2014, and all the others
My friend Vasu Ramanujam’s post on the New Year:
Me: Who is it? Don’t you know it’s midnight? What do you want?
Knocker at the door: It’s me, 2014. I have a big package to deliver to you. Open the door.
Me: I am busy right now. Can’t this wait until later?
2014: No, it can’t. My instructions are to come right in at midnight.
Me: Go away. I’m tied up right now.
2014: I know you are with 2013. You’ve got to let her go. Her time’s up. You’ve also got to release 2012, 2011, 2010, … All the rest of them that I know you still have in there with you, God knows how many. They all need to leave.
2013: Don’t let her in. She sounds like a trickster.
Me: As if I have any choice! She sounds just like you did 365 days ago, though. Full of talk about an important package for me. There was nothing in it. Nothing. Maybe 2014 really has something for me. Why should I trust you any more and not her?
2013: The new ones they send are all like that - beguiling temptresses with stunning bodies and sweet voices. It only takes a few days for them to turn into witches. All they want to do is to come inside so they can take over the place …
Me: Why the cattiness toward her? Have you forgotten how you wheedled your way in here with all sorts of promises you never kept? It wasn’t all that long ago, you know. Everyone of you has been doing that. Since 1970. Earlier than that. Since 1949. Whenever.
2013: Go on, go on, grumble and mope! Turn on me! What do I care? I have seen other people turn bitter with time. You’re no different. Has it occurred to you where you might be right now if you’d seen us as opportunities instead of visitors who barged in on you, willy nilly, …
Me: Sure that thought has occurred to me, every time. So, what have you got against my opening the door to her who stands outside with that alleged big package for me? You all turned to be big letdowns, the entire lot of you, ….
1973 (shouting from the cellar): Hey, I heard that! No fair! Can you seriously say 1973 was a let down?
Me (a bit contrite and chagrined): No, I can’t say that about you, 1973. You were good to me. Too good to me, in fact. Thanks to you I got a bunch of wonderful friends.
1970 (clearly peeved at being not acknowledged): Yeah, right. She was good to you, that 1973, but like I wasn’t?
Me: Sorry, 1970, I didn’t mean that. You were good too. As was 1965. You, 1965, you took me straight to the gate of IIT-Madras. How can I say anything bad about you?
1979: And, … and, …. aren’t we forgetting something, Mr. (Faltering) Memory?
Me: Yes, yes, yes, you too, 1979! Thanks to you, I met Reva (my wife). You can stay as long as you want …
1984: Hey, what about me? Out of sight, out of mind?
Me: No, no, not at all, 1984. Without you, there would have been no Roopa (my daughter). So, please know, you are special too ….
2013: I suppose I am the ugly duckling of the lot then?
Me: You’re taking it all quite the wrong way, 2013. I didn’t say there was nothing good about you. In fact, you made it possible for me to enjoy Vishwa Prakash (my close friend) hospitality not once but twice … What I meant was that none of you quite brought out the best in me. I was hoping maybe 2014, knocking insistently at the door, might be the one to make me turn the corner …
2013: Look, if you want to take up with her, that’s fine with me, and I am sure with the others here as well, but you don’t have to dump on us, you know. I was good to you, and I bet all the others were, too, if only you’d care to remember.
Me: You’re right. Each of you was special in your own way. Thanks for the ride so far, girls!
2013: (a little mollified): That’s more like it.
2014 (from outside the door): OK, don’t tell me I didn’t give you enough of a warning. I am going to count down, …. 10, …. 9, …. 8, ….
Me: Hey, wait, I’m still in my jammies.
2014: I don’t care if you’ve got a stitch on or not, I’m coming in … ready or not … 3 …. 2 ….
A key turns in the door. Click!
2014: And 1 …. here I come!
Me: Wow, will you look at her! Isn’t she a beauty? 2014, all made up, dressed to the nines, perfumed to the high heavens, with bottles of chilled sparkling wine to share! … Hey, girls, come and see who just walked in here …. !!!!!!!
2013: Just because you are infatuated with the new comer, should we also be? I think the rest of them have gone to sleep and I am now going to catch my forty winks too. My parting advice to you is not to let 2014 control you too much, be firm with her and you try to take control of her, before she disappoints too …
Me: I know, I know, I have learned. I am ready now. I am a changed man. I have it all together now. It is not going to be like the old days. I am going to have the date of a lifetime with 2014, have you no fears! I’ll tell you all about it in exactly 365days!
H E R E ‘ S T O 2 0 1 4 E V E R Y O N E! (assuming it’s not the same girl we are all talking about!) :-) :-) :-)