Twilight darkened to welcome the dark of the night. The group got together and set up the tiny planks of firewood they had collected during the day. One of them poured kerosene on top of the piled up wood. Another lit it. One flame caught on to the wood and grew into a nice warm fire. They huddled around it and made themselves comfortable.
This was supposed to be the coolest way to welcome a new year, they unanimously agreed. With Christmas just over and with the exhaustion from carol singing and card selling sessions, they were quick to settle down and make themselves comfortable. They were a group of youngsters. Responsible. Effervescent. Aware. “What are the resolutions that you intend to make for the coming year?” munching on chips, one of them volunteered to start a conversation. An opener to shatter the existent silence.
He fumbled. World peace, work for more greenery, I need better faith. Oh, whom am I kidding, he thought. New bike, non-smoking days, better MP3 player, lesser booze, and an awesome ipod. This is going to be my year, he thought.
She spoke. Lesser pollution, work for an NGO, sponsor a child. Oh, whom am I kidding, she thought. More clothes, lesser gossip, a better cellular phone, a new job, and a more meaningful relationship. This is going to be my year, she thought.
Mighty words were exchanged during the discussion. The world needs to be a better place to live in. At least for the sake of our future generations. They reasoned. They contemplated. They supported all the right causes. Words of appreciation and pats on the backs were exchanged for the noble intentions that were made vocalized around the bonfire. The place was transformed into yet another battlefield of virtues and vices.
Come next sunrise, life is going to be just the same. How can I change the world in a night? Those stuff are meant for movie scripts! Munch chips. Enjoy the warm fire. Listen to the chatter. Watch the sunrise. Go home. Live your life.
The countdown began. They hugged and wished each other luck. They danced till their feet gave up. At dawn, orange spears pierced the dark sky. They watched the transformation of dark hues into azure while birds were disturbed. They welcomed the brand new morning with much fanfare.
Happy New Year, 2006.
How many lies will you tell yourself, this time?
Post Script: This was an article I wrote for a Youth Column, for a private circulation, in church. Came to know that it came in print this month…