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20190105

"HNY": Take it or Leave it!

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Even if 364 days we were not in touch with someone, we would definitely wish that person around new year. That is the magic of the ‘New Year’, though there is nothing sacrosanct about the date January 1st. There are many cultures in the world where people celebrate new year on dates other than the January 1 fixation of the Gregorian, Roman and Julian calendars. New Year is definitely an occasion to remember all those who were kind and considerate to you in the last one year and earlier years by sending them thoughtful best wishes.

New Year wishing has become easy in an age of WhatsApp. I fondly remember my student days when I exhausted all my pocket money to print customized greetings cards with my own words of wishes and sent to all dear and near ones. Later in life, it was e-Mails.

The Messages
WhatsApp greetings are cheap, instant and amenable to easy copy-paste. We get plenty of messages without specifically addressing us. Nevertheless, we get wished on time by friends. I devote about one hour each for about ten days around the new year to send personal wishes to my near and dear ones, in batches. Perhaps, due to inevitable preoccupations, that might be the only time in a year, I might have re-connected to cherish some valuable interactions of the past.

The trend now is to forward video messages. There will be hundreds of forwarded video messages in our inbox wishing happy new year and to open each of those messages and play the video would eat away too much of our time. So, the best option is to assume that they have forwarded a beautiful new year wish made by someone and then to acknowledge it without ever opening them. Another set of messages come with instructions like “Touch here to see a magic”! As there are many cyber punks during mischiefs with messages that can compromise on the cyber security, many decide not to touch those touchy forwards. I am sure we all prefer original text messages even if it contained only three words - Happy New Year - rather that those sparkling  forwards! Those busy doctorate holders in ‘texting’ will send you “HNY”. You take it or leave it!

The Replies
Most wise people are those who send a reply message to your long, original message (not a forward) by sending just three key words: “Wish you the same”. There are some one-way traffic wishes, which just say “Thank you for the wishes” without ever wanting to reciprocate the wish to you, assuming that the new year is limited only to the place he lives. A few are more frugal with words and reply, “Thanks”.  Some busy people never acknowledge a new year wish since they think that the sender is not privileged to get a reply. Some VVIPs think on those lines.

There are some people who would like to maintain consistency and tradition. They will send the same customized message every year. There are a few who promptly wish you back writing “Wish you a happy birthday”, obviously misled by the auto-complete option.

But, you might have noticed one fact. It is the busy people who are the fastest to respond for a new year wish. It is said that, busy people always have spare time than others!


The Losers and the ‘Fussers’
With all above innovations and idiosyncrasies, New Year time is fun as millions of wishes crisscross the ‘free’ telecom space all over the world. The real losers are the postal departments and the greeting card sellers.  And there are a few conservative innocent beings who still consider that sending them a message instead of wishing them over phone is an insult!

Happy New Year to all once again!

© Sibichen K Mathew      Views are personal.

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