Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Pic.: Pradeep Nanda

“So, what’s your big plan for 31st night?”

Either some have, already, asked you this question; or, you have, already, asked this to some…

‘Big plan’, here, invariably, means a ‘big party’… Yes, the New-year party!

Well, though many around me still ask me this question, I have, somehow, stopped asking this to others…

There is hardly any sense in it… hardly any meaning.

I have given my students a holiday on 31st and 1st. They are very, very happy. “Happy New-year to all of you,” I wished them, when they left, this morning.

“Happy New-year sir,” the response was resounding!

“Sir, what is the big plan for 31st?” some asked me…

“Go, enjoy yourself; have fun,” I smiled without answering their question.

Now, I will be meeting them, directly, on 3rd January… that is, in the ‘new year’…

What difference will I see in my students, and what difference will they see in me?

I am shaking my head... and smiling!

I will be 57 in the new-year. So, I will be witnessing this so-called new-year passage for the 56th time!

Yes, as these young-kids do, today, I have done it all, once… Attended the mid-night mass, after that, partied hard, nightlong… I have burnt the ‘old-man’ and danced to the music… I have spent time, in the romantic cold-night, with my special-one… I have sent messages and cards; I have received scores and scores of them. I have called my dear ones and they have called me to say, “Happy New-year.”

Yes, over all these years – fifty-six long years – I have done it all. But, I have failed to understand, of all the things about this ‘Happy New-year business, this:

“What is ‘happy’ about the happy-new-year?”

Unless we approach the new-year consciously, unless we get in touch with some of our old-habits which we do not wish to continue in the new-year, unless we make conscious choices about the new-habits to be imbibed in the new-year… yes, unless we are awake and alive to this passage in time – the Passover – the so-called the ‘Happy New-year’ is just one more ritual in our already-loaded long-list of rituals… something we follow like herd… blindly, mechanically…

"Wherever you go, you carry yourself!"

So, what is your ‘big plan’ for the 31st night?

I won’t ask you this…

Hope, you won’t ask me this either…

But, if someone does, let’s just smile!


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