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Monday, January 1, 2018

Welcoming New Year 2018 ~ in a saner way !!

Welcome ‘New Year 2018’ - celebrate, party, enjoy - in a saner way !!!

The movie – Rollerball released in 1975 a science fiction sports action film, was set in year 2018, stated as "the not too distant future” – was a violent, globally popular sport around which the events of the film take place.  The object of the game is for the team in possession of the ball to score points by throwing a softball-sized steel ball into the goal, which is a magnetic, cone-shaped area inset into the wall of the arena.  Rollerball is a full-contact sport in which players have considerable leeway to attack opposing players in order to take or maintain possession of the ball and to score points.

Just a day to go, rather few hours to go - it is time to rollick and celebrate.  Before we (in India) could do that people of Kiribati would be enjoying.  The New Year celebrations around the World are far varied and widespread.  In Australia spectacular New Year Eve fireworks are burst. Many other countries plan  massive pyrotechnic displays.  People venture to islands, go for sky walk,  para-glide,  plan their party in Ships, night time bash in star hotels charging differently for couple and stags and champagne might flow unabated, hearing DJs blare favourtie tunes,  dance floors with celebrities,  ..  Revelries, dance, consuming whatever one desires, being with whomsoever they adore, making merry – all are individual’s wish and reach.  In many apartments, people get together to enjoy food, music and friendship.   Enjoy and make merry – it is individual desire and way of reacting to events.

Love it or hate it, many people  feel compelled to count in the New Year at midnight, whether celebrating at a party or freezing outside watching fireworks.  In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve , is on December 31. In many countries, celebrations generally go on past midnight into January 1 (New Year's Day).

Fireworks displays are being tweaked and partygoers are taking up position as Australia prepares to bring in 2018 with a bang.Melbourne is putting on its biggest show of the year tonight in the CBD, with 14 tonnes of fireworks set to be launched from the top of 22 city buildings for New Year's Eve festivities.Between 300,000 and 500,000 people are expected to converge on the city for the night.In Sydney, crowds have been building since early yesterday with revellers securing spots around Sydney Harbour, despite soaring temperatures.This year's fireworks will also celebrate the same-sex marriage vote and the 40th anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with a rainbow cascade off the Harbour Bridge.

Let 2018 unleash a million reasons to smile!  In one posh hotel in the City, the  New Year extravaganza offers beverages - Whisky - Chivas Regal 12 years and Ballantine's; Vodka – Absolut; Rum – Bacardi; Red Wine - Jacob's Creek Cabernet Shiraz – all for an early bird couple price of Rs.29999/- only – there are hundreds of restaurants in Chennai city itself and all of them could be full ! 

 Last year, as  Britain celebrated the beginning of the year, pictures taken revealed  many  woken with a very sore head next morning and some may even had to sleep in a police cell or a hospital bed. From Swansea to Manchester, Birmingham to London, and Liverpool to Newcastle, partygoers were drunk and dishevelled as they spilled out of bars, clubs and parties and onto the streets last night.  And in some instances they ended up on the wrong side of the law, with Scotland Yard revealing that 100 people were arrested for drunken, violent or sexual crimes during the celebrations in central London. Meanwhile Ambulance trusts said they received one phone call every 15 seconds that  night as they dealt with the results of excessive drinking. 

Chennai is no different – the Buhari hotel would get spruced  up for the late night bash –at  midnight, group of youth would gather on roads, drink, drive crazily, shout and  disturb, annoy, rattle, enrage and even cause harm to others……….  What is this about and what would this merriment provide to anybody ?  Everybody knows that drunken driving causes majority of accidents during New Year Eve and most claims are viewed with suspicion by the Insurers when they are reported closer to New Year.  The City Police keeps a big patrol on road.  Nearly 10,000 police personnel would be deployed on security duty for New year celebrations in the city.  A couple of years back unsavoury incidents took place in Mumbai beach on New year Eve ~ sure most of us have forgotten.

As  large number of people would throng the beach front, traffic restrictions and changes would be imposed in the Marina and East Coast Road, the favourites spots for the revelleries. Beach road, Marina beach, Elliots beach, ECR, Mount road are some of the places where some incidents and some accidents get reported every year.   Besides the road accidents, Chennaites should remember the grisly incident at a famous hotel a couple of years ago. 

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.  How many of us know the price of a Post card or Inland leter…

Australian media reports that about $65,000 worth of pyrotechnics will be fired from a barge in the first of two shows in Hobart, but the main event will blast off some 12-inch shells — the largest available in Australia.(please do not remember anything of what people spoke during Deepavali, on the need for protecting environment and keeping away from crackers and fireworks !!)

Eight fatal accidents were reported in the city in the beginning of 2017, said Chennai city police.  City police seem to have found a solution to curb overspeeding and drunk driving on city roads on during New Year eve - a menace that endangers lives of riders and public every year. The top brass of the city police has informed that details of traffic violators on New Year's eve will be kept in the commissioner's office and if the violator applies for passport, police "No objection Certificate" (NOC) will be denied.Public are supposed to use service lanes under the flyovers,” the officer added.  Accident prone stretches in the city have been identified such as Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR), East Coast Road, KamarajarSalai and the roads would be heavily barricaded with blinkers. City police have planned to put up 176 vehicle checkpoints and about 3,500 traffic personnel would be deployed on duty across the city. Service roads along the city beaches - Marina and Elliots - will be closed for traffic and separate parking spots will be allotted, police said.

So, Welcome the New Year 2018 – enjoy and make merry – be cautious on thy self and care for others also.  Every New year the brash celebrations,  spells trouble for the Police and law-abiding citizens. In the melee, Police are lenient and generally do not book  people for over-speeding or drunken driving – more than 18000 cops were on the streets – Are  not human lives and limbs precious.. are there not better ways of  celebrating the  New Year. Is there real need for continuing the legacy of the colonial rule ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

30th Dec 2017 @ 16:22 hrs

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