To start things off, Happy New Year folks! I love this time of the year mostly because there’s always something magical about a new beginning. Albeit, as Neil Gaiman would put it, there isn’t any real significance attached to the start of the Gregorian calendar and the cynic in me does allude to the fact that New Year’s is mostly just another attempt to capitalise on the inverse relationship between our frail sentimentality and a stronghold on our wallet. The dreamer in me, however, cannot help but hop around like an excited bunny on crack at the idea of a fresh start. Yep; New Year’s is all about resolutions, the sudden upsurge in gym memberships, the onset of a borderline self-destructive cleaning habit and overdosing on tumblresque posts about ‘letting go of your toxic past’.
But you know what else New Years is about? Irrationality.
I do not know who came up with the concept that ‘What you do on the first day of the year defines the rest of the year’. But I hope Liam Neeson finds him. And kills him.
Straight up, I haven’t had the most cracking starts to the New Year. Granted it’s only been four days, but then again; remember what I said about irrationality. The 1st was pretty fine- I spent it with close friends, family and 30 Rock; which is basically all anyone needs to objectively declare that 2016 is going to be an absolute banger. (Hello! Tina Fey is life! Wait, did I really just use the word ‘banger’?) The next three days, what with one too many family reunions and a cycling mishap that’s left me purple and bruised has me convinced that I might have spoken too soon- 2016 isn’t as smooth sailing as I’d hoped it would be and the idea that this could be setting the precedent for the remaining year (we’re talking 362 days more of ‘face hitting tarred road’ level of pain) has got my brain overworked.
Now you’ve probably ascertained by now that I am all levels of ‘cat-hoarding’ crazy. But I’m not- a cat hoarder, that is. The crazy part? That’s still left to be proved otherwise. But no seriously; I’m not crazy. I am, admittedly, a little over enthusiastic about all things superstitious- dreams, coincidence, déjà-vu and the ‘make a wish when you see a mail van’ sort of jazz; which should help you understand why I’m going bat shit crazy about something as trivial as a sub-par ‘first four days of 2016’.
In the midst of all my bemoaning the rest of the year, I began reminiscing about the past one year and that is when Eureka struck me! (In the shower of course, like all good Eureka moments.) 2015 had a less than sordid start. I almost got mugged on my way back home from work. I jumped into a bus mid auto ride and avoided a possible kidnapping (Although the rickshaw driver then followed me and kept insisting ‘You are thinking wrongly of me, Ma’am’ and we parted on friendly terms.) But the worst, the absolute worst thing to happen to me, was flushing my earring down the basin in what can only be described as a freak accident. Now you’re probably wondering how losing an item of jewelry could figure worse than a possible homicide. Well firstly, the earring was gold and secondly, I’m a Malayali- so you know, 2+2. What I vividly remember from the previous year is thinking the exact same thing- that 2015 was off to the worst start possible. Funnily enough though, as life usually has it, 2015 was the best year till date (An absolute banger, if I must.)
For a species that takes every opportunity it can to brag about our ability for logical reasoning, we give undue credence to all things illogical. A black cat crossing your path is not the sign of bad luck- it’s just a black cat crossing your path who most definitely has far better things to do than be the harbinger of your imminent doom. A broken mirror and seven years of sorrow? A broken mirror is a reflection of your clumsiness and nothing more. And while we’re at it, a broken mirror makes for a great kaleidoscope and what’s happier than a DIY version of the Apple Photobooth!
Life is not the first four days of the year. It is what we make of it. It is the small things and the big- the concerts, the slow days at work/ college, the day you escaped a homicidal maniac, the entire weekend you spent sleeping, the day you binge watched Downton Abbey and thanked the Lord for the gift that is Maggie Smith, the day you broke up with your Chandler Bing, the day you reunited with an old friend, the day the entire family collectively agreed that Arnab Goswami is a national treasurer and all things in between.
Having said this, I’m not completely denouncing my affiliation with ‘the force’ for lack of a better word. If there’s one thing growing up in the 90’s taught me, it’s that magic most definitely exists- even if it’s as mundane as waiting in line for the latest Harry Potter book (Let’s be real, if that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.) But let’s also work hard to remember this- You are not your failed new year’s resolution. And while falling face first onto the road can be a pretty painful way to start the New Year, it most definitely makes for a great story.
Cheers to 2016. Let’s make the most of it.