Time is like a juggernaut. It stops at none. It neither slows nor speeds. It goes on its steady manner. It is man-made. But for time, each day would have been, well, just a day. Thanks to time, each day has a unique identity.
Days bundle up into months and months bundle up into an year. As each year ends and a new year dawns, people rejoice. Sometimes I wonder why we rejoice on the new year’s eve. After all, it is just another night, just another day. It is purely statistical. But Statistics and Numbers have a way of bringing joy to Man. And sadness and other emotions too. Bradman’s average being a jiffy short of 100 always gnaws. Sachin’s current long stint (how much more should we wait?!) at 99 international centuries keeps us on edge of the seat.
Yet, there is a sense of joie-di-vivre when the clock approaches midnight on the 31st of December. There is a sense of accomplishment, of having lived through one more year successfully. It brings out the bonhomie amongst one and all. Strangers wish one another ‘Happy New Year’ and flash a bright smile. Why is it that we do not smile at one another every single day? Wouldn’t this world be a great place if such camaraderie existed all 365 days a year! But then, I guess, it would have robbed the uniqueness of a New Year’s Day!
There are many days in a year that Man celebrates but it is only on the New Year’s Eve when the clock’s countdown is anticipated with such animation. And when the clock strikes twelve, there is hugging and kissing all around. People clap and laugh and sing and dance as if something great happened. But nothing really happens in this physical, practical world to cause any significant change. No one does anything spectacular. The world doesn’t achieve anything great. The clock ticks on just like on any other day. It has no feelings. It does not know the significance nor does it know that it is the one and only agent for this Earthly Nirvana. It does not even stop to celebrate. It goes on and by the time the festivities end, it would have already completed the first few hours of the New Year.
Although nothing spectacular happens, the number in the year - a man-made counter - gets incremented by one and this simple change gives so much joy to so many people. Many flock to metropolitan places to catch a glimpse of the city’s New Year’s Eve attractions such as Fireworks, concerts, parties, etc. Many go to special resorts or to parties to celebrate in small social gatherings. Many stay up at night till the clock strikes twelve enjoying the number of entertainment shows telecasted on the television or just plain news of the happenings across the world.
I wish I could remember each of my 31 New Year’s Eves. For many years, it always was a party at my father’s office. After my father retired, it was mostly sitting in front of the TV and watching the world enjoy – many times sitting alone too with none to rejoice or walking around the block to see the festivities. Perhaps an occasional phone call or an sms to whosoever was nearest and dearest at that time of the year. But some occasions - especially the last few - are memorable. When the year turned 2007, I was 36000 feet above the world! I wanted to wish my neighbor in the Singapore Airlines but she was fast asleep. I was very cynical in 2008. 2009 was with wife in the midst of an unruly crowd in Brigade Road, Bangalore. I slept in 2010! 2011 was a very nice, warm gathering with my school friends and their families. And of course, my daughter’s first. 2006 and 2012 are those spent in US and both have been very special. 2006 was with friends in New York Times Square to see the ball drop. It was an unforgettable experience. 2012 was awesome too, with wife and daughter, in the White Mountain Region in New Hampshire amidst snow-covered mountains.
All in all, it is a time of universal happiness. It is the only day that gives immense joy to humanity and brings smile to one and all, regardless of caste, religion, sex, age and innumerous other man-made distinctions.
It is like a new chapter in each person’s life. A brand new set of blank pages that one can author in one’s own way as one wishes.
Here’s me wishing 2012 to be filled with joy, happiness, health and prosperity.
Happy New Year!!