New year festivities are celebrated across the world by people of all countries. People bid farewell to the departing year and greet the upcoming year with a lot of fun, ceremonies and spontaneity. It's a time to look back on the year we have crossed through various ups and downs and to glance ahead for the new year to make necessary changes to our lives both at personal and collective levels. Buildings, offices, shopping malls, parks, hotels and restaurants are decorated with colorful lights, flowers and eye-catching posters to welcome the new year. In many countries the first day of the new year is a public holiday to facilitate new year celebrations by general people.
Every year passes off with both pleasures and pains. People take lessons from their errors willy-nilly committed during the previous year and look forward with optimism to have better days in the new year glinting on the horizon. It's true that each departing year slips into eternity with both delightful and sad echoes and at the same time there is a jingle of hope that things will glitter and improve in future. Instead of regarding the departing year like a deducted chapter from life, people prefer to uplift their confidence with rejuvenated plans and promises for a shinier, sweeter and prosperous tomorrow leaving behind the woes and shortcomings of bygone days. On the other hand, the successful breakthroughs of the previous year generate exhilaration and dynamism for making greater ventures and taking up tougher challenges in the year to come.
The festivities of new year begin from the evening of 31st December. Different fashion brands, retailers, food shops and showrooms offer special discounts on their products on account of new year and also for enhancing the amusement of their customers. People gather at avenues, squares, bars, coffee houses and banquet halls to exchange new year compliments with each other. New year gifts are also presented within people on this occasion. Musical bands play popular songs at concerts to mark the festive time while television channels run special programs to add momentum to the ceremonious arrival of new year. Newspapers and magazines publish exclusive supplements during this time with essays, poetry, stories and pictures bearing the significance of new year panorama.
Days elapsed cannot be retrieved but we can carry out rectifications and reviews for days to come. When we are on the eve of a new year, it's time for us to reflect on our past because our past bridges up our way with the present and our present drives us towards our future. This is the cyclic chain of life and this is how it has been going on since the first dawn on earth. Every new year rings a bell to remind us about our commitment to ourselves and to those linked with our lives, at home and outside, so that we can do some groundwork and fix up our glitches for reshaping our vision of life to keep all our pledges for leading the kind of life we all desire.
From the viewpoint of statecraft, we can retrospectively study to what extent we have been able to take care of our goals in the previous year. The success stories of the bygone year will make us glad while the obstacles we confronted should be taken as constructive messages. Bangladesh has made a lot progress with all its sectors during last several years including 2016. The flow of this progress will have to be retained and further expedited to accomplish other avocations and to get hold of other objectives waiting for our discretion in 2017 and beyond.
Previous years bear another melancholic undertone when we recall the people we lost in the elapsed years who were very close to us like friends, family members, colleagues and well-wishers. A tint of sorrow clinks in our minds when we think about those people who would never return among us for sharing compliments, holding conversations or just for a cup of tea. We miss those dearest and nearest faces when we are on the threshold of a new year. Let there be eternal peace for those departed souls in the world hereafter. At the same time let us contemplate on the ultimate destiny of everyone that none of us will be in this world forever. Time will come for all of us to leave this beautiful world someday. So, let us decide to do beneficial and amicable things so that people commemorate us with love and honor while we will be no more.
All good attributes begin at home. Therefore, let us embrace our family members first of all with the warmest bond of love. Mother Teresa once said, "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family." Now we can see a lot of broken families. People are becoming quite carefree about relations with family members. This is an ominous sign. When we talk about love and amity, our own families, particularly our parents deserve highest emphasis. So, keeping our parents happy would be another noble thing to do throughout 2017 and as long as we remain alive.
There is a matter called "New Year Resolution" which some people work out to implement in the oncoming year. There are personal as well as integrated aims in this sort of resolutions. The best resolution for 2017 would be to work for a society free of discrimination. We need to consolidate all our efforts to eradicate social injustice and class variations. Let us work for a society where all people irrespective of political, religious and economic footholds can equally enjoy the outcome of development. Let us work for the prevalence of peace and brotherhood in 2017 and in all other following years. Nothing is more pleasant than to see people living in peace and prosperity around us.
The writer is a columnist for The Asian Age.