Ring in the New but do not Ring out the Old

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Traditions are wearing away now, like a bar of soap; smaller in size though better packaged than before. If a moving advertisement doesn’t remind us to be, call parents or be home during the festival, we mull over it. It is the time when the box is thinking for us instead of us thinking out of the box. What is it about the new that excites us? Is it the mystery of what will unfold before us, leading us to exciting adventures or is it patting ourselves on the back for the maturity that we gained from our misadventures, making us wiser? Here Mamta tells us about the New Year’s celebrations, where the old and the new coexist, in the Special Feature on New Year, exclusively in Different Truths.

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you,” says a Maori proverb. While we were waiting for dramatic things to unleash before us and take us to a higher altitude, the last month of the previous year is already is behind us and a brand new package of crispy, crackling New Year has been delivered to us, to celebrate, to unravel. New calendars, new diaries, new resolutions, new plans, and a whole new range of dates, weeks and months to celebrate to the new rhythm.

We have all lived in yesterday. There were good things that existed in the past, ripe with elegance and deep ; the budgets were small but the hearts bigger; things that were in plenty were concerned not with material goods. The music, excitement, laughter and joy was all home grown. Nothing was synthetic or driven by the market. bonding was concrete, unshakable because of personal touch. The children and the aged had a field day because there was always a benign person looking after them without impatient and critical eyes. A staple of story books and comics filled the lazy days of , not tutorials, tutorials and more tutorials. The grand mothers and the grand pas whittled away their time, keeping an eye on the entire bustling clan, better than any CCTV, had a sharper memory than a million Gigabyte computer and conveyed faster than a fax machine.

Traditions are wearing away now, like a bar of soap; smaller in size though better packaged than before. If a moving advertisement doesn’t remind us to be, call parents or be home during festival, we mull over it. It is the time when the box is thinking for us instead of us thinking out of the box.

What is it about the new that excites us? Is it the mystery of what will unfold before us, leading us to exciting adventures or is it patting ourselves on the back for the maturity that we gained from our misadventures, making us wiser?

It is not about giving a gloss to the past. It is about giving a sheen to the present by retaining the glitter of what was in rich in the past. As we move into the New Year, we should be like Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions. He has two faces; looking into the future and to the past. His name was thus an obvious choice for the first month of the year as a representative of contemplation on the happenings of an old year while looking forward to the new.

Let’s ring in the new, without forgetting the old!

©Mamta Joshi

Photos from the .

Mamta Joshi

Mamta Joshi

Mamta Joshi did her post graduation in History from University of Allahabad. She writes short stories, reflective essays, prose pieces on everyday life in national dailies and international e-magazines. She writes with equal ease in Hindi. For over two decades, as a teacher of English in college section at SMC, Allahabad, she has been nteracting with young minds, understanding their pulse and in turn being savvy on technology, fitness, fashion, humour and rumour too.
Mamta Joshi
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