Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year - Happy or Unhappy?

Happy New Year!

What does it mean?

Is it in our hands or any of our well wishers to decide the nature of the year to come?

When I opened the blog page to write about the yet another rise of a new year, I wasn’t sure what my thoughts on the issue were. But then, as it always happens, my fingertips took over, flying over the keyboard, guided by thoughts I didn’t really know were floating around in my mind space.

The thoughts were introspective, and philosophical too, the reason being the usual fare of the New Year eve was not accessible to me. Being away from India, I couldn’t go through the various newspapers and magazines which covered the dying year in all its variety. I missed the explosion of photographs and articles and cartoons and observations by the celebrities, the persons in power and the man in the street. I did not realize how much I missed those till I was actually unable to reach them. I am not an internet person when it comes to news. Guess it’ll take many many more new years to see me substitute the print media with the internet.

And the little bits of news I picked up from the internet were not exactly exciting. The conflagration is Karunagapally was really scary –enough to spoil the New Year mood too. But I will leave it at that.

I missed the Indian news channels also -not that I sit through any of them. I flit from channel to channel, which is enough to put me through a mood of celebration and give me a sense that the world has crossed another landmark. The Time square celebrations are something I cannot relate to. So I retired early and snuggling under the comforter, did what I love best – sleep.

Waking up at three in the morning here, I realize that the New Year day is setting back home in India. And then this urge to express my feelings about it gripped me – and here I am looking back at the year that has gone by, look back at myself in the context of 2009.

Was 2009 a good year or a bad year for me?

I have reached a stage in life where I have ceased labeling anything as good or bad. So shall I say that this question brings before the mind’s eye that proverbial image of the glass tumbler holding half its capacity of water? It is for me to decide if it is half full or half empty.

Well, it is half full. And half empty too. What has to be emptied out has to be has to be emptied out. There’s no other way. If the emptying involved the drinking from the chalice, it has to be done. No point in regrets. That emptying had a purpose to serve. Thy will be done!

And what remains, the other half– yes, it’s something to celebrate about. But then, that half is not going to remain in the glass forever. It has either to be thrown out, or drank as though from a chalice or from a champagne glass. There is no knowing which it is going to be. 2010 will have to roll on to give the answer to that question which has always teased man out of thought.

But I tell you, it is we who decide whether the year ahead is going to be happy or unhappy. We have it in us to turn the chalice into a crystal wine glass holding frothing champagne – no, to drink down the liquid of pain as though it is a moment for celebration. That’s what being a human is all about. Happiness is not out there waiting for us to pick it up and enjoy it. It is within us to create and enjoy and bask in. it is we who decided whether we are going to be happy or not. Isn’t that a great thought? It is for us to decide whether the glass is half full or half empty.

The mind can turn things around. Reality is not an external factor. It is a matter of perception. And that for me is the most encouraging thought. It makes me look forward to 2010 with an optimism I have never before experienced beneath the frothy, superficial celebrations of all the pprevious new years.

I am happy on this first day of the New Year. I am happy I missed the newspapers and magazines and the TV channels and the Malayalam comedy shows that would have distracted me from this introspection which , at the moment, makes me feel like the superman who holds my destiny in my hands.



  1. It was a great year for me anyway! The birth of my little daughter has made 2009 an unforgettable year, till my time runs out...

    Happy new year to you and your family ma'm.

  2. I recalled my New Years of 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000.
    I realised again that New Years do not matter. Nothing happens as well as we hope or as bad as we fear. We are insignificant in the big theme of things.
    Ecclesiastes is right...

  3. Beautiful post Mother! Hope you have a wonderful New Year in the blogsphere..

  4. a very well written post...the new year post has a lot to offer us readers to think glad to read this first while trying to catch up all the posts i havent read in the past one month!

  5. welcome back mathew(hamburg). and thanks.

    @ mathew

    @ stoic
    thou art truly a stoic

    @ scorpiogenius
    thanks. have left your new year gift in your blogsphere:-)

  6. Happy New Year KT ... by the way, needed to read this post:)

  7. Thanks for the post. Think I'll turn off my phone and remove some distractions from my life for a bit...

  8. Good introspective! , Happyness is what you make of it.


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