Happy(?) New Year!
"Happy New Year!" This must be the message that popped up on your mobile screens via a crashed Whatsapp or a healthy Facebook in forms of videos, gif, images and colorful emoticons. Or a status to the mass. Or you might have received the more advanced wishes of folks who uploads their own pic on Facebook or Instagram with a caption filled with wishes and blessings. Clever, those folks are! They end up successfully on the brave hunting game of likes on social media. Are you one?
So what's happy with the change of the calendar? Parties. Picnics. Drinks. Meeting your dear ones. What's new? Maybe the future. Who knows. And in this human life where everyone is busy with his or her work irrespective of what it is and age, there needs to be a little break for celebration, isn’t it? Yes, celebrations are good. As long it's positive celebration and a true one. Else why would we come up with the tradition of celebrating a new year?
Are we really celebrating? I believe that celebrations should be celebrated because we want to and not just for its tradition. Yet we fail. We fail terribly. We are slowly loosing the significance of little joy while hunting for the greater. The greater hunts for the greatest. But not everyone or every time can mark that. There's a reason for the superlative degree, that additional - est.
Remember greeting cards? Those hard paper cards which are now a luxurious business framed under brands like Archies. Yeah, those were luxurious back then too. Well, at least for me. My sister used to receive pocket money to afford those lovely cards and I was too small to even get considered. But I was never pansy over it. Instead, I used to take out my sketch pens & crayons to make customized greeting cards out of chart papers cut into perfect rectangle pieces. Flowers, cartoons... sceneries. And if you consider a bit copied but mostly self written funny rhymed messages as write-ups... viola! I wasn't one alone though. I would at times get similar cards from my friends and neighbors in return. Happiness: Uncountable. The blue color of Pikachu or the shape of rose that looked more like a sectional view of a rotten cabbage hardly mattered. And thanks to slow postal services, greeting cards and letters from distant friends and relatives used to flow for almost ten-fifteen days, spreading happiness.
Time flies. Like years. The wishes remained but do we mean it like we used to? From calls to sms limited to 50 messages for a month, wishes became short and semi-intangible. Social media changed the traditional way. And now we're all happy. How lovely it is to copy-paste and forward one image or gif to one another, isn’t it? Or put a status update, Insta or FB story or Tweet one message like a celebrity. Even I did that. Who wouldn't? We have so many friends, how can we possibly wish them one by one? And even if one does, he/she must be loneliest as hell. Anyhow, it will end up in a corner as wasted data.
By the time I'll upload this write-up, you may forget about the new year. I sometimes wonder if slow postal service was a blessing.
- Debashis Sarmah