Yes, it is the first day of New Year. Right from yesterday night, I am receiving innumerable SMSs. Don’t ask me about the e-mails and phone calls. Everybody out there is wishing everybody out there. Naturally people can’t be original when they have to produce in bulk. We are people in a hurry. We do not have time to live exclusively. We are wholesalers. We feel, we respond, we enjoy.. all in a ‘blanket’ way. We do not have time for subtleties. We do not have time to live.
About ten years ago, a colleague at my workplace came to my workstation in the morning. To my astonishment, he wished me and presented me a pack of chocolate. Till then I had never worked to earn money. The ‘office’ was a new thing in my life. I was touched and bit amused also. I had hardly interacted with this colleague since I joined – which was just a couple of months. So, I was not sure from where he got my birthday and how he knew that I liked chocolate. I never can celebrate with strangers; I can do it only with friends. But just to show curtsey I accepted his wishes and his gift.
However I was left wondering only for few days. I realized that the colleague gets birthday list from HR department and he presents the same pack of chocolate to everyone. For the first time I realized that someone had dared to wish me so mechanically and so much routinely. A year went without any interaction with him. There was nothing common in us and nothing strikingly different too. So, there was nothing to talk about.
Next year, I accepted the chocolate with smile and politely told him: “Please, don’t mind, but I do not like to take gifts from strangers. I do not celebrate birthday. I would be happy if you don’t give me chocolate now onwards.” To his credit, he accepted this unusual request without moving his eyelid and then never bothered me again. I cursed myself for being in the world with such people around.
Then slowly I got used to such things. Every year, there are at least three new years. First is sometime in March /April during Gudhi Padwa (or Yugadi). Second is in October/November during Deepavali and then the third – or rather the first in January.
The same people keep me ‘wishing happy new year’ all the three times. They send SMS – which keeps on rotating in circles, they send some picturesque emails – you have to browse only two or three to understand the latest fashion. They handshake when they meet. Some people wish you in all these three ways – three times in a year. For many SMS/mails, I have to search my memory about who exactly the sender is. I mean, someone whom I have met about a decade ago, and never bothered to drop in or call and is wishing me thrice a year as if s/he is from some other planet. It is irritatingly funny or funnily irritating – whichever way you like to look at – half full glass or half empty glass :)
Generally I am not a very friendly person (that is why I write a blog? I am not sure.) It is not that I do not have friends. I am fortunately affluent in this regard. I spend exclusive time with them. I share life with them. I make myself available to them just to talk. Generally I do not give anything – not in terms of money and material things. Money I never had much and material I am never interested in much. But I don’t do things in bulk. I try to suit it to the needs, choices and likings of my friends. I am not able to satisfy all of them all the time, they have complaints about me. But they are sure that whatever I do, it is exclusively for them and it is from the bottom of my heart.
I am happy about the fact that I am not a wholesaler. I do things in small bits and pieces. I live from moment to moment. In the process I lose a lot, but well I gain a lot too.
I wish next year I should not receive any mechanical SMSs and messages. If I spend 2010 with people I care for, I guess my wish will be fulfilled. What is your guess?