It’s that time of the year again when friends, family and random strangers on the street ask that most dangerous of questions, “Tera New Year pe kya scene hai?” In many ways there is no point in answering because the seeds of this question lie in that individual wanting to show off about where ‘they’ are going. These are the same people who instead of simply declining a Facebook event invite make it a point to say ‘would have loved to come but in Paris that weekend. Best of luck!’ Still, the pressure of conforming and doing something cool remains intense as one’s position in social hierarchy depends on it.
When I was young, New Year meant spending time at home with family and eating a hearty meal. The more one grew up, the worse it become. One could get away with not having to conform in high school by saying something intellectual like, ‘I much prefer the company of a good book and a night lamp’, even if it meant crying and masturbating yourself to sleep. University is where it became really important. If you were rich you’d go to Thailand just so you could wish people a Happy New Year two hours before everyone else and rub your money in their faces.
If you couldn’t afford international travel, the least one was expected to do was go to Sunburn in Goa and get pictures taken with random white women dancing to EDM. Five-star hotel nights, featuring DJ Aqeel, were the lowest of the low and were given as much respect as the neighbourhood Sharma ji eating dinner in front of Russian dancers. What was considered untouchable was the ‘house party’, a place featuring motley groups with the same socio-economic background who wanted to feel a sense of collective. And this is when we didn’t have people constantly monitoring us on social media.
I’m worried that on New Year’s Eve, if I send out even one tweet that isn’t misspelled on purpose to show that I’m drunk and having a good time, everyone will judge me for being a loser. I’m planning on visiting neighbourhood cupcake shops and googling images of fancy cuts of meat just so I can schedule them on Instagram for the 31st. That way even if I’m asleep atleast I’ll be able to keep the illusion of celebrating alive.
What can you do if you don’t have a New Year scene? For starters, slap anyone who asks you about it. If they’re close and you can’t risk alienation, blame your lack of going out on an extended relative’s death. Finally, if you want to guilt them even more say that you were so grateful for all that you received this year, you decided to donate your New Year party fund to a charity in rural Chhattisgarh.
Have a Happy New Year.