The New Year 2020 is around the corner and it feels like being in a movie in a galaxy far, far away, or seeing a chart with someone’s perfect eyesight.
It all depends on where you wake up on January 1 and how your head feels in the morning sunlight of a brand New Year.
There are some few lucky ones among us who never get pressured by hotels on where they should ring in the New Year. They spend the last few hours of the old year in the comfort of their homes, on their couch and in front of the TV, watching countries across the world celebrating with spectacular fireworks.
Once in Dubai, my friend and I were stressed about spending the New Year at our respective flats, so we went to our usual haunt, and it had the usual pot bellied clientele, watching a football game on the telly like zombies, but the cover charge was suddenly raised a few hundred dirhams.
The only thing different was that the place was festooned with balloons of joyful colours and we were given a tasselled squawker and a funny hat.
(My wife was nowhere in this happy setting as she usually sleeps by 9pm and is of the belief that any celebrations should end by 8pm, even the New Year revelry).
I am not sure what the Chinese eat on the New Year, but for some reason Indians and Jews always eat Chinese food, such as General Tsao’s Chicken, to herald the brand new 365 days ahead of us.
In India, Chinese food has had a makeover and it’s called Indian-Chinese and you will need a clean palate to taste the cross-over version of sweet and sour chicken.
Many try valiantly to be the better person they always wanted to but eventually get stymied because of New Year diaries, you know the things in which you write and plan how to deal with the new days ahead
Menus in Indian restaurants usually have a fiery, red chilly pictured on the left side, as a warning, while the price of the dish is as usual, on the right side, so you will have to look at both sides to get an overall view of what you are ordering and why.
My wife usually confuses the poor, harassed waiter and tells him emphatically that she would like the dish with the fiery red chilly icon, but to tell the chef to make the dish milder. The waiter does not bat an eyelid and says, “Yes ma’am, I will surely do that and may I make a recommendation that you try our vegetarian Mo Mos.”
For many the New Year is the time to ring out the old and ring in the new, so to speak, and they try valiantly to be the better person they always wanted to but eventually get stymied because of New Year diaries, you know the things in which you write and plan how to deal with the new days ahead.
There is no need to buy moleskin diaries anymore as everything is online. All you have to do is fill in information on the days you wish to exercise, do intermittent fasting, or help the weak and the disenfranchised, and then next week wipe out everything with one tap of the finger on the delete button.
Here are some of the things people would like to do in the New Year and change themselves for the better:
1) Lose weight;
2) Do Pilates;
3) Get more money;
4) Stop smoking/drinking;
5) Get a new mobile phone;
6) Spend less screen time;
7) Be nice to your mother
But this is what experts feel you should do:
1) Relax and stress less;
2) Get a good night’s sleep;
3) Change your friends;
4) Get a pet;
5) Go for a walk;
6) Read a book (print and paper one).
— Mahmood Saberi is a storyteller and blogger based in Bengaluru, India. Twitter: @mahmood_saberi