As my daughter in the picture says, if you have been reading Ouchmytoe, we guarantee a Happy New Year and not just wish you. That`s why I thought we needed an article on ‘Happy New Year` was/is/will be celebrated.
Rekha and I had celebrated 2006`s New Year`s Eve by venturing out in the dark (an event which was chronicled here) but this year it is going to be a quite one. My 9-month-old baby doesn`t like partying.
Talking of partying, can you recollect how you parted your colleagues on the last working day of the year? Well, I shook hands with the guys and hugged the girls. Just in case you didn`t know, New Years Eve is second only to Holi when it comes to feeling the girls, as other girls feel.
New Years` Eves in the early part of my life were before our television set. Doordarshan would start running the promos at least 15 days in advance. And after building a suspense that was bound to burst sooner than later they would start their programming at 10 p.m. on 31st Dec. Their best TV host would drop anchor and when you sat in front of the TV, it seemed as if he would come alive any moment and jump into your living room. For long I even thought the guy used to live inside our TV – our ECTV was so big. The high-energy (and high-Bollywood content) program would go blank at 11.59 p.m. and a digital clock would start taking us closer to ‘Happy New Year`.
At 12.00 midnight the screen would come alive again and the anchor would shout “Happy New Year” and we would join him. Needless to say, everybody – both inside the TV and outside – would hug each other and wish Happy New Year. Note: I wonder how many of you remember the hand that would come in to place an announcement board that said: ‘Rukawat Ke Liye Khed Hai,` whenever Doordarshan had programming issues.
The pious lady that she is, my mother would give us all a spoon full of sugar and say: “Let this year begin sweetly.” Once when I asked why she never offered any sugar to the program host, she said: “We can`t offer it to the host alone…there are at least 40 others in the set. And we only have half a kg of sugar in the house.”
Things changed as I grew up. When I was all of 24 years and as innocent as a white lily in English breeze….I went to Rajpath (the road in Delhi, which South Indians know as the India Gate road) after our New Year`s Eve party. I saw neatly dressed gentlemen teasing girls, some of them trying to molest, and some trying to rape. I enjoyed my time and only after we had left did my friends tell me that it wasn`t a movie shooting. I remember asking: “But that guy looked so much like Pran?”
The next year I wasn`t in Delhi, but on the Chennai roads reveling in the new found freedom. I had three credit cards in my pocket and I could buy the whole world. Believe me…the New Year looks great if you got purchasing power in your hands. I was piss drunk, and we were stopping all bikes & cars and wishing them a Happy New Year.
If the cars had pretty girls, we would insist on the window being lowered and say: “Happy new year, Sister!” As soon as the cars speed away, one of us would comment: “Nice babe, huh?”
The very next year a friend of mine inherited a Maruti 800, when his father bought a Ford Ikon. This time, we went out in the car…and there were these drunk bastards, who would stop the car at every corner and want to wish us ‘Happy New Year” …as if we cared. It was so pathetic that we had to buy a few beers and rush back home.
How times change…now I prefer a quite New Years Eve, at home.
If unlike me, you are a party animal you probably look out for those free passes to late-night New Year parties. There is a thing with New Year party passes – if somebody offers them to you on 31st Dec, rest assured you were last in the queue of preferences. Such freebies are first offered to the most interesting of people and when they decline (because they have lots of others offering them passes) it trickles down to the least interesting.
Way back in 2002, I once accepted such a pass and attended a late night New Year`s party. Close to 12 midnight, when the lights were switched off I was looking at a girl standing to my left – and she was looking at me too. As soon as the lights went off…a hand from my left pulled me aside and gave me a strong kiss on my lips. The kisser was really passionate for it didn`t stop till the lights came up again. And thank God, they did…for the lights showed me that I was receiving a kiss from a 30-something man. I could see a yucky-relief feeling in him too when he pushed me away – as if it was my fault. He probably mistook me for the girl who was standing to my left.
Survival guide for office
When the office colleagues gather after the New Year, there are bound to be questions like: “So what did you do for the New Year?” “Which party did you go to?” etc. Are you prepared enough? Ouchmytoe recommends leafing thro` the last week`s newspapers so that you can let out sharp ones like: “Before I went to the party at the five-star Hotel Galaxy, I had dropped in at Bristol for half an hour …and man was the crowd rocking or what?!”