Bidding farewell with a new hope, it's the time for Twenty-Twenty!
We are only a day away from the first day of a year in modern Gregorian calendar as well as Julian calendar. It is time for us to wish for happiness and prosperity, again; the same wishes we'd prayed for at the beginning of the year 2019. We, as Indian, have lots of reasons to look forward and lay our hopes on the New Year. Our bucket list of wishes will surely include; well regulated prices of essential commodities, especially onion; the prevalence of law and order amidst citizenship issue; robust economic growth ushering employment opportunities; resolution of North East's militancy issues; women safety etc. It is hope that keeps an individual motivated to smile even on gloomy days. It is that same hope, one that we, the citizens of this great country, will need to nurture as we step into a new year.
Even as we look forward to the New Year, there are many things on which we need to retrospect and introspect. Many of us will expectedly participate in bonfires, wherein all the activities we felt we have wronged are listed and thrown into a fire. The practice is symbolic of acknowledging one's mistakes as much as it is an act of erasing the memories associated with it and looking ahead with new promises. While on individual level, the list could differ, one activity which the power at helm should, in the best interest of the people, throw into bonfire is 'the process of making policy for the people without taking onboard all the stakeholders; mainly the people to be affected by such decisions.' Another list which deserves the bonfire is 'our indifference' to various issues especially of women. 'Raped and Murdered' headlines should have no place in 21st century; it should have no place in the land of the largest democracy in the world.
If the list that we wish to quit meets the fire, another list which we would want to accomplish is kept close to the heart, with a silent hope of trying to become one's best self. The conciliatory bonfire and the New Year resolution, like two sides of the same coin form the New Year promises. Speaking of New Year promises, I can't help but recall those promises I made every New Year, like; “I will quit consuming all tobacco products and instead eat only healthy foods, I will not squander money but save this amount of money, I will not tell lies but speak only the truth, I will not fight with anyone but be at peace with everyone, etc.” These promises however last only a while, requiring the whole rituals of bonfire to be affected once again every New Year.
The reason why New year promises have such a high rate of backslides could be attributed to the over-importance given to the significance of 1st of January to start a new life. We tend to believe that our conducts on New Year day would suffice the remaining days of the year. As a result of which, we subconsciously lose guard of maintaining necessary restraints and resolutions and subsequently fall prey to temptations, only to return to square one and wait for the next New year day. These New year promises have striking resemblance with electoral promises made by politicians, irrespective of party affiliations, for the development of the poor just before elections, only to be repeated in the next election. Only that, politicians has the luxury of five years before the next same ordeal.
Does the solution then rests on brushing aside New Year Day? No. The justification of one not fulfilling his promise to be a better person on New year day, just because of the inability to follow many good things done earlier on New Year's Day defeats the whole purpose of the larger ambition to do good any day, irrespective of it being first or last. Every day is a new day. We ought to be our best every day. But like most good sayings, this logic too is easier said than done. Our minds need something bigger than just a 'new day' to honestly keep our promises of starting afresh with new hopes and new vigour. What a better day than New Year Day then to start a new life! Looking ahead with promises in mind, we need to pat ourselves on the good work done and the blessings received during the year. General election 2019, surgical strikes, space missions, repeal of Article 370, Resolution of Ayodhya case and CAA etc might be few in the list which the Government would surely pat its back for. How inclusive are these policies though is another question altogether. On individual front, we all can take pride for keeping our body and soul together for 356 days through thick and thin.
As the New Year dawns, I will thank the almighty for his kind blessings throughout the year; keeping me safe from various hardships and most importantly, from the inconvenience of the sky-rocketing price-rise of onions. I doubt how many of my countrymen are as fortunate as me to absolutely have no problem without onion in curry, except off-course Honourable Madam. Meanwhile, I will throw my lists of never to do again into the bonfire and make a New Year wish with many promises; to do away with tobacco products, again, among many others. Happy New Year in advance folks!
The writer is Author of the book 'Hilly Dreams- The story of Aboi