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New Year countdown

india Updated: Jan 01, 2008 00:41 IST
Off track | KumKum Dasgupta
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Every year as December 31 nears and the mercury starts plummeting, I go through party pangs. The sequence of events remains the same. The first few days of the month, I am in no mood to join any New Year’s bash — oh, I have been there, done that, is usually what I tell myself and everyone around. Then, somewhere around December 25, I suddenly start developing an interest, suitably egged on by ‘well-meaning’ friends with their ‘this is the only chance to meet’ whine. But I still hold back: what’s so special about December 31 and anyway, unlike others, I have to be in office on January 1. Then, as everyone around me tells me about their plans, I am more or less convinced that it’s best to party because… oh, I can cook up a thousand reasons.

This year was going to be different, I promised myself once again in December and almost managed to keep the resolution till the last day. All friends were suitably pacified and all gmail chat queries answered. Even when my 20-year-old nephew, who is my barometer of all things hip and happening, called to tell me his party-hopping plans, I was brave enough to say that I was planning to stay home. “Oh, so you are in that league now. How terribly sad,” he said teasingly. I swear, it sounded like ‘you loser’. I fumed.

By now, I was surely facing a midnight crisis.

But a chat session near the office coffee machine on New Year’s eve decided things once and for all. In fact, it was my colleague’s son who helped me settle it at least for 2007. Here’s the story: on December 31, ‘A’ declared that he was going out for a New Year’s party at his friend’s place. When told that he was not old enough, the young man told his parents that he was now into “double-digits” and, therefore, it was okay to party. He has turned 10 this year. Hmm. That sounds like the finance minister speaking, I thought to myself. So, that settled the issue for Monday night. I decided to go out and party hard. I’m sure I’ll be back in office today bleary-eyed and ruing my career choice.

If December 31 is a wicked day, January 1 is worse since unfailingly, I still make New Year resolution(s). Of course, there are additions and deletions along the way and at the year-end, there are more crosses than ticks on the list. But that’s the fun of the game, isn’t it? I wracked my brains to think of a list. I asked a colleague, hoping to get some clues. “I don’t have to make resolutions. Anyway it’s difficult to keep them,” she said candidly.

After some soul-searching, this is what I decided: I hope to learn the art of saying ‘no’ this year. Doesn’t that sound good? After all, I now have one full year to practise so that the party pangs don’t get the better of me this year. My time starts now.