''No, I don't have a new year plan.''
Come the 25th of December, and I start greeting people with that line. Preferably before they ask me what my plans are. It’s a tactical maneuver, a strategic masterpiece-that allows me to walk away with my head held high while they wonder what happened.
Yes, if you can’t join them, confuse them.
Look, it’s not like I’m too lonely or too poor to have plans. It’s just that I think I’m really smart, and New Year plans are dumb. Among other things, it also reminds me how we’re the only country that calls it ‘New Yearzz’. What is it, a Himesh Reshammiya movie?
And what is it about New Year’s Eve that makes all Indians go ‘Let’s spend our hard-earned black money on unknown Bollywood performers and oily food’. How did it happen? Where did it start, and how did we get here? The world was just happy rolling over from year ‘x’ to year ‘x+1’ until, I have a feeling, a jobless Neanderthal plucked some wild vegetation, smoked it and exhaled, ‘Let’s celebrate’. And idiots that we are, we said ‘Oh we must do it too’.
The point is, these are the most frustrating few days to talk to people. Because when they ask you your plans, they don’t really want to know your plans. They want you to know theirs.
This is how my conversation with a friend went last night.X: Hey, so what plans?
Me: Most probably…
X: Oh I’m going to the Hyatt…
Me: Umm, good, I might just…
X: Entry is 20,000 per couple and that’s mostly why I’m going.
Me: Nice. I think I’ll…
X: …SO EXCITED!
Immediately after which, she took a selfie with me and ran off to her next victim.
But don’t get me wrong: I’m not a cynic! I’m happy for those of you who do have plans. Just that everyone has their own way to bring the New Year in. Some go out, some stay home with their families and brave questions like ‘will you get married this year?’, while a few chosen ones might even make a movie called ‘Happy New Year’ and scar the human race. While we’re at it, the only fitting response to a Farah Khan movie ought to be a Christopher Nolan movie: one in which aliens descend on earth and take Farah Khan away to a planet where every hour is as long as the length of ‘Happy New Year’, the film.
However, at this time of the year I sometimes wish I was one of those people with a regular job, who bust their bums all year and walk in to their boss’s cabin around the 20th of December- holding their annual quota of ‘mandatory leaves’ in one hand and their middle finger in the other. Before scooting off to a year-end vacation, only to spend it on facebook.Then there’s that thing about resolutions, which always fail. I’m sure the Bible carries an unofficial 11th Commandment in an appendix at the end, clearly stating: ‘Thou shalt not quit smoking this year as well, lol’.
It does compel me to think though, that our parliament needs people with a sense of humour. I’d pay to see Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif sign a pact called ‘New Year Resolution’. By which they pledge to meet in Kashmir and go jogging together. Do it, Amit Shah, DO IT.
Indeed, I just don’t think you can resolve to not do something while doing that very thing. Like the fat uncle pledging to go to the gym with a leg of chicken in his mouth and a glass of whiskey on his head. But maybe that’s just what this whole New Year thing is supposed to be: a chance to start off all over again, and make some new, stupider, shittier mistakes. The hope that come what may, that jar of Nutella will remain our midnight snack. Even if it gives us just one day to wake up more excited that the rest, who’s complaining? Other than Bigg Boss inmates who, in all probability, will never attend another ‘House party’ in their lives.
All things said and done, here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year, maybe for the last time. For, who knows, next year we might be calling it ‘Happiest Best Ever Governance Day Worldwide’. Or something.
The writer is a New Delhi-based Stand up Comedian.