's package worth Rs 25K and more just to go to a New Years Eve party and see some Bollywood stars performing and have a few drinks). It all has become quite obscene, if you ask me.

So in answer to the above question, this is the counter-question that I would put: 'What is so special about 31st December and 1st January ???'. And the possible answers that I might get:

1. "Its the start of a New Year, silly !!!!" : Oh yes, of course, how could I forget ???. A new year is dawning on us !!! Ring out the old, ring in the new !! Probably the sun will look different when it rises tommorow morning. Seriously, what in your daily life changes on the morning on 1st January ??? I will still take the same train to work, get the same salary credited to my account as on 1st December and get back in the evening to the same wife and family ;-). And what about the rest of the world ??? Poverty and global warming will continue to be as important issues as they were on 31st December, and the Aussies will continue to bully every opposition in cricket !!. Nature does not make a big deal about changing of years, so why should be ??? Just as it would be wrong for Anil Kumble to think that things would change just because it is 2008 and not 2007, we would be deluding ourselves to think that the morning of 1st January will bring new wonders to our lives.

2. "Its time for new beginnings and resolutions !!". Ah, the New Years resolutions !!! Haven't we heard those before ?? "I will lose 10kgs", "I want to get a new job with 25% hike", "I will leave office at 6 pm everyday". And we also know how devoted we are to these resolutions. Trust me, it is no different making resolutions on 1st January than it is on 24th March or 2nd July or 12th October !!! Waiting for the New Year to start afresh is simply comforting yourself and postponing something which you know is very difficult to achieve, You assume that things will change on New Year's day and, as I have mentioned before, they do not.

3. "Forget the New Year man, I just want to forget all worries and party !!!!". Then why spend double the money partying alongwith the whole world ?? And honestly, your worries are your own creations. Lead a good life and you will find time everyday to party !!!!

So, for everyone getting ready for their big bashes tonight, I would simply say that use this day not for wild celebrations but for deep introspection. Take stock of where you are today and where you want to be next year-end, and the years after that. And I bet you will find ways to reach there.
To sign off, for the record, Wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year !!!!

Amit Gokhale