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Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcoming New Year 2012 in a saner way !!

Another year has fleeted past and a new one born..  Many are in the habit of making New Year resolutions. 

‘Old order changeth – yielding place to new” – there are many things which were a novelty at the time of their conception but lost their significance over the period of time.  The list would be endless – the immediate one that strikes mind is the art of writing or just the habit of writing.  A few decades ago, New Year would usher in with hundreds of ‘Greeting Cards’ personally written wishes from relatives and friends that would make one happy.  That was the time when people thronged Post Offices for Post cards, Inland letters and covers – are they still in use ? – then e-mail took over ; now even sending e-mail is considered old-fashioned in the era of Facebook, twitter and other medias. 

Most telephony providers hike or charge special rates on festival days and the messages do get delayed due to overload of traffic.  Social network Twitter ground to a halt on New year eve overloaded with New Year messages. In Britain the site crashed at about 3pm and was out of action for more than an hour.  It coincided with midnight celebrations in Japan when revellers were sending a record 16,197 tweets per second.   The overload meant no one could post new messages or read existing ones. Instead, frustrated users were greeted with the error message: 'Twitter is over capacity.'  The site returned to working order but then stopped on several other occasions, prompting speculation that it was being hit by the arrival of New Year in different parts of the world.

In UK New Year is welcomed with grandeur.  A total of 12,000 fireworks were primed to explode in an 11-minute spectacular as Big Ben struck midnight.

In Chennai, [perhaps the same story in many other Cities in India] there was the ungainly sight of New year revellers partying and spoiling the day.  This becomes the time when Police, Paramedics are kept on toes as cops struggled to keep the inebriated under bay.

This is nothing new and recurs year after year – Mount Road Buhari Hotel, Beach Road , Elliots beach, ECR – the list is only expanding – mobs gather and as the clock strikes, the drunken mobs revel causing inconvenience to everybody and themselves.  As youngsters drive mad, some accidents get reported and Emergency services and Police are kept on their toes..  why this kolaveri ? – what sort of pleasure is this ??

The City Police reported that things were under control this year as the city partied till the wee hours of Sunday to usher in the New Year.  Five fatal accidents and 22 non-fatal ones were reported from across the city.  Police had to be lenient and were not booking people for over-speeding or drunken driving – more than 3000 cops were on the streets – but are not human lives and limbs precious.. are there not better ways of ushering in and celebrating New Year.

There were reports that the crowds were disciplined and two cases of fatalities occurred due to falling on their own… how sad.  Could not they lived their lives more purposefully !  People license this as boisterousness – but is one of foolishness.  At a time when the nearby Pondy and Cuddalore are reeling under the devastation caused by cyclone Thane, the Emergency services had their hands full as there was surge in the no. of calls through Sunday making the Emergency no. 108 busy.  Seemingly, the hangovers were responsible for some more accidents as most of them were road accidents involving two wheelers driven by drunken youth.

Some of these are legacies of  British rule.  Elsewhere  in London, some 77 people were arrested during London's New Year's Eve celebrations, with most of the crowds generally "good humoured", police said. More than 3,000 officers were on duty to handle the large crowds which had gathered in the capital. London Ambulance Service treated 274 patients and had to answer more than 2000 emergency calls.  Among the arrests, 17 were for assault, 17 for drunkenness and 16 for public order offences, police said. A lot of the problems were alcohol-related but also involved trips and falls and people being "under-dressed", the ambulance spokesman added. Westminster Council said a staff of 140 worked from shortly after midnight to "remove any sign of a hangover from the night before", including an estimated 50 tonnes of waste.

Let us Welcome the dawn of New Year 2012 ; Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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