Shreyas Kolpe
VII Sem, Computer Science

Brace yourselves. For the deluge of trite WhatsApp messages on your class group wishing you a happy new year. For screwing up the date, when you realize that it isn’t 2016 anymore, and you try to fashion the 6 into a 7. For the looming nuclear winter when China ill-advisedly decides to troll Donald Trump on Twitter.

But seriously, what’s the fuss about this one day? Why do a million (read it again, ONE MILLION!) people wait for hours, almost dying from their bladders bursting, to watch some kitschy ball drop at Times Square? It’s just like any other midnight. You’re still the same old person, with the same hopes, dreams and foibles. At least the religious New Year’s days make some sense. Our forebears offered thanks for the bountiful harvest to gods and spirits, and went back to their fields. But now, only hotels, bars, and DJs get to laugh all the way to the bank (Oops!  Not anymore. Thanks Modi). You only realize that India is bursting at the seams when so many people pop out of nowhere at your party.  You not only have to dispose of the leftover cake from Christmas or the extra fireworks from Diwali, you also have to wag your finger at that friend who thinks that they are sober enough to drive. It seems like ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ was invented for just one day in the entire year. The police get a hard-on, from being able to bully bars that are open past the curfew and from the hefty fines paid by those poor sods that got caught by the breathalyzer. For just one day, the newspapers gleefully print how many drunks got caught the previous night. But as soon as it came, the day is past; the news is back on Syria and Congress-BJP, everyone goes back to college or work, and scarcely anything has changed in the world.

Why the bleakness, you might ask. 2016 seemed like a rollercoaster. It took David Bowie and Alan Rickman, made us all stand in a queue for our own money, and put a potential madman in the White House. 2016 even got Fidel Castro, succeeding where the CIA failed 638 times. One only hopes that this year wasn’t a prequel and there’s no voice in the sky that says ‘picture abhi baaki hai mere dost’ for 2017.

But, hang on. Wait for one moment.  Maybe this day is just the breather that we need. It’s when you realize that you can’t be beaten down. It’s when you look in the mirror and get to shamelessly renew your resolution to work out more. It’s when you realize that you have one more chance to ask that special someone out on Valentine’s. Or that you can wipe the slate clean, and have a fresh start on whatever you want to do.

Here’s to a happy new year!