Staff Correspondent

BELGAUM: It is time to bid farewell to the past and welcome the future. At the stroke of midnight, hundreds wished one another peace and prosperity in the New Year.

In fact, many had been preparing to celebrate the night preceding the first day of the New Year.

But with each New Year adding to the problems of humanity in the form of growing social unrest, natural disasters, increasing crime rates, atrocities, economic wars and terrorism, one wonders if the celebrations to ring in the New Year are politically apt.

Take Shirish Joshi, for instance. A writer, dramatist, poet and an employee of Krishna Jala Nigam Ltd., Belgaum, he looked back fondly when he used to spend New Year eves with his close friends.

He decided to do it again this year with his friends.

One of his friends settled down in Panjim, Goa, invited Joshi to spend his weekend with him. The invitation was welcoming indeed.

"We cooked our favourite cuisine and celebrated New Year's ever with cold beverages. We tried to add value to the celebration," Joshi said.

With singers, writers and poets in his group, there was a special session on humorous poetry, he said.

Needless to say, Joshi had a good stock of limericks written by eminent poets befitting the occasion.