For the Gujratis the New Year is more important than even Diwali. As a child we were woken up at 4 am. After a shower, all members of the family gathered before the temple for a collective prayer. Then all of us wore our new clothes and went down to meet friends of the building. There was a community hall in the centre of the complex and all children and adults gathered in the hall to wish each other.
We were all served sweets and everyone was so happy. The young bent to touch the feet of the seniors and the seniors blessed them placing their hands on their heads. We believed that whatever you did on Saal Mubarak day you will do it for the whole year, so we were tutored to say and do good deeds all day and we followed that very seriously.
As I changed homes and began living with different communities in the neighbourhood the rush of people to greet Saal Mubarak from morning to night gradually diminished.
I still do on the New Year what I did as a child, wear new clothes, cook delicacies but the frenzy is not there and I don’t miss it.