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The joy of celebrations with the ones you love

-Arati Gurung

In all my twenty-something years I had never been out on a New Year's Eve, so on January 1st 2006, my New Year resolution was to party the night away on the eve of 2007. And on the night of 31st of December 2006, I was among the hundreds who were stuck in traffic at the Thamel junction. My experience that night was unforgettable.

But first let me tell you why I've never been enthused by parties and why the first time I stepped into a discotheque was only last year.

I don't go out to parties because of many reasons, many of which I'm not even sure about. I'm thinking it could be because I can't dress like all the hot girls who attend those parties, I can't pretend I like to drink and I can't always find a group who doesn't smoke. I think they call people like me a party pooper.

It's not that I don't enjoy dancing; I was an ace dancer, if I may say so, during my school years, winning many competitions year after year. I also think I'm very good socially; I can say so thanks to the many well wishers in my life. I don't think I'm boring because I can crack a few dirty jokes myself. But still I declined almost every invitation that came my way. So much so, that lately nobody invites me anywhere. I know, how pathetic.

When I was younger I always thought I'd be one of those crazy party girls, batting an eye with every hunk I'd see. I used to practice my dance moves to the latest disco numbers in front of the mirror. That was when dance parties were something one only heard of in English movies and now when the whole thing is actually here, I want
ed nothing more than to avoid going to one of them.

My parents let me loose after college, before that it was pretty tough to seek permission to even go out on a picnic. So with the new found freedom, one would think I'd be running around wild. But to my own disappointment, I still turned away when someone would suggest going to a party. I'd think about it and going home would always win the toss.

While growing up, we always spent special occasions at home. We would bake a cake and everyone would do something special for the occasion, my brother would sing, my sisters would read a poem or act out a play, I would dance and my parents would treat us with their childhood stories. We looked forward to celebrating everything on the calendar and to celebrate it with the family. Our parents never made it a must but it has grown on us that
special occasions call for special people. And there is no one more special than family.

It must be this feeling that keeps me back from celebration parties that take place somewhere in the middle of town among people I don't even know. And as much as I felt the need to go out more often, be a part of the crowd, I didn't want to. I realized this on the eve of New Year 2007. By 11 o'clock my boyfriend had already dropped me home, I couldn't even make it till midnight. My mom was waiting up for me with my share of the cake on the dining table. When the clock struck twelve, I shouted a Happy New Year to my silent home and snuggled happy into bed.

The New Year's Day is supposedly the most important day of the year, that's why it's celebrated with such vigor all over the world. There's even the saying that what you do on that particular day will be what you'll be doing for the rest of the year. Implying that if you're grumpy on that day, that's what you'll be for the next 365 days. That's why people go to parties on the

1st day of the year to make merry, so that they'll be merry the whole year round. If that were so, doesn't it make more sense to be merry with the most important people of our lives than a hall full of strangers? Wouldn't one want to be merry for the rest of their lives with the very family who's shaped their lives?

Many people may contradict to what I'm saying but I hold my ground, I still don't see the fun in spending an important day flashing fake smiles with people who don't even know you. If there's such an important occasion you can't miss to celebrate with your friends and associates, it's important enough to make the best of it with your family too.

In all the rush to be a part of the crowd, we've lost a lot of who we really are. Be honest, ask yourself, haven't you pretended to be someone you aren't for something or the other? Like to get a good word in, for the people to listen to you or just to be considered cool? While all your life your family has loved you for the way you are and accepts you no matter what. Don't they deserve your good days?

This New Year's eve I'm baking a cake with my family, for in the year's come I don't know where I'll be. Life will take me places from where even if I want to be back home, situations might not allow me. But I'll never regret not spending enough time with my family. And for as long as I can I want to be able to come home to share the joy of life with the people who matter to me the most.

Where are you going to be starting this New Year?

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