Friday, January 04, 2008

On the topic of New Year celebrations...

We threw a huge party for my brother's first birthday. I really cannot include myself in the "we" as in "We threw the party" because I was only 5 years old back then. My parents did most of the work. All I had to do was flaunt my baby brother to everyone and smile for pictures. I have a very misty recollection about it but I do think it was a grand bash. We were in Bhubaneshwar then and all the kids in Acharya Vihar were invited. We even had gifts for all my friends like crayons, pencils, pencil cases, balloons etc...I used to love pencil boxes back then! My mom used to get me one with various Disney characters each time we went to the local superstore.

Of course, people tell me that my first birthday party was an even grander affair because I was the first child and all and Dad had invited all his office colleagues. Fancy that. I hope all of them got me nice presents but since I can't remember any of it, I am willing to forgive them even if they didn't.

Anyways, that is the only party I can recall that our family threw for a birthday. We were never a party family, you know. No cake-cutting or shouts of "Surprise" at midnight or gifts wrapped with shiny silver paper or parents fawning over how wonderful we were or any of those things. In fact, my dad hates to blow out candles on birthdays. He thinks that it should be a day when we light candles, not snuff them out. I agree with him on that point. Birthdays meant that Mom would cook an awesome meal and make nice payasam or some other exotic sweet (This year, when I happened to be in India for my birthday, she made badam cake and pakoras). We would wear our new clothes, go to a nearby temple and perform archanai. And that was that.

The logic extended to New Year also. As kids, I don't think my brother and I were ever awake till midnight on New Year's eve. It was just like any other day. But we'd visit family and friends, watch some special programs on TV, go to a fair or a movie and maybe eat out. But nothing compared to the hoopla we see these days about the "New Year". S & I spent the last moments of 2007 at a friend's place. We played "Sequence" until midnight, broke the bubbly, wished each other with lots of hand pumping et al, ate amazing home-made layered chocolate cake and posed for funny pictures. It was good fun because hanging out with friends is fun. But I wouldn't ascribe any of my joyfulness or levity to the fact that it was New Year's eve. I sometimes don't know what all the fuss is about.

Do people party on New Year's eve because they are celebrating the end of a strenuous year? Or are they celebrating a psychological watershed and decide to grow as a person in the coming year? Or is New Year's just an empty excuse to party? It really does make me wonder because I get these calls on January 1st and everyone asks me, "Soooooooo what did you do yesterday?Please don't tell me you spent it at someone's home? Come on, girl, didn't you hit the clubs?" Personally, I think that it is great to spend New Year's at home or at a friend's place celebrating the things that are important -- companionship, friends and of course, good food..:) I don't think its my cup of tea to go clubbing on New Year's eve with the mad, mad crowds and dance to wild music. I might try it once in a while but certainly not every year.

All that said, Happy New Year to all of you! Hope this year turns out to be a great year for all of you. As far as this blog goes, I think I have to make two solemn promises for this year:

1. I'll try to post more frequently.
2. I'll reply to all comments..:) I know I've been a laggard as far as this goes. I'll promise to be a good girl. There.

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expertdabbler said...

Ahaa enna pechu pesarey nee?

Try 'conservative' chennai on new year's eve. Aadi poiduvey!

Essentially its just a widely accepted occasion to booze and dance...

so if you don't do either or both (adhu nee evlo 'liberal' ngradhai poruthu) on that day you are not 'in' this generation.

i dont think New Year was such a big deal 10 years back in Chennai.
inaiku makkal kayile paisa irukku..
They dont mind spending thousands on a single night.

Having said that, i don't have any problems with the folks who do it - most of my friends do it anyway.

i tried marina in 2003 i think. i was literally scared.

Personally staying indoors on New years Eve is a sensible thing to do . Atleast you would not get harassed, will not get hit by some drunken idiot on the road.

idhellam malcolm gladwell style la sollanum na oru social epidemic...

The Doodler said...

Hmm..I don't mind people partying the night away. It is just not my cup of tea..:) but in general, I think that there's just toooo much hype with regards to New Year..

pb said...

I read a report in junior vikatan about new year celebrations in hotel savera. Looks hotel has arranged a stage over swimming pool (?!). They charged heavily for tickets to attend the party. When they were dancing under influence the stage collapsed and many people died. You should be fortunate to die that way. Kudi bothaila thanni kulla savu (jala samadhi). As far as I am concerned indha mathiri porukings setha onnum nashtam illa. After all arivillarku inbam illai is what great kavi Bharathi has said.