Today’s Brand New. Tomorrow’s Grand Old.

 

31st December is the day I feel completely out of sync with the rest of the world.

Yesterday was no different.

The whole world was looking ahead at 2016. And I was looking back at 2015. Everyone was drunk on hope. I stayed stupidly sober with nostalgia. People were talking about next year’s resolutions. I was talking about last year’s.

Basically, I fail to understand why people celebrate a year that’s yet to happen.

I think the New Year is the only event in our lives that’s celebrated even before it’s begun.

“Aren’t celebrations about successful completions? Shouldn’t we be evaluating the year gone by instead of celebrating the one yet to come?” I ask, like I do every year.

“Let bygones be bygones!” they reply, like they do every year.

Of course! Why wouldn’t they want bygones to be bygones!

Mr. Ashok Jain hasn’t returned my Rs. 53.45 that he borrowed in July.

Mrs. Sharma’s Labrador peed in the elevator 275 times through last year.

Capt. Nair has reminded me that I’m losing hair and gaining weight, every time we met.

Some others have cheated on their spouses.

Many others have lied.

Most have failed to change their annoying habits.

So why wouldn’t they want to forget 2015!

Just like they forgot their 2014, 2013, 2012…

No wonder people drink until they can remember nothing of the previous year.

I’m okay with that. What I can’t digest is how in that drunken state they go on to make tall new promises and lofty new resolutions.

“This year, I’m going to buy my wife that long overdue Platinum neckpiece!”

There’s applause all around. His wife blushes, and gives him the warmest hug and longest kiss.

The stakes go up as one by one each husband announces his plan.

And comes my turn.

I have a 100% record of keeping my new year resolutions, so I stay realistic.

“I’m going to buy my wife a Gucci handbag!”

There’s the biggest applause of the evening, as it came unexpectedly from me. My wife’s expression of surprise was genuine as she moved towards me for the hug and kiss.

“But it will only be in July because I’m told there’s going to be a 40% clearance sale at the fake market in Linking Road!” I competed my promise honestly.

The applause stopped. My wife froze midway. Her smile, now a frown. Then rage.

Honesty comes with a huge price tag. Bigger than Gucci’s. No discounts. No fakes.

But I’d rather pay for honesty than bluff.

That way, at least, I’ll be the only one on 31st December with the courage to talk about the year gone by.

I have noticed that a few news channels do this very well. They play their goofs and NG takes alongside their best stories of the year.

Isn’t it fun to look back at our failures and successes, our bad moments and good moments.

Isn’t it how life should be lived?

Making today a memorable yesterday.

Isn’t that a nice guideline to how we should spend every day of our lives?

I believe when my mother delivered me, her midwife used to pour steaming hot water on her belly during her bath. My mother would scream and curse that old lady. That lady would then go on to give my mother the most painful back massage, and say, “One day, many years from now, when all women of your age complain of backache, you’ll wonder what that is. That day remember to thank this old lady!”

So true it turned out to be.

Similarly, my swimming coach told me on the first day of class, “One day you’ll look back and laugh at how petrified you were to even step into the shallow end of the pool.” Suddenly my fear had turned into a fond memory, and I stepped in.

I remember using this technique on my son. He was only seven then. We were at a crocodile farm. As part of the tour, they gave us a hatchling to hold for a photo op. He simply refused to hold the baby croc. When all persuasion and assurances failed, I told him that it would make a great snap, which if posted on facebook would get maximum likes. He instantly agreed and did it. We still look at his expression in that snap and have a great laugh.

Another instance was when I asked a 70-year-old why he was training for the marathon.
“To look good on the postmortem table!” he had said.

And, when asked why she was working her butt out at the gym, an office colleague had once said, “To look good in rear view mirrors!”

But the philosophy really sunk in when I went to buy a new phone some years ago.

“Switch to a brand new smart phone, uncle!” said the salesgirl at the counter.

“I’m not at an age where I can experiment with these new gizmos. Give me the same old model,” I insisted.

That’s when she clinched it.

“Uncle, I agree it’s going to take you months to get used to the touchscreen. Months of fidgeting, clumsy calling, messed up messaging and full of funny incidents. But at the end of it all, it’s going to give you a lifetime of new experiences to talk about and many many memories to think back on.”

She was so true.

Play for the playback!

Because today’s brand new is going to be tomorrow’s grand old.

So spend 2016 the way you would like to celebrate the next 31st December.

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13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by pradeep r on January 2, 2016 at 8:57 am

    nice one.

    Reply

  2. Now, that’s going to be nice to read again on 31st December 2016 🙂

    Reply

  3. Posted by Vikas Malhara on January 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    hi. happy 2016.

    your message is perfect. present is more beautiful than future.

    thanks.

    vikas malhara

    artist

    Reply

  4. Posted by C.Muralidhar on January 2, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    live in the present and above all be true to yourself and others!
    C.Muralidhar (Vikas’s friend) Writer

    Reply

  5. A nice ramble not too smart and showing those signs of acceptance of lifes uncontrollable unfolding we all need.
    Like it or not events carry us along.

    Reply

    • True. But then, as they say, “If you ain’t in control, at least seem in control!” 🙂

      Reply

      • Well most of us pretend we are , it keeps us sane. But we are totally helpless in a moving river of time , and buffeted by all sorts of unforeseen events.
        “Have you prepared your ship of death?
        D H Lawrence

  6. Assume for a moment it was the other way around…life foreseen, all as expected, fully in control. Awful! Who wants to watch a predictable whodunnit! Or play a pre-programed game! 🙂

    Reply

  7. Insight after insight – very good, very good. I love how you summed this up: ‘spend 2016 the way you would like to celebrate the next 31st December’ – very appropriate advice, thank you. 🙂
    Kindness – Robert.

    Reply

    • Thanks for reminding me. We’re in August already and 31st December is looming large. And I’ve just 2 posts to look back at! But yes, I now have your wonderful comment to make up for it 🙂

      Reply

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