2011: A new year, a new chapter

Maswood Alam Khan from New York, USA
The most amazing feeling we humans have been experiencing for ages since our arrival on this planet is to wonder about the sun moving from one part of the world to another. The amazement really intensifies when we marvel at the geographical phenomenon of our working in a daytime in one part of the world while others are sleeping at a night time in another part of the world!

Scientifically, the truth is “the Earth is rotating on its own axis and orbiting the Sun, not the Sun orbiting the Earth”. But the scientific truth is not appealing to us as we enjoy more the feeling of the sun moving than imagining that the Earth itself is rotating on its axis. It sounds absurd that we and all the buildings and trees are moving along with the Earth’s rotation at a speed of more than 1500 kilometres an hour. We find it difficult to realise the scientific truth as we don’t feel the drag of the Earth’s rotational movement.

On the first day of 2011 the sun in Bangladesh already rose in the east, made its slow journey across the sky, and is about to set in the west in a matter of a few hours. Celebrations of the New Year are already over in Bangladesh and in most of the countries in the East. But, revellers in America are still waiting for the midnight hour when the New Year will arrive. In New York in the East Coast of America it is just about a few hours left for the clock to strike the end of the old year 2010 and the beginning of the New Year 2011. On the first day of January the sun in New York will rise at 20 minutes past 7 in the morning.

New Year 2011 has arrived and is about to arrive! New Year means a new start of life. New Year is one more step towards the fulfilment of our goals and dreams. The first day of New Year is a break in our life to leave all the grudges and sadness behind.

On the eve of the New Year the New Yorkers are holding their breath to celebrate the moment at Times Square as the clock is nearing midnight, their eyes turned to the dazzling lights and bustling oomph of Times Square with an ocean of onlookers densely thronged to watch the famous New Year’s Eve Ball descending from the flagpole atop One Times Square, a dazzling show an estimated one million people will watch being physically present in and around the Times Square while billions across America and all over the world would be watching the scene through televisions in their bidding a collective farewell to the departing year, and expressing their joy and hope for the year ahead.

Feelings can’t always be described in words; still we try to convey our feelings in words that only partially reflect our feelings. However, we use New Year cards to convey our heartfelt feelings for our near and dear ones. But, of late, New Year cards are getting obsolescent with the introduction of E-cards and texting through mobile phones. I am wondering the day perhaps is not far away when many people, except a few nerds, may find it foolishness to spend hours in the chilly night under the open sky in the Times Square when they can watch electronically and more vividly in their 3-D or 4-D television sets the dazzling celebrations and all those star-studded musical performances, balloons, pom-poms, confetti and the pyrotechnic displays from the comfort of their homes.

I better leave now to catch a glimpse from a distance the beauty of the Old Year departing, of the New Year arriving and of the Ball descending in the Times Square for the first time in my life at least over one of those giant electronic screens that have been erected at different places not far away from the Times Square in New York. I wish I could be near the Times Square; But, I could not camp near the hot spot in the wee hours as many youngsters braving the chill and elbowing their way through the huge crowds did.

The writer can be reached at e-mail: maswood@hotmail.com


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