The young colleagues are in a tizzy. They’ve read a met report which says there will be blinding fog in Delhi on December 31, and commuting will be difficult after 7 pm. “How will we get to out? I have to attend three parties. It’s the last chance in the year to network, and there will be celebrities at all of them,” says Indefatigable Social Climber. “That comes later. First I need to go to the parlour for my shampoo and blow dry. How will I get there?” says Beauty School Dropout. They look at me for ideas. I put on my sympathetic face and pretend to think.
I am actually delighted at the thought of not having to dress up and go out in weather that cold-shoulders anything that doesn’t involve a balaclava. After all, unlike Priyanka Chopra, I’m not getting Rs. 6 crore to perform for seven minutes at any year-end party.
Besides, wasn’t New Year’s Eve here just the other day? Surely the year couldn’t have flown past that quickly. I still haven’t recovered from the excesses of Dussehra and Diwali, not to mention weddings that take over a week and 10 functions to be solemnized. (And isn’t it strange that just as we finished celebrating our friends’ younger siblings’ nuptials, the older friends’ kids started getting married. As did friends giving matrimony another go. Of course, I am all for the Tanishq school of thought of celebrating second, and even, third chances with as much gusto as the first but thoughts don’t need actual participation, do they? And they definitely don’t require dolling up.)
To return to December 31, I remember when it meant the biggest party of the year, where everyone danced till dawn and went home only after breakfast. But then, one began partying too often and too long, and the last day of the year became just another day in the chain, demanding too much by way of preparation for what was invariably a rather underwhelming end result.
Looking back on the last few New Year’s Eve parties, what do you remember? I see cheerless journeys through fog and traffic jams that trap you in the car at midnight while you’re trying to hop from one party to another. I remember club entry prices so inflated that they could make a Bentley salesman blanch. At crowded private parties, I recall losing my partner just before midnight and getting stuck with acquaintances cheering on the second’s hand as if their life depended on it touching 12.
So even as I pretend to empathize with my young colleagues’ worries about getting about on December 31 night, the only countdown I’m interested in includes the reasons it makes sense for me to stay home. Here is my list:
10. You don’t need to dress up
9. You save money
8. Your driver gets a much-needed
7. You don’t have to use dirty toilets
6. You can choose your own dance music
5 You can watch TV if you want to
4. You can drink yourself silly
3. You don’t need to make small talk
2. You end the year with people who are really important to you
1. You can wake up fresh to a new year of potential and promise.
Happy 2014. May none of your troubles last longer than your New Year resolutions.