This new year, 2009, I celebrate my silver jubilee, of course in a very different fashion. If age is but just a number, I would have let it pass. But the truth is there is much more to it because every year we are growing, older. And we are supposed to be growing not just in numbers but as a human being too.
That’s why I am forced to (re)introspect into how to mend some self-destructive ways of mine, to slough off the old skin and change into a progressive garb. Be a better person each year that passes through. What better occasion than the New Year to begin with?
There would be thousands like me out there, tired and willing to start anew with a meandering list of New Year resolutions, dos and don’ts and other promises; some having made promises to their loved ones, and others like me, doing it out of a sheer desire and need to change. And I can pretty well predict that they would not just draw as many a list they can but at the same time, they would have failed to keep one single promise.
So has been my own story through more than a decade of New Year eves that I have drunkenly celebrated. During the merry making round, I have religiously espoused to be reborn again promising to begin afresh the next day. But tomorrow, in my dictionary, be it the first day of a new year, or any other day is just another day.
It is hilarious and at times bordering at scrupulous ingenuity the way I have made promises and wrecked them. One might as well take me for a man who does not keep his own words. For now let it be so. But Each New Year, I have, with utmost seriousness and commitment, penned down list after list of resolutions, on paper. For the record, here’s a few of them I have stuck to, let’s say, since time immemorial.
This year is going to be beautiful year. A journey well begun is half complete. And it would be in your own interest, good health, wellbeing, prosperity and successes you dream of, that you fulfill the resolutions come what may. It is actually not so hard. All you need to do is put in a little extra effort and be downright determined and resolute to change. Happy New Year!
1. Give up Drinking.
2. Give up smoking, be a good Buddhist.
3. Work hard like a mule.
4. Exercise a lot-you got to shed that extra flab. Reminder: you are already over weight, no taking any chances.
5. Be a good, law abiding citizen, a responsible son, a caring brother, and a lovable boy friend (when I have had girl friends).
The list goes on.
Sadly though I have never managed to put to rest one bad habit or take up a good one either. All those New Year resolutions I have made has come to naught. Honestly, in hindsight, I believe my resolutions to change for good had been a mere consolation to my soul that desires change and my body that blatantly refuses it. In fact it is a wrenching emotional and spiritual turmoil, when the flesh and spirit try to disconnect with each other. The consequence is that I am left to ponder on the veracity of my ineptitude to better myself.
Perhaps I never created that conducive environment for my soul and body to embrace change. The possibility becomes even rarer when you start your evening with a swig of whiskey. Followed by more swigs, and more pegs, until you lose the notion of quantity and start gulping down in bottles. Celebration without alcohol and the high it gives, in this part of the world is sacrilegious. So bring on the booze and party hard!
When the clock strikes 11: 59:50, and just about everyone screams their lungs out, counting down to the New Year, you are at the threshold of a new beginning. That defining moment when you bear hug and wish everyone around you a Happy New Year, you are supposed to have begun a new journey of life. Refer the resolutions. But you would want to wait till tomorrow for the sake of the spirit of fun and frolic that is so vibrant and contagious among the drunken crowd. And so, you are again thrust in that samsaric cycle of drinking, smoking, and trying to be free; your promises all of them tattered, gone down the drain.
Did somebody say change for the sake of change is meaningless; change is as good as rest? Well then, I rest my case. This New Year, I would spend my time away from the maddening crowd of a bar and the psychedelic razor lights, deafening music and noise of a discotheque, reading Ibsen’s plays in the private sanctum of my small, dingy room. That would indeed be a leap of change.
And I have made only one resolution. A simple one that is-to hell with New Year eves and resolutions. Happy New Year!