Sunday, January 01, 2006

Celebrations? What for?

Slept at 2 last night. Fire crackers, Parathas, Paneer Tikka and three bottles of Vodka added glamour to our New Year Party in the lodge. "Working class" in other rooms and us plus three guests were there for the celebrations.

Joby was a bit gloomy, a shade that was quite unlikely of his nature. He didn’t have the mood to celebrate when his father had to cycle some 10km every morning to give newspapers. That made me think.

What purpose do these celebrations serve? Just an excuse for a change from the routine, to try to have fun by a change in the way you spend your day and money. This was the first New Year Party I attended. The reason for the party? A change in the calendar.

I still remember the night of Dec 31, 1999. When the clock struck 12 and kicked off the millennium celebrations, I was lying on the floor of a railway station in Goa. There were people outside and inside the railway station who had another year of poverty and misery ahead of them.

They had no means and reasons to celebrate. They might also be wishing for a change from routine, and that too more intensely than us.

Amounts being shelled out on New Year celebrations, or any occasion for that matter, are becoming more and more exorbitant. The gap between haves and have-nots is becoming wider.


Attribution said...

well said.
One thought that keeps coming to my mind every Dec 31 is the point for celebrating New year.

As people sent me a card for the ocassion, I made it a point to send all my frnds new year wish well thru an ecard.

While surfing or rather jumping channels yesterady I caught a glimpse of a live show on a mallu channel with people jumping around like apes and half (full??)drunk.
I never got the point, i still havent.
For the past 6 yrs I have been at my house for the New year, I have seen people drunk and driving and rushing to the nearest resort to "Celebrate the new year" saw it yesterday too with guys screaming booing and honking.
Whats the point? why celebrate when u dont change, u dont get richer, all that u can possibly end up doing is getting drunk dancing and change the calender and continue to live hoping to and waiting for the next occassion to celebrate...

Never Just An Ordinary Girl said...

1) In the last sentence, you've used the wrong verb form. "The gap...IS becoming wider."

2) A good point. However -- don't let your compassion (pity? anger?) prevent you from enjoying anything yourself. I mean...this is all a slippery slope, but basically, I think one must always be a bit careful. In seeing so much poverty, all the time, there is this sense that you're not doing enough, but you have to live your own life, so what can you do? You give money and don't invest anything in materially improving the lives of others. I guess my point is, devote some time each week to volunteering or to doing good deeds. Buy and cook food for someone who might not get it otherwise. Help build shelters for people. But also allow yourself the occasional nicety; there's no reason not to enjoy something so long as you do your best to pass on the gifts you've been given, as well.

3) That said, the ostentatious use of wealth in India is quite ridiculous at times. I have something in my boiling about weddings, but I'll save that for later. There is nothing wrong with simplicity and humility.

K. Sundaram said...

Made a good point. But, it matters only on the manner you celebrate these occasions. Drinking and howling is not the only mode of celebration. But you can be simple too. spend the money you ought to do for any charity organisations. Afterall every human beings have problems and it is natural for them to use these occasions as the source of pouring them out. It is purely subjective. Celebrate! but,Why not in a better way?

K. Sundaram said...
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