Tuesday, January 3, 2012

That was not enough ! Just the wide and colored greetings


Jalsa , Mumbai                 Dec 31/Jan 1 , 2011-2012             Sat/Sun  2 : 23 AM

No ! That was not enough ! Just the wide and colored greetings ! Large in font and cut pasted with some haste. It was just the exuberance of another year passing by that prompted it. Perhaps the warmth of the quiet family dinner, perhaps the sudden burst of the fireworks from adjoining Hotel, perhaps just because I had to express something, perhaps …
The expectation of celebration for just another day going by is perhaps the greatest anomaly of our times. Perhaps there is need to indulge, to brighten the house with buntings and blinking christmas trees, to prepare a special meal, to smile and laugh away the year or the day gone by – one doesn’t do that routinely does one ? To wish, to pledge, to resolve, to bring in change in mind and thought – why one does it for this one singular day has always intrigued me. But in all honesty, intrigued me now, never before. Youth and the early years allow celebration and the anticipation of fun and games and an atmosphere that looks special. There is a need for it, perhaps because traditionally it has been executed year after year. As one approaches the latter years of one’s life one discounts its importance – better to get in some well needed rest than to be singing wildly on crowded streets. To mingle with compatriots, our own and join them in theirs and our festivity. There is a certain pragmatism that beckons us, pushes us into rethinking the entire idea of this mood, and helps us to succumb to some calibrated sobriety.
Did we, before we got influenced by our rulers particularly the British, the French and the Portuguese and would you believe from Denmark, celebrate the change of year as bounteously as we do now. I do not hear or read of such reference. But the British with all their pomp and character of pageantry, did bring in all that has still remained with us. Celebration necessities were introduced, formats, protocol and its ethics followed through ages became mandatory essentials. Words were constructed among the locals to be able to give the moment a certain respect. Christmas was dubbed as ‘bada din’ – the big day ! In certain institutions it is still addressed thus. Cities and locations that are still pronounced with their Anglo-Indian communities, do justice still to those routines. Calcutta, then, now Kolkata, was one such city, and in the year of 1962 when I had shifted base from a predominantly Punjabi Delhi to Bengal, many surroundings within which we moved and socialized, bore witness to modalities which reminded greatly of the Raj. In fact some of the private institutes still had restrictions on the admissibility of locals. One such being the Calcutta Swimming Club, membership to which even after Independence was scrutinized to an extent where the Westerner held preference over the local ‘browns’ !!
But I digress. A new year is a new year. It is time passed, moving on to the next. Maybe it does deserve respect and attention. But certainly after the 1st of January it is back to ‘atey dal ka bhav’ … the common needs of everyday life !!
The car hooters and horns still dominate the streets outside. Masses of young scream and whistle the night away, keeping the prying eyes of the uniformed attentive throughout. Tomorrow’s papers shall have a setting sun, or crowds of party enthusiasts swinging to the mid night hour, and God forbid if there has been mischief created by some over some, it shall be outrageously presented.
A summary of what the entire year meant for celebrities, politicians and the business world at large has already been documented. What shall come now, if it has not already, will be the expectations from 2012. Many shall fall victims to this query and give their interpretation of what the next year holds for them, many shall give serious consideration to it and delve into the whole mechanics that will go into operation for 2012.
For me ..
Another year has gone by ….
Remain good and remain healthy .. and do remain connected … to me !!!

Amitabh Bachchan 

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