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The New Year Calendar

The New Year Calendar

Sentinel Digital Desk

Mousumi Deka

Today when the office boy gave me a bundle of new calendars, it gave me a sudden jerk. A jerk of realisation that the time has arrived once again to roll over to the new year. Another 1st January is on its way and it's time to change the calendar.

Days are moving so fast. It seemed we celebrated the last new year eve's yesterday only. Looking at the beautiful pages of the calendar I was just thinking whether to feel happy or sad as we are going to enter a new year saying goodbye to the current year.

Thinking that, I was reluctantly sipping my cup of coffee just given by Madan, the tea boy. Seeing my posture Madan was not happy at all and asked me, "Ma'am, isn't the coffee that good?"

Madan knows that I always prefer his coffee. The smell, the texture, the little chocolate powder sprinkled over the nicely brewed coffee always allures me and I always used to take a sip and give him a big thank you. But this time I didn't greet him the way I do and so he got puzzled!

I showed him the bundle of new calendars and asked him. "What's that?"

He answered immediately, "Very nice Ma'am...lovely pictures..."

I asked him, "Madan, tell me about your feelings for the coming new year."

Madan didn't answer for a moment, and then said, "Ma'am what to say? I am sad that I am going to retire from the service in the coming year but I am also happy that I shall go to my native village and settle down there. I shall meet all my old friends and will have great time together."

I noticed his eyes sparkled while saying the last sentence and I asked him again, "How long has been your service in the company?"

He said , "More than 37 years."

"Don't you have friends here? Then why are you so willing to go to your village where you have only your childhood friends left? And you are still not sure whether all of them will be there or not?

Madan told philosophically, "Madam, childhood days are different. We cannot forget it and we all like it. I can forget my past 37 years but I can't forget my childhood days..." Then he kept on talking about his small village, the paddy field, the small river filled with small fishing boats on and on ....

Listening to Madan's description about his village and the river made me nostalgic remembering those moments of picnic with friends in the riverfront. This is the period of time, the winter season, when we go out with our friends for picnics. The beautiful scenery of the blue river filled with pebbles of different colour and shapes, the dark green forest in the backdrop came alive in my eyes. The enjoyment of making tea, pakora in temporary earthen chulas at the start of the day, then cooking food in those chulas were a real masti. The day goes by with fun in the river water, playing cricket in the sand and enjoying the end of the day with a cup of tea watching the beautiful sunset. We wait till the colour of the sky turns from orange to red to deep brown and saying goodbye to us till we meet next time. Remembering those beautiful moments I felt really sad.

Staying in the metros, we are now not privileged enough to cultivate those memories. But experiencing the same season in a different way - going out with friends to nearby places, enjoying good food in good restaurant, one can get the opportunity to enjoy the rich Indian culture in some places!

My thought process interrupted when I was greeted by another office boy with handful of greetings cads. It's our company's ritual to send greeting cards too. I remembered those days when we used to paint the greeting cards ourselves burning midnight oil to present those cards next day hand in hand to our friends. Time is flowing embracing technological advancement. Keeping the pace we too started buying the cards, sending the cards over internet, texting message over Facebook, messenger, post in instagram and so on. It seems to us greeting cards do not have much values nowadays.

While saying reluctantly to the office boy to keep the cards by the side of the table in front, my eyes got stuck on the calendar hanging in front of me.

Being an ardent travel lover, I love to see different places and know their rich culture. Accordingly I plan to visit the places and to adjust the same with the holidays, I used to red mark the holidays in the calendar. In the current year I visited few places matching with my holidays, so next year also I should make out something. The thought process pulled me out of my sadness of missing picnics which I felt a few moments ago!

With a relief, I called Dijen, the office boy and instructed him to colour the holidays on the calendar like the current one. Dijen smiled at me and immediately brought one calendar with marked holidays.

I do admit that unlike greeting cards, which I now prefer to send them electronically, I need a calendar physically to mark all my important things. Also I know many of my friends using calendars at their kitchen to keep track of milkwala, papawala, monthly bazaar, etc. No one can deny the fact that calendar is still a vital mode to keep track of doing things. For me physical calendar is always a necessity as of now.

Looking at the newly coloured calendar, I quickly jotted down few of the places which I can make a visit next year. And my mind said, at least next year I can make some more. I must admit that visiting new places makes me rejuvenate to keep going with my day to day life. Thought process came to my mind that we all are not fortunate like Madan to plan ending one's lifecycle in the same place where one was born. We don't know where our destiny plans to take us forward. As the proverb says "Old is gold", keeping the cherished moments of yesterday alive in our heart, we must keep going. And I am sure those marked days in my new year calendar will definitely rejuvenate me to live years after years.

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