They say that love is patient and kind. Utter hogwash or deep truth? One thing is clear: most of us do not have the patience for love to happen to us. 31st night can be a nightmare to some of us. Apart from the realization that the year is coming to a decided end and that little has been accomplished spiritually and materialistically to be truly proud of ourselves, there is something that we dread the most: the least appealing prospect of having to be alone, having to look at other couples with equal admiration, disdain and jealousy. To think, what did I do wrong? Where did I go wrong to end up alone? We look up at the firework lit night sky, glorious in its psychedelic beauty, and we risk a glance at hundreds of couples sitting on the packed beach, or pointing at the color strewn midnight sky hand in hand, or embracing each other in ecstasy and joy. Their faces full of hope and wonder, living in the moment, reflecting the majesty of the luminous sky. Where did we go wrong?

December 31st has different meanings to different people: traditionalists mark it as the end of yet another year, a reminder of things to reflect upon. But for the carefree partygoer, it is a day of celebration which culminates in an alcohol induced frenzy of jubilation, copulation and reciprocation. And of course, there are those who are indifferent. Regardless of the category you fall into, search your soul when we say this, you don’t want to be alone do you? We don’t mean your family and relations, but someone who is connected to you in a deep emotional and chemical level, someone who is intimate with you, who wants to share that intimacy with you. You want to see through this day with him or her, to behold the transition as a pair, to assure each other that you have been there for each other throughout the year both in good and bad times and that it would continue to the dawning year, unwavering. But for some of us, we don’t get to be part of this universal connection. We may experience it, of course, but would it not be second hand? We hug each other; we engulf ourselves in the celebratory atmosphere, but are we truly a part of the cosmological ride? Where did we go wrong?

Is it better luck next year? Should we preach unto ourselves that we don’t need to be coupled to end the year on a high note? Should we be bitter and morose about it? Should we sulk and be the proverbial party-pooper? Are we petty to undermine ourselves? As men are we emasculating ourselves psychologically when we think like this? As women are we taking our tough and independent attitude to a whole different level? These are all interesting questions. We don’t preach. We can’t honestly say that your attitude will reward you. We can’t predict that you will assuredly have better luck next time around. And we most definitely cannot promise you a heightened experience if you are ready to share the night with your newly minted intimate half. But we can say this without our tongues going numb and our speech being slurred: if you can find comfort in something little this night, if you can truly connect with someone (anyone), if you are ready to look beyond your own obsessions and into the future; then you are truly at peace with yourself. Baby steps my friend, baby steps.

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