1st of January. First day of New Year. Just another year. I have observed that people of all ages eagerly wait for the new year, plan for the eve and zero hour, organise get- togethers and vacation trips or some other form of celebration to herald a new year. These festivities are a sign of hope, a way to move ahead by becoming wiser with each challenge in the bygone year. Resolutions are made, some followed and some succumbed to even before the month ends. But new years is like an event, more so in the western countries.

But for many families, especially in India, it is just another day. All days are same. The struggle for survival and pressures of living are so high that these families and people do not find any newness in the new year. It does not mean that they do not wish to enjoy the day and indulge in some merry-making, but there wishes are not backed by resources. Many a times, they do not express their desire to celebrate publically and keep it within themselves, internalising the situation.

I have also passed through the similar situation in my childhood. I have seen excitement amongst people for the new year but I had never thought about it. We were far from any sort of celebration. God and fate had different plans for me and favoured me to reach at the current level and made me capable to look after many people. I am grateful to the almighty for making me a medium to do good deeds for people and society. I am uniquely positioned to see both the worlds – one who spends frivolously for new year and another world such celebration is a luxury.

I have not done anything special in this new year. My new year celebration starts from temple visits, beginning from Jagannath temple to many other temples in Bhubaneswar and my village. A lot of office staff come with bouquets and wish me too. They get pleasure out of it. I feel good too as they are my family.

Achyuta Samanta - First day of New Year

Last year the new years eve was very dull due to pandemic. No one could freely enjoy the new year celebration because of covid situation. Today also because of restrictions posed due to Omicron, the charm is missing. We human beings should have patience and quality to adapt to every situation and overcome all adversities. World is passing through unprecedented times and we all should be careful enough not to put ourselves and our extended circles in danger. We can do good, reach out to an old friend, spend some time with family while celebrations can wait.