Indians juggle with a lot many things on a daily basis (except, of course, the ones who get easy money by means of corruption):
· Late working hours
· The inability to spend enough time at home
· Lack of sleep
· Ever-increasing traffic
· Ever-increasing prices of, well, everything
· The depressing news of rapes, murders, dirty politics, accidents, building collapeses...
· The 'chalta hai' attitude
And while the pressure of daily life and everyone's expectations drives a common Indian crazy, a little window of celebration can bring temporary relief. That's precisely the reason why, even as the times are changing, the traditional festivals and occasions like Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve, etc., are celebrated with much indulgence.
But, the celebration doesn't come easy. One has to put in extra working hours the previous day and shell out a lot of money. It really makes us mad when some people in power stand against such celebrations that offer little respite to us. It happens most of the times, in the name of security or Indian culture (Valentine's Day for example... celebrating love is questioned in the name of Western influence).
So just before the New Year, Mumbai Police decided to not allow partying until 5 am. I was glad to see that while this was happening, in Navi Mumbai the deadline was 5 am. If you have been reading the newspapers on the last two days of 2013, you would have noticed how the Bombay High Court took a strong stand against the wishful thinking of Mumbai Police who cited security of women being a major reason along with security threat on 31st December.
I loved and I quote Justice G.S. Patel statements:
“Shakti Mills (gang-rape case) didn’t happen on 31st night. Are women unsafe in the city as they come out to celebrate on 31st night? Make out a somewhat compelling case.”
The judge passed a order in favour of the aam junta saying that there was “no valid reason to clamp down on what little is left of the once-thriving night life of the city."
We really need such open-minded people friendly people in power!
Thankfully, the court offered decent deadlines:
· Outdoor parties and music till midnight
· Food and liquor permission at indoor restaurants and bars till 5 am
· Indoor music, orchestra and live band till 5 am
Well, that's a good note to start the New Year, in addition to the success of Aam Aadmi Party. I hope that 2014 gives Indians more reasons to celebrate.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!!
-Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli