I guess the best news of the day – even though I was a little less informed, hence couldn’t capture the news even earlier – was that The Unwaba Revelations [buy online here (India only)] is now finally published! Can’t wait to get my hands on it. And don’t know where to get it from. Going through the forum discussion in Samit’s orkut community, it seems the book isn’t even properly distributed yet in all major cities of India (strange that even Bombay has not got it!) – so I have nearly zero chance of getting my hands on it here in the United Kingdom! But since hope dies slowly, will do some surfing in sites like firstandsecond.com or even Penguin India to see if they deliver internationally.
Anyway, coming back to the theme of the day – the last day of 2007 – I wanted to write something that came to my mind. Just now. The question was: why was this day so important? And when I ask this question, I ask this from a purely Indian point of view.
I can understand it well for the majority of the western countries – since they have a close relationship to this time of the year financially, and festively. Finance – of course – is the most important thing of all. You set a target for your organisation in January – chase the same through the year – check your results in December, and switch off the lights and go home to visit family and be merry with friends during Christmas – get some good rest for a week till new year – and come back to office all charged up for another year.
But what about India? Why do we hold this time and day dear as well? We no longer follow the Jan-Dec cycle for national economy or for educational advances. So why do we care? Is it just the market gimmick to make Archies and Hallmark shops reacher by provoking people to buy Xmas Cards and New Year Gifts for friends and family and business partners – and not to mention the intent interest of millions of small-time-businessmen who get to make some fortune by feeding and entertaining us during our meaningless celebrations on 31st – that is making us somehow continue this celebration trend? Or is the reason somewhat different – more basic than the need for money and more widespread than the interests of those millions of small-time-businessmen and few corporate giants like Hallmark and Archies? Could India have done without having another “new year” to celebrate – amidst celebrating multiple new years in multiple states – from “poila boishakh” to “gudi padwa” – and waste money on?
The answer is difficult to get by. If we look at it practically, the answer is “no”. If we look at it sentimentally, the answer is again “no”. If we look at it logically, it could be “yes”. But who cares about logic, anyway?
Strange in a way we don’t understand yet, human emotions seldom blend well with logic. The reason I call it strange is, assuming everything in this Universe follow certain governing rules, human emotions must be the manifestations of certain processes – which must obey the Universal Rules – and hence must be “logical”. However, every time we try to relate logic and emotions, we fail miserably. I still hold my stand on the assumption that emotions are logical – it’s just that creating a logical construct, when you lack complete information, is a bad attempt. Some assumptions may seem logical on the surface, but you may find reality is behaving differently. You dive down deeper and find that some key information was missing in the first logical construct – causing the “seemingly logical” deduction to be flawed. It’s the same thing for emotions. We know too little of the science of mind to be able to draw logical explanations of emotional behaviour.
All we care about is to feel good. And the way to get there – apart from paths difficult to travel with light minds – is through merrymaking. And we do that. The lonely human beings, wanting to be part of big things – if not big events, big gatherings – find solace this way. We try to find happyness by seeing other people happy, we want to find importance by being part of a botheration. We want to wave at a television camera to be seen by the nation (even though we ourselves don’t remember a single face from the crowd that we see on TV, unless the face is exceptionally memorable like Razak Khan‘s [buy his movies online]). We do many such things that finally count for nothing – but we do them anyway. Because those are the moments that we want as part of our happy memories. Those are the moments when we can drop off the load of “care” that we constantly carry. We celebrate for celebration’s sake – for our sake – whether there is a category of greetings cards to be found for that day or not – whether there are pawbhaji stalls on Juhu Beach or not.
So now, when I go to get prepared for my own celebrations for tonight, let me part by saying “Season’s Greetings and wishes for a Healthy, Happy & Prosperous New Year 2008 to all of you”. Enjoy the night, forget the pains of last year, look forward to the year ahead (because you cannot avoid it anyway), think logically before you take the next step, and do good for others who could do with some of your help.
As always – Love, G.