What’s the deadline for accepting Happy New Year Wishes?

If there’s something more cliche than gifting and receiving Soanpapdi on Diwali, it is the Happy New Year wishes. Saying Happy New Year to each and everyone with a smiling face is prevalent universally. The only day one would smile and greet others with the same intensity is the day when one is throwing a reception for the wedding. The smile gets inverted after that anyway. But the question looming over our heads is this: What’s the date by which you are going to accept Happy New Year’s wishes? Is it the first week of January? Or Mid-January? Or if you are meeting someone for the first time in late January? Is it really required to video call or just a ‘Same to you’ on Whatsapp would suffice?

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Start of the decade is here

Janus, the Greek God behind the name of January, has 2 heads. One head looking backward, and another towards the future. Probably, that was the reason for adapting January as the 1st month of the Julian Calendar Year. Many countries like India and China still maintain their own Lunar Calendars but January is the first month officially nevertheless. And this January, in particular, brings the start of a new Decade. I like to think that the new decade starts now. 2020 was a Trial or the Zeroth Year for calculations and shaking everyone by the throat just to wake them up.

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A bit about Crying

It was the wedding of my cousin in 2014. In fact, it the time of farewell when the bride was about to leave with the husband to her new home. It was the time when everyone was teary eyed. Partly because in India family profusely cries when their daughter is about to leave. And partly because everyone is tired of the mammoth of the event a North Indian wedding is, as it draws curtains. So, as my cousin was about to sign off from the scene with her newly added friends and family, my whole family started to cry, while saying bye, as per the tradition (and heartfelt too, of course).

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If it is not Agoraphobia

I gifted a book called Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’ to someone recently. Gifting such book is like poking inside a Socket with a Tester Screwdriver. The only problem being is not that you don’t know that there is an electric current there. Rather it is that you don’t have much confidence in the insulation of the screwdriver itself. Another analogy is that when you try interacting with introverts, it might be like asking directions from a person who’s wearing headphones. The headphones might be a signal for You but you are not getting it. It is understandable for me because, surprise, I am an introvert myself here. Gifting such a book might be counter-productive. However, I had gifted the book thinking that there might be some tricks and tips in it which might improve productivity.

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Reading in 2020

Goodreads.com runs the yearly Reading Challenge year after year. One has to commit to reading a certain number of books in the year to participate. There is no award but it is just a personal goal. Reading more is a goal for me as I very strongly believe that people whom I consider smart, are also well-read. Mind you, that doesn’t work oppositely. Every year, I have tried to increase the number of books I read than the previous year. And like how always it happens, life happens and your promise runs out of gas. So, as is shown below, I have never been able to reach even 12 books in any year since I started tracking this. Shameful indeed! But over time, I have read more Non-Fiction than Fiction. Real-life is thrilling enough nowadays. Also, a good Non-Fiction would be as captivating as any fictional book if you have an interest in the topic. In any case, storytelling would rule in any book there is.

2020
Previously

I might not have read the most number of books. But, I have read the most this year. Seriously a lot. Not books per se, but medical articles. Just going by the variety of topics read, it ranged from Haematology, Diabetes, Sarcoma, Immunotherapy, Dendritic Cells Therapy, Metastasis, Obesity, Pneumonia, and of course, Covid-19. And many more horrible but widely prevalent things.

Committing to reading gives a tangible goal. There is no compulsion but like they say, without a goal, you cannot score. If one could balance between how much content one wants to consume, through watching and through reading, and how much content, one wants to generate, that would work out the best. That would always be a struggle though but I wish to be in the group that wants to create more than consume.

I think my plan for next year would be to not go by what’s trending to read. But, I would go into what exactly I want to know about.

Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash


Recent Book Reviews

So I recently watched: Disney-Pixar Soul

If you have been through a lot in 2020, like everyone else, you aren’t alone. But if you want to end the year on a positive note, I suggest that you watch the new Disney Pixar movie ‘Soul’. It makes a great Christmas/New Year movie which can be watched with your family. It is available on Hotstar in India. Here’s my review:

I don’t have to comment on the sheer genius of animators of Pixar as we all are fully aware of that fact. But I just wonder how could someone think of and write such deep philosophical ideas. Then convert that into an animation movie with a range of visual imagery. Then still make it highly entertaining by keeping you hooked for an hour and a half.

Synopsis

Soul is about a School Teacher who wants to become a professional Jazz musician. However, he has to be content with just being a Teacher. Then something happens with his life which takes him places. The journey teaches him some lessons. That’s all I can convey without spoiling anything. I especially liked the fact that the majority of the characters you see in the movie are African Americans which fits the Jazz and Music part of the movie. Not that it is critical, but it just enhances the beauty of the soul of the movie.

If you have already finished watching, we can talk further.

My Take

I also recently re-watched ‘Anand’ which is one of my most favorite movies of all time. The movies are highly different but the underlying message is the same. We tend to live either in past or wait for the future to happen. That doesn’t really allow one to live in the present. For the regrets of the past, and the expectations from the future, the now gets lost. There are several small joys just everywhere. But we want to take all the burden possible and just get buried under that. I guess we need constant reminders that Now is more important than anything else. Soul is such a light yet deep movie that makes you think about such stuff. The end goal is lucrative, but who knows our state of mind when we reach there. Past is gone so what’s the point of sweating over it.

To keep the soul happy, just live on.


My other recent movie and shows reviews.

Not a Foodie

Before I try to disintegrate the etymology of the gastronomically stupid word ‘Foodie’, let me just put it out there: I like food. I have an interest in food. I eat food every day. I have never fasted in my life. I am not planning to fast unless I want to try the kewl intermittent fasting. I can eat any food of any taste and I consider food anything as long as it wasn’t breathing oxygen or had legs or fins or wings or gills or scales or eyes. And, if I have to, my life motto is: I would eat any food whatsoever if the need arises, but I hope it doesn’t but if it does, I am game.

But I am not a ‘Foodie’. What is a Foodie really? Someone who likes eating? I think a Foodie actually means one who cannot control themselves from eating out. They don’t cook themselves, because if they did, then they would have respected food. Their tongues and nostrils are home to billions of taste sensors and buds which are at least 2-3 more than any other sane food-eating human. Their nose has been to places and the tongue has seen it all. And I mean everything! They are folks who can eat anything in any quantity. Like 1000 Gol-Gappas and all. That means Foodies are food abusers as they don’t respect food. They take advantage of the food. They maul food if I want to be polite here. Even Animals eat only what is needed by their bodies. These people who call themselves foodies are enslaved by food actually. They are not connoisseurs of Food. Rather they are victims and might need help.

Anyway, this year I have not eaten out much. My last order of food was in March 2020. I survived the rest of the year fine. Being a Foodie doesn’t make you cool. Creating food does. Cultivating food does. And respecting food as a decent human being does.

Talking of food, firstly I feel hungry now. Secondly, I am yet to read this book though but this podcast of Krish Ashok with Amit Varma was mind-blowingly fantastic which was enough motivation to buy it, if not for knowing Krish Ashok’s decade-plus of blogging as one of my inspirations. It had enough amount of Science served with a mouth ravishing platter of dishes explained that it generated an enormous appetite to learn more about food and how to make it taste better if served in the right quantity.


Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash