Festivus and All That
When I was younger, December holidays meant eating peanuts in the sun, while the mother knit a sweater. It meant snuggling in a razai and slipping into a vegetative state reading and re-reading books, or watching Disney cartoons in the one hour of TV that was allowed. It meant assisting in the annual ritual of making gajar halwa, and being designated the head taster. It meant somehow flexing your cold-numbed fingers to make greeting cards for the new year. It meant hugging a hot water bag and fighting for your space in front of the room heater.
And the big new year's eve meant hoarding chips and snacks for the glorious party night and then depositing oneself right in front of the TV at 10 pm to watch Doordarshan's exciting countdown - "Coming Up - Two Hour Entertainment Programme".
Sharp at 12, when the good folks at DD would announce the arrival of New year with the exact same graphics every year, of crackers on a black screen and the words "Happy New Year XXXX" written in yellow, highlighted with a pink shadow, we would sigh in satisfaction. Then, pick up the phone, call all relatives and wind up the wild party by 12:06 am, snuggle back into the razai and sleep.
So much simpler than the pressure to enjoy the year end now.
Today, if your answer to the question, "What are your year end plans?" doesn't feature the words vacation, party, Goa, Thailand, drinking, alcohol, Christmas Tree, festivities or sale, you need to time travel back to whatever generation you belong to and stay there till 2017 dawns on us. May I suggest staying there longer, perhaps. The world may shock you more in 2017.
For the longest time, the only person who I thought got gifts on Christmas was Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, because it was his birthday on 25th December. Now, I am thinking of buying myself Christmas gifts because e-commerce companies are graciously notifying me every hour that it is year end and that they are giving me an year end 30% discount and that I haven't treated myself since a while. How can I say no to that?
And then, the radio is alive with ads of "Best New Year Bash" featuring DJs. If I don't book now, I will miss out on the party of the year where I can stand amidst a crowd of sweaty, excited young souls, till my feet hurt, and bring in the new year with a loud "Woohoo" when I secretly just want to go back to bed, hide under a blanket and finish reading my book. How can I miss out on that?
I cannot. Which is why, I hereby rename our generation as the FOMO generation.
Fear of Missing Out Generation.
Fear of Missing Out on the perfect moment for a selfie
Fear of Missing Out on a check-in
Fear of Missing Out on a party
Fear of Missing Out on a trend
Fear of Missing Out on a discount
Fear of Missing Out on a new gadget
Fear of Missing Out on taking a share-worthy photo
My biggest fear for us is the Fear of Missing Out on Living.
Or maybe it would be WAY easier if I just time travel back.
I now kinda get why Frank Costanza on Seinfeld wanted to celebrate Festivus - the holiday for the rest of us, a day to air your grievances.
Happy festivus, folks. Happens to be today! :)
Pic Courtesy: Seinfeld and Funlists.com