‘Has the grass turned blue?’ I asked. My friends on the other side gasped for air, at the same time questioning the saneness of my mind. “Dude it is new year’s eve”, another voice joined the chorus, as if it is a sin to sit back at home, read a good book and sleep early. It is not the first time. Neither it will be the last. “What are you doing on holidays?”. Yeah well!! “I solved problems from Measure Theory, Algebra and Topology for the last three months.So, I will be reading a book on C*-Algebras”. Then it hits them. Their eyes judged me for a length of time, before someone broke the ice by making the judgement that ,I am missing the so called joys of life. I flashed my yellow teeth and remembered these words from “Upstream”:
It is 6am.., and I am working. I am absentminded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be hundred meals without salt. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It doesn’t include salt or teeth. It doesn’t extend to the lost button or the beans in the pot. My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all. There is no other way work of artistic worth can be done. And the Occasional Success, to the striver, is worth everything.
People are happy all around. It is the beginning of a New year. . a new start to everything, a new beginning. The word “New” has magic in it. I don’t question the magic, for I know the excitement of adding a new book to my shelf. There are cheers around, blessings of a having a joyous and prosperous year ahead. Hopes are renewed. Courages are built and promises are made. Enmity is forgotten. Old friends, whose faces one no longer remembers, are called upon. Because none of this is seen in between the days of a year, it is safe to assume that, all these frolic and festivity, can only be associated with “New Year”.
Everyone comes to you with their own version of right and wrong. There is nothing wrong in going out, having food with people, you like to hangout with or watching fireworks in the sky on New year’s eve. But I have better things to do. In the words of Mary Oliver:
“Say you have brought a ticket on an airplane and you intend to fly from New York to San Francisco. What do you ask of the pilot when you climb aboard?? Most assuredly you want the pilot to be his regular and ordinary self. You want nothing fancy, nothing new. You ask him to do, routinely, what he knows how to do-fly an aeroplane. You hope he will not daydream. You hope he will not drift into some interesting meander of a thought. You want this flight to be ordinary, not extraordinary. So too, with the surgeon, and the ambulance driver, and the captain of the ship. Their ordinariness is the surety of the world. Their ordinariness makes the world go round. . . . No one yet has made a list of places where the extraordinary may happen and where it may not. Still there are indications. Among crowds, in drawing rooms, among easements and comforts and pleasures, it is seldom seen. It likes solitude. It likes the concentrating mind. . . . Creative work requires a loyalty as complete as the loyalty of water to the force of gravity. He who doesn’t crave that roof-less place eternity should stay at home. Such a person had better go off and fly an aeroplane. “
What does new year mean to a person who doesn’t have a roof on his/her head?? There are millions of such people. Yet we choose to indulge ourselves in externalities for Joys of life. We breath a fresh air of relief and make plan for holidays because we don’t like our everyday ordinary life. We want to escape. That’s why the groan and pain on Monday mornings. I wonder if the magic word “new” can be associated to the everyday life. There is no difference between 31st December and 1st January. The same sun rises from the east. The earth is wet, the scent of mud brings freshness irrespective of the day or month or year. Why wait for the end of an year to be more hopeful?? Why wait even for tomorrow?? Every breath is a new beginning, a new birth. All it needs is a change of our heart and mind. This new year, Let’s be a rainbow in someone’s sky. That someone can be you as well.