My piece for K2, KUENSEL Magazine, Last Page, 29th December, 2012.
I like chatting with cab drivers while I’m commuting around town. They have the most interesting stories to share. This particular cabbie told me that he had heard about a global blackout starting December 21st that would last for three days. We were just 2 days away from “doomsday”!
It surprised me how a prediction from the Mayan civilization from South America was now the topic of conversation, literally half a world away, in a cab in
Thimphu. I proceeded to tell
my cabbie about the Mayan Long Count calendar and how it ends abruptly,
according to modern calculations, on December 21st, 2012. People are
speculating the end of the world, I informed him; the look on his face was
Then I told him no such thing would happen! The end of the Mayan Long Count calendar only means the calendar will now go back right to the beginning, just as January 1st comes a day after December 31st in the Gregorian calendar. He nodded back in comprehension, and smiled a sigh of relief.
Just to humour him I asked him what he’d do the following day, December 20th, if the world really was ending on December 21st. He said, with a huge smile, that he’d spend the day with family and friends celebrating close bonds and toasting to life.
In my case, I’d be contemplating on something else entirely; December 21st would be the start of a new phase in my life – that of a Civil Servant. I graduated from
this year and sat
for the RCSC exams and qualified. The RCSC had called us for placement
selection on December 21st, for our appointment on New Year’s Day,
2013. Thus, the upcoming New Year has special significance for me. Medical
The coming of a New Year is a time of reflection on the 12 months past – the triumphs and tribulations; good deeds done as well as mistakes made; the adulation as well as criticism. It is a time to be grateful about a good year gone and to invigorate ourselves with hope and promise for a better year ahead.
This past year has been rather eventful for me – I graduated from Medical College; left the city I called home for more than half a decade; returned home and reconnected with family and friends; met the love of my life and got engaged.
The few days in between the end of one year and the beginning of the next offers us a chance to contemplate on the things we value in life and those that define us – family and friends, relationships, near and dear ones, career, dreams, goals, memories, future plans etc.
It’s amazing how a change in date and the dawn of a new day brings forth the promise of a whole new beginning. We close one chapter of our lives and stand on the threshold of another new one.
Only this time around, I’m standing on the threshold of not only a brand New Year, but also a brand new phase in my life – I’m starting out on my career, I’m settling down with my better half, I’m building my own home, and I’m embarking on a lifetime of devoted service to the Tsa-Wa-Sum.
My cabbie plans to spend New Year picnicking with his family and friends, all of them toasting to life. Me, I’ll be with my fiancé, my parents, family and friends, toasting to new and auspicious beginnings.