Happy New Year! Happy New Year!! Happy New Year!!!
Is it? Really? Why?
What's so wonderful and unique about a year change? It's just a unit of time, isn't it? Seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, and years. So? What's so bloody fantastic about changing a year that you have to go all out and spend a lot of money, drink like crazy and wish each other like idiots, "Happy New Year, Bill!", "Happy New Year, James!".
This world is a funny place. Not funny as in "ha, ha", but funny as in weird! Very weird! There are people who go crazy celebrating the change of a year, and there are people who wouldn't know what bird you mean if you say "Near Year's Eve". There are places where a man may be killed for a 100 dollars and there are places where it wouldn't buy a cup of coffee. There are people who devote all their lives saving the rain forests and there are people who pride themselves on buying genuine crocodile purses and suitcases. There are children who don't have a regular source of food and there are people who need to take pills to digest all that they eat...
You know as well as I do that I can go on and on, there is no limit of such contradictions in this world. You don't even have to look hard.
The question is how to make sense out of this madhouse? And more importantly, what is my place in all this shambles? Am I being callous when I ignore the sad pleadings of the tragic, miserable, needy situations in the world? Or I am being stupid by thinking about such things and wasting my chance, one chance, at living? There must be a balance somewhere, there must be some method to this madness? Is there?
I don't know!
That's my honest answer. I simply don't know. But then that gives rise to the next question - I don't know but what should I do about it? One extreme path leads to the mountains in search of "the Truth" and the other extreme leads to the concrete jungles made by humanity to enjoy this life in the pursuit of happiness in endless cocktail parties and meaningless festivals. Again, is there a balance, a middle path somewhere?
I don't know!
I'd like to quote from Faani Badauni's ghazal once again:
एक मुअम्मा है, समझने का ना समझाने का,
ज़ीन्दगी काहे को है, ख्वाब है दीवाने का.
Ek mu_amma hai, samajh_ne ka naa sam_jhaane ka,
zindagi kaahe ko hai, khwaab hai deewane.
[It is a riddle, neither to be understood nor to be explained.
Don't call it life, it is the dream of a madman!]
My interpretation, (not very insightful), is that a dream has no logical or rational flow, nor any basis for things that happen there. And a mad person's thoughts are also like that, with no logic, no rationale, no sense. So when you combine the two and talk about the dream dreamt by a madman, you are talking about something that'd defy the "sensible" completely, something impossible to understand, something beyond our powers of comprehension and imagination.
I'll continue to try and find my place in this infinite madness...in the meantime I'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to add your own questions, comments, answers, opinions. I'd really welcome a chance to discuss this.
P.S. Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year! :-)