DUB Speak

The False Consolation That A New Year Brings With It

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The New Years are a time of utmost revelry and celebrations, where people come together to welcome the new year. However, what is really so new about new year, except a change in the calendar?

A century lasts for 100 years. A year constitutes 12 months with 30 days in it. It is an endless, repetitive cycle wherein everyone crosses off the same dates in the calendar in their kitchen every year, yet with a different digit at the end of the year itself. The point being, that time is a social construct, packaged into minutes and hours and days and years, every passing minute, every tick on the clock, a glaring reminder that the “time” that has passed is not to return and each second spent unproductively, is each second gone to waste. This again is a reminder of how in this super competitive, goal-oriented era, we are also addled with this pressure to do well and “make every second count’. Sure, this is also somewhat a product of capitalism that prevails in society, which has completely altered our mindset and made us believe so.

Now at the end of every year, people adorn their party shoes or choose to stay back at home instead and order-in pizza. On the last day of December, the ball drops in Times Square, there is mad celebration and festivities all around the world, adhering to different time zones.  Every first day of the month January, the old calendar hits the bin and is replaced with the one with a new digit at the end. Whatsapp messages are circulated around, wishing health, peace and prosperity, the same old jargon. New year resolutions are made, mentally by the adults and jotted down on colourful sticky notes by children. The same old reiteration of resolutions that didn’t see the light of day last year, some being of course, false promises of going to the gym, or traveling more in the upcoming year.  All in all, there seems to be a very peculiar way in which people seem to celebrate the arrival of a new year, that in fact, has nothing new in it at all. Your life is still going to be the same; you’ll return to the same house, same job, same family. Of course, it will have its share of change in it, change is the only constant, and something that doesn’t really have to do anything with the new year.

Sure, I do have my share of complaints with this whole idea of ‘new year, new beginnings’’, but I also do accept the fact (quite grudgingly) that this false consolation can almost be appositive and not just another reason to party. This whole pessimistic rant comes from a very dark, rather too rational a place, however, if we were to look at the bright side, new year’s do bring about a certain hope in the hearts of people, and a certain break from the everyday monotony. Even if I were to debate about the legitimacy of this, it wouldn’t still be able to take away the fact that sometimes this new beginning brings with it the kind of encouragement and motivation that we need to go on with our lives, and one which we desperately seek time to time, and this, somehow, outweighs it all.

Feature Image Credits: Festival Sherpa

Anoushka Singh
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