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How About a National Dumb Day?

We live in a cool, informal and let-it-all-hang-out-environment. Nothing is sacrosanct and irreverence towards buttoned-down conventions and established norms is the new popular mantra.

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How About a National Dumb Day?

Life is for the living! Life is a banquet and baby, am I starving! Life is a ball! Live fast. Die young. Be a sexy looking corpse! Life is cool!

Celebrating life comes naturally to the human race — any genuine or manufactured excuse to cut loose and freak out. Holi, Diwali, Christmas, Pujas, Dussehra, Onam, Pongal (along with all the zillion other festival days) come with the territory, along with the birthdays, Bhai Dooj, Raksha Bandhan and anniversaries, and now the new-age kid’s latest “the day-we-first-met” day.

Oldies may have been perplexed, amused or irritated at these exercises and dramabaazi, but they could well be headed for the ICU once they are swamped by the tsunami of special days dreamt up to keep the excitement and buzz ticking in our otherwise dreary, boring, dull or tension-filled and stress-driven lives.

Forget Valentines Day, for lovers there’s now, a National Romance Day (Aug 11) as well as a National Bromance Day (Aug 14) to celebrate guy-bonding without… ahem… the other stuff. Quick on the heels of this pyaar-mohabbat is National Kiss & Make Up Day (Aug 25) to officially allow dumbos to go down on their knees, beg forgiveness and swear never to repeat all the ghastly stuff.

Chances are after that sublime and weepy make-up, it will be time for some heavy-duty romancing and coochie-cooing after which — can a leopard change its spot? — problems will strike again. Sure enough, it’s time to celebrate, National Blame Someone Day (Aug 13). Once that is sorted out after several rounds of discussions, tears and hysteria, the guy can sweetly invite his companion to celebrate National Make Up Your Mind Day (Dec 31), to end the year on a decisive note. If that falls flat, no bother, there is the opportunity to celebrate National Panic Day (March 9). Once they recognize just how foolishly they have been behaving by letting childishness and ego drive their relationship, in embarrassingly halting, self-conscious fashion they can turn to National Awkward Moments Day (March 18)!

Phew! That much for the interacting between the sexes. But hey, there are piles of other days too and the folks who invented them must have had a lot of time in his hands and been both mischevious and inventive. So we have celebratory days saluting National Mosquito Day (July 23), National Toilet Day (Nov 19), National Working Naked Day (Feb 1), National Read in the Bathtub Day (Feb 9), National Underwear Day (Aug 5), National Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun Day (April 3), National Eat What You Want Day (May 11). Bizarre and weird, huh?

“Not really,” says New York based drama student and Bollywood junkie Juhi Walia. The 21-year-old believes that all “these special days are really cool, giving a faceless date and day a special personality and spin allowing us to relate to it in whichever way we wish to.”

Mumbai-based lawyer Girish Shah concurs. The 35-year-old admits that his parents’ generation find these days weird: “Can’t understand what the hell these days signify and mean. My uncle went ballistic when he heard that abroad there was actually a National Toilet Day and National Working Naked Day! Yeh Saale Phirang, pagal hai? Pagal khana mein band karna chahiye! (These bloody foreigners are mad. They should be locked up in a mental asylum.) Hey c’mon, I think they are fun. Don’t go nanga (naked) to work if you don’t want to, but chill yaar. Follow National Underwear Day if you’re the shy type!” Journalist Dolly Puri laughs. The 30-year-old Delhi-based young lady loves the “absurdity, wackiness, quirky, zany, madcap, bindas colour that it imparts to faceless days. National Mosquito Day? Saluting the lowly machhar (mosquito)! Kitna bada dil hai, na? Kamaal ka log hai (What a big heart, no? Amazing people) who thought it up.”

Marketing Executive Kunal Sen, however, is disgusted by these “stupidly cony days! It’s the spasmodic working of unbalanced minds for chrissake! National Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun Day: are we supposed to take it seriously?”

Housewife Kavita Rastogi agrees “Pata nahin, anaab-shanaab, (Don’t know, any nonsense) anything jo dimag me aata hai, ghussa deta (whatever comes to mind, causes annoyance) to describe a day! National Panic Day? National Eat What You Want Day? They’ve lost it!”

We live in a cool, informal and let-it-all-hang-out-environment. Nothing is sacrosanct and irreverence towards buttoned-down conventions and established norms is the new popular mantra. The special days jack-up the fun moments of our complex lives and add a dose of zaniness to amuse, irritate, sometimes shock. Along the way marketers, forever looking for a bait, wanna milk it. Time for a National Chor Machaye Shor (Thief Raps Up the Noise) Day!

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Commentary | Life | Magazine | October 2012

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