Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year’s eve – it’s a numbers game

There are many New Years- depending on which calendar you follow. Most Hindus celebrate the next day of Diwali as the New Year. For Tamil’s there is Pongol, for Maloos there is Onam, for Maharashtrians there is Gudi Padwa, for Sindhis there is Chaiti Chand, for Parsis there is Navjot. And if you get out of the religious sphere, there are New Years based on the academic year- again varies which school/curriculum you follow. For many it tends to be June or Aug. And then there is financial New Year which again depending on where you work it could be Jan, or March, or I don’t know when.

So what’s this obsession about 31 Dec? I doubt many of us celebrate our religious New Years with half as much gusto as we do on 31 Dec. When in fact, 31 Dec is simply the calendar New Year (and the Roman calendar, the Hindu calendar follows a whole different set of dates). The date on the calendar changes. (And as when I was in school it felt that the only thing that changed was that number I wrote on top of my books). Nothing else really changes. It’s a numerical difference.

So again what’s the fuss about 31 Dec?

One of my sisters thinks it’s probably a legit excuse to get drunk. Some of my friends say it’s just another excuse to PAAARTTYYYY! Some others believe why over think- everyone is celebrating, just join the fun.

All of the above would be cool had there been no social pressure (or self-inflicted pressure) to make this night special. It’s one more marketing hype that we can do away with. (and let me remind you here, I work in advertising. People like me generate such hype. Am sure my karma bank is reeling under all this hype I am instrumental in creating. Ok digressing again...)

It’s a numerical difference. And therein per me, lies in the answer. As humans we need to quantify everything- the number of years one has lived, the price tag on the designer bag, the number of Michelin stars a restaurant has, there %/rank you scored in your exams, the number of rooms you have in your home and the list goes on.

Because we have a need to quantify everything, 31 Dec has significance. The next day, the number changes. From 2009 we are moving to 2010. The number has changed. It MUST denote something big. Let’s celebrate! Yoohoo!!

Celebrate, drink, have a party, have fun- but there is no need to wait for 31 Dec to do it. The build up is purely unnecessary. Celebrate life with people who you love and people who love you. It’s that simple. Celebrate whenever you have slightest excuse- and trust me, if you open your eyes to look, you shall find many.

So this New Year’s eve I am going out with my friends:

- To get drunk- YES
- To party- YES
- To flaunt my new LBD- YES
- To have a whale of a time- YES AGAIN

But it will only be special because it’s with these special friends. The number is completely immaterial.

Wish you all a very happy New Year. Live each day as if it were 31 Dec! (and no it does not mean you can get drunk everyday!)

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