We completely understand that you expect the first day of the new year, that is today, to begin with a bang. The sense of déjà vu you feel at this very moment is real and not the fall-out of consuming mind-altering substances last night — or should we say last year? And in this lies the total appeal of New Year’s Day. It is this distancing, this creating of space between days when little has changed that makes every January 1 such a special occasion.
To be able to heap into last year’s dustbin matters that are unpalatable, to be able to simply dump many of the to-dos, and wedge between today and yesterday the turn of an entire year; and to sift and drag into the new only the bits that we desire, is something truly rejuvenating. India, being the world’s best pot pourri (khichdi is still declassé), gets lucky at least four times over. In the integrated India fabric, a new year is celebrated on January 1, on Baishakhi in April, during Onam and then the Gujarati New Year that falls a day after Diwali. This gives us Indians an almost seasonal opportunity to junk the old ring in the new year, caller tune and all.
With the world wrapping up — or imploding if you prefer — into one giant global mess, there’s good news for New Year celebrations. Why not adopt a new year resolution to celebrate all new years? The calendar is generously sprinkled. We can begin next month, when it’s party time for the Chinese. This year will see two Islamic new years, one in January itself. So keep the resolution short and sweet. You have time till the next new year later this month to revise it, or defer it till the Chinese one next month. May the year ahead be all about choices.