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Why 2020 is the Best Year to Stop Celebrating New Year’s Eve… Forever

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The year 2020 forced us to adopt many new trends, habits, and behaviours. Boomers at the Supreme Court had to figure out video calling, students had to find a way to create ruckus during online lectures, and desi families had to learn to downsize weddings from 1,000 guests to 50. It was a terrible year where travel shut down, then restaurants, malls, and theatres, and eventually even Gmail was down. Diwali was muted, as was Christmas, Eid, and the festival that unites all Indians: IPL.

As we approach New Year’s Eve, no one is asking “31st ka kya plan hai?” There are only two types of people this NYE: those who have no plans and those who have small plans at home. And I’m all for it. If there’s one good thing that can come out of 2020, it is that we don’t need New Year Eve parties anymore. We don’t need it in 2020, 2021, or 2050. Dare I say, it’s time to cancel New Year’s Eve parties forever.

The NYE party is like demonetisation, it sounds and feels like a good idea, but isn’t. It begins with the “pressure” of having a plan. The joy over the Earth completing an orbit of the sun isn’t spontaneous or organic, but has to be manufactured by investing time and money in a plan since you don’t want to be left out or be the guy with no plan. Not having a NYE plan is like claiming you haven’t seen Game of Thrones, people make social judgements as if you’ve committed a moral crime.

So everyone starts browsing clubs, hotels, and party places weeks in advance so they can spend money they don’t have to dance around people they don’t know. Women have to doll up and dance uncomfortably in stillhoutes and guys have to channel their inner Ranveer Singh. Traffic is crazy everywhere, parking space is scarce, and service pathetic, since hotels want to make money and have taken up more bookings they can handle. Amid all of this, God forbid you have an argument with bae or tussle with friends over something silly. NYE ruined!

All this effort for what? Eating an undercooked paneer starter that was available for one-fourth the price just a few hours back? Going deaf and dancing among thousands in a packed crowd as if you were in a Virar local? Playing games like Housie that even seven-year-olds don’t consider cool anymore? Counting down from 10 but not being able to kiss your girlfriend at midnight in public because the place is so overpacked there is some stranger stuck between the two of you? To put up Instagram stories every seven minutes so others know how much “fun” you are having? While you miss the fun in an attempt to capture more Instagram content.

This year, the pandemic made sure none of that happens. I’ll be at home and possibly watch an award show on TV while feasting on some restaurant ordered pav-bhaji and I’m not going to miss the madness. A house party with a few close friends where you catch up on a movie, play cards, or reminisce about the good ol’ days is far more enriching than the fake scene we make every year. If dancing at home in pyjamas, having masala Maggi, and getting on Zoom call with BFFs on 31st make you happy, you do you. Make merry on your own terms. The NYE party exists so you can have fun, you don’t exist to honour archaic NYE traditions.

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