I am in search of a word. One word. That would help hold the array of thoughts and emotions on a string. It remains elusive. I am searching for one word to encapsulate the time as 2104 says goodbye and 2015 chirps in with a hello.
Its the night of the 31st Dec. There are fireworks that light up the night sky. Puppet shows. Loud music. People on the road genuinely wishing each other. Lights. Parties. Cops on the road. Bizarre brawls. TV shows. Discounts and offers. Three and a half tonnes of whatsapp messages. And such else!
A flurry of activity on how the world went by in the past year marks pronounced presence across all media. Both the erstwhile and the new media. People are acknowledged. Events are recalled. Comments are regurgitated. Photographs dug out. Videos showcased. Sometimes, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. At other times, the bridge has shifted. Or seems irrelevant.
At the other end of the spectrum there are experts and commoners making a set of predictions for the new year. For the times ahead. Sometimes with glaring audacity that causes an involuntary gape in awe and at other times such stark pessimism pervades that you would much rather want to go back to the previous year.
I take the lift to reach my home. Today my neighbours dog looks at me in the lift and it seems to ask me what this fuss is about. What ‘Happy New Year?’ he seems to say, in-between his hefty panting.
I peer into his eyes and shrug. Hoping that he catches my sentiment. That life is a seamless continuum. The ultra heavy importance accorded to one single day seems rather tame in a naive sort of a way and misplaced. Must you not seek to be happy on all days?
I continue peering into his eyes as the neighbour, the good lady that she is, continues to speak into the phone to a person of importance who she is on first name basis with. I am sincerely impressed, for the lift has never shown me any mercy ever before. All my conversations on the phone stand abruptly terminated the moment I enter the lift.
As the lift makes its slow climb upwards, I continue to peer into his eyes and a thought strikes me. If there is any reasonable use to this day, it is this : It represents a transition. Ah. Transition. Maybe thats the word.
A punctuation mark, if you will. A comma for some. A period for some others. Maybe it’s a new sentence. A new paragraph. Perhaps a brand new chapter. Whatever it is, a year singing out and new year breaking is a transition that helps the world keep collective score.
An opportunity to sit down and take stock, if you will. Of wins and losses. Of joys and sorrows. Of fears and hopes. An opportunity for renewal. Of ties. Of hopes. Of oneself. While footprints thus far shout out where we have been, where we will get to is a function of the direction and distance we train our sights on. Now!
I wonder if the Retriever reads my mind. He seems far more composed as they alight at their floor. The lady still on the phone.
Later that night, at the strike of the midnight hour, the little miss sees some fireworks in the sky and said, “Papa, the lights are tickling the sky”. It is her extension of a thought that’s been on her mind for a while now.
I stare into the night sky and wonder how the next 365 days will pan out. I am not sure. I know for sure about one thing though. The new year will arrive at blistering pace with syncretised assortment of events, that will appear as fleeting as the fireworks that decorate the night sky. Intense. Fleeting. Colourful.
For me though, every new year is a push at the punctuation precipice. I can choose to stop. Start. Or keep going with a comma. Begin a brand new sentence. A few chapters. All of it in a varied dizzying array of possibilities. Ah ‘possibilities’, I think. Perhaps that is the word I am looking for.
The next day morning, as the night sky turns a brilliant blue, it dawns on me that it is rather foolish to attempt to encapsulate it in one word. Even with a wide all encompassing word like ‘possibilities’! With ‘change’ holding us as life prisoners of sorts, perhaps what’s required are a string of words. Transitions. Possibilities. Perpetual beta. Amoeboid movement. And such else. Many more come to the mind. A string of words that will need us to stay alive to the moment and yet stay true to our dreams. That will also be deeply personal! As it has been every year. Wonder what it will be for you.
Whatever it is, here is my wish for a great time. Happy New Year! And one last thing, Stay foolish. There is merit in that.