Yesterday morning I was as enthusiastic about the New Year as an ant on a warm summer’s day, even though the air was cold outside and there was a nip in the air. Like an explosion of greenery that arrives with Spring, there’s something infectious about a date that reads 1/1. New beginning, Wishes, Gaiety, Hopes, and a renewed vigour about leaving everything unpleasant behind makes even the grouchiest of people shed aside their pessimism for a while and they respond to the “Happy new year” that everyone has displayed on their status messages as well as their hopeful faces.
I am no different and I decided to begin the day by speaking on the phone to my closest friends and wishing them. A text won’t do, I decided—It was just a day that I had to hear their voices. As soon as I called up one of my closest friends, I knew something was terribly wrong, just by the way she said ‘Hello’.
“Preeti—do you remember Varun?” she asked.
I did. Varun was one of her good friend’s son—a 19 year old good looking, pleasant well mannered guy doing his Law at Symbiosis, Pune. I had met him at her place and he had made an impression on me and I had hoped that my kids would be as polite, focused and well mannered as him when they reached his age. Yes, I told her, I definitely remembered Varun.
“He died last night in a car accident,” she said and could not go on.
I was too shocked to speak. Later I saw that it was the front page story in Times of India. It was right beneath the Cheerful picture which showed people welcoming the New Year. Click here to see the newspaper story.
I told my friend that it makes me even more determined to live each day completely as if it were your last. It reinforces what I believe in so strongly. Life is very unpredictable. What you really have is just this moment. It sunk in like a hot knife through butter when my dad who was in his prime of health passed away so darn suddenly. It sunk in like a pebble thrown into a placid lake when a friend lost her spouse. It sunk in again yesterday morning when I called to wish my dear friend a happy new year.
A year is a long time. Suddenly wishing a ‘happy new year’ did not make as much sense and I realised that what I actually want to say is GRAB today. You never know--It really may be all you have. Call your friends even if they have been busy and have neglected to call back. Connect to your siblings, to your family. Forget that petty little argument you had.
Now stop reading and grab a pencil and paper. Take a moment and think of five things that make you really happy and jot them down. (Not drinking happy—but deeply happy!) Did you do it? No? Then please do.
Done? Good! If you are like me (and I suspect you are—else you really would not be interested in reading this far would you?) chances are these are things that money cannot buy, right? Now aim to do at least one thing out of this every single day.
That is my wish for you this year. At the end of the day when you lie in your bed to go to sleep, may you have a contented smile, a song in your heart and a deeply satisfying feeling that whispers “Yes—today I have lived.”
I shall not say happy New Year but I wish you a Happy new day—Everyday for the next 365 days.
These are my wishes for you.
Warmth, joy and laughter