The New Year Conundrum


When it comes to western 'new-age' celebrations such as New Years Eve and Valentine's Day, the whole world seems to split right-down the middle into two vociferous groups. On one side we have the Faithful who abide by the ceremonious nature of the event by plunging into parties and booze. On the other side, we have the Doubters who suspect these holidays to be Machiavellian schemes of corporates to sell you things that you will never need or do you any good.

As always, there is a third side. People like me who prefer to passively crib about these events while silently wishing for a better life in the days to come.

New Years is just around the corner now and Bangalore is decking herself up beautifully. From merry decorations on store-fronts to people hitting the shopping trails for last minute purchases of gym-wear for their New Year resolutions, Bangalore, the city of young believers, is a busy hub of activity. 

As I sit in an empty office wondering what to do on New Years Eve, I can't help but feel this sense of excitement within me. Why? I dont know. 

I do not expect life to be much different tomorrow as compared to today, just because it is a new year. But still, unbeknownst to me there is this ... hope. I am neither a glass-half-full nor empty person, I just see a glass of water as a glass of water. So I don't think I can dismiss this excitement as just optimism. So what is this phenomenon? This silent urge within us to expect the new year to bring great pleasures and adventures? This silent resolve we make within ourselves to make our lives better and more meaningful ? This maddening desire to make loud resolutions only to break them within a week? 

Time is a funny thing. It keeps going but we never notice it till its gone for good. I have always loved the idea of imagining time as a massive flow of water - sometimes as a river, sometimes as an ocean. It resembles a massive infinite river in its ceaseless journey towards an unknown, imaginary ocean while it resembles an ocean because time is infinite. Whether you subtract one year or thousands of years from it, time remains infinite. 

We never notice it when time flows past us in our everyday lives. Wasting one hour of a day is nothing big and all of us routinely do it. But somewhere down the line, each individual makes this call on 'how much time wasted' is 'wasted enough'. Just how much time should we have wasted to realize that time is valuable? Personally, its a day for me. At night, before hitting the bed, if I feel that I had not done anything productive that day, I tend to sleep a guilty sleep with plenty of nightmares. I know people who have a much lower and a much higher threshold for wasted-time. 

I think a New Year is like the cleaning of the slate to all our 'time-wasted' accounts. Irrespective of how much time we have wasted in the previous year, it allows us to throw that away from our minds just as we throw away one calender and get the next one. It allows us to relish the opportunity of spending the next 8760 hours better than the previous 8760 hours. Come to think of it, every New Year Resolution is just an inheritance of the basic resolve - 'Spend your time better'. 

New Years Eve is that momentous moment in the lives of 7 billion people who subconsciously reflect on the time wasted and take stock of the passage of this massive river that underpins our lives and consciousness. New Years Eve is a festival in dedication of time. Ever since the notion of time was recognized by Man's mind, we have needed this time to do some 'spring-cleaning' and prepare ourselves for a better future. 

This New Years, I promise myself just one thing - 'Spend my time better' 
Seems like a tougher resolution to break than something like 'Put your garbage out in the morning on time' :)

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