Every day is a New Year's day
Samarjit Kambam *
New Year picnic at Sekmai Turel on 1st January 2017 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam
No two days are ever alike. Generally, a 'day' is considered as the period from sunrise to sunset, but universally 24 hours maketh a day. A day may be viewed from different perspectives i.e from the individual point of view, geographical, natural and from various other angles. Viewing from the personal level, a person may wake up with a headache, toothache or back pain which he had not encountered the previous day. A person who was alive and kicking may die the next day due to accident or other incident beyond his control as nobody can break the armour of fate.
A day we may wake up quite early with the sound of birds chirping, feeling refreshed and strong. Another day we may find ourselves waking up feeling lethargic, weak and numb with the blinding sun's rays flowing through the window.
I have found myself waking up at mid-night just after 12 a.m. all of a sudden as though kicked out by the very bed I was sleeping on. One may argue that there are some people who wake up everyday at the same minute of the same hour by following the alarm but however punctual he may be there may be a difference of a few seconds.
Even if he turns out to be a military man such as a Black Cat commando, an SAS, a Green Beret, a Navy Seals whether ex or serving and boasts of jumping down from bed with the precision of a second's timing, there still will be difference of some fractions of a second.
So, counting from the moment we wake up, the difference in each day arises. Here comes the point I want to bring forth – sometimes I wonder why we celebrate New Year's day. Wasn't the previous day i.e. 31 Dec a new day? Of course, as per calendar, 1st January is taken as the beginning of the very year. But the 2nd January will also be a new day of the year and the same goes on for subsequent days.
Also, as per the change in season, night time increases with the onset of winter and day time increases as summer arrives starting from spring. It is rather interesting to find out that many throng at Sekmai, Sendra, Keibul Lamjao, Andro, Leimaram, Chandrakhong, Keibru Leikha, gardens such as Echo garden, Kakching garden and various other places of tourist interest in Manipur to celebrate the New Year 2017. We the Meiteis are easy going, fun loving folks.
We are always ready to forgive and fast to forget however insulted and provoked we are. The celebrations start from 31 Dec usually known as Bye-Bye of the old year and goes on till midnight, boozing, hooching, hooha-ing and doing all the wild things, sometimes engaging in tussles followed by the usual fireworks routine, some spending from Rupees 30,000 to 1 lac for the same.
Many remain awake till the next day waiting for the first ray of the sun of 1st Jan to herald as though the first ray of the sun would wash away all the miseries and sufferings of the previous year and then start the hogmanay of the day afresh.
Lets check the ground reality. The UNCs economic blockade is getting more vigorous. The price of petrol still soars at Rs. 140-150 per litre. Prices of essential commodities such as grocery items have skyrocketed beyond the exosphere, out of reach of the common people. Dire straits, sufferings and misery fogs the common people this winter.
Still we look at the brighter side of things and keep our hopes alive that the economic blockade will be lifted from the two national highways through some divine intervention. Lets leave the state government and the central government at bay for the time being for they are too busy playing political games out of the sufferings of the common people of Manipur.
Even though we know that the economic blockade called by UNC is in the pipeline, the irony is that this time the pipe is circular with no ending and finishing point. Still, our spirits don't wane and we hope for a better, brighter, peaceful and prosperous new year and the new year was celebrated with fullest of positive hopes, vigour and enthusiasm.
From a pessimistic point of view, there's nothing to feel happy about a new year for a new year adds one more year to our physical being, a step closer to our natural graves. However, it would do gross injustice from my part if I fail to mention that this year's new year was celebrated by the Meiteis in a way quite different from the celebrations that took place the bygone years.
This time, New Year 2017 was celebrated with a new addition apart from renewed hopes i.e. prayer – in our hearts, mind and soul. Prayer so that the economic blockade gets lifted somehow and does not recur again in the future, that peacefulness becomes the mantra of the current year, that the multi-ethnic communities co-exist with love and mutual cooperaton.
It is time to realise that we the Nagas, Kukis, Meiteis, Meitei Pangals and numerous ethnic groups are blood-brothers even though we are segregated by the peculiar topography of Manipur. We hope and pray that this New Year heralds into an era where every community eschew their myopic scope and do away with the "you", "me", "they" outlook.
Let's always remember that we have been co-existing with love and affection since millenniums and be aware of the divisive policy played by some elements and entities of vested interest to break the delicate social fabric amongst us. So, lets stop the blame-game and bear in mind that only unity is the need of the hour before we become history. The status quo of the indigenous people of Tripura may be cited as an example.
Let striving for peace, unity and love amongst the different communities by shunning violence and hatred become our resolution for this New Year. The major communities viz Nagas, Kukis, Meiteis should set examples by treading on the path of brotherhood and love. We should never forget that we are children of the same mother even though we are from different geostrategic locations.
Once, we stick by the resolution with heart and soul, peace, progress and prosperity will definitely follow. Marking the New Year 2017 with celebrations, however gloomy the ambience and however hopeless the situation was shows that we as human beings want happiness and peace even though the previous year ended up in doldrums.
That's what celebration of New Year is worth for, only thing is that we the people of Manipur over-celebrate. Let's not forget that every day is a new year's day and treat each day with optimism, vigour, hope and love for one another.
Wishing all my brothers and sisters regardless of plain and hills a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year 2017.
* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on January 07, 2017.
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