The pressures of Family Holidays and finding strength in being “Alone Together”

Festivals equal family, but what if they cannot?

The pressure of the holidays, especially on New Year’s Eve, intensifies with the assumption that a massive family/ friends gathering is required to bring it in.

All the festival-centric films that we consume impose mandates (not overtly) on us to celebrate the festivals with our loved ones. If you celebrate alone, you are a loner or loser (the ‘s’ and ‘n’ are interchangeable.) 

The year 2020 has many banes, but the one very relieving boon is the restriction of forced social “necessities.” Throughout history (and complemented by cinematic history,) we have been made to believe that it is only a celebration or a festival if there are more people.

But, 2020 is a reminder that more does not equal merrier.

Apart from the required social distancing norms, we are coming to terms with the fact that even though we are social animals, we are not social carnivores. We do not require the 24×7 presence of another (just as we don’t need a 24×7 news feed,) and I think that’s beautiful.

I think Naina would be perfectly content celebrating New Year’s Eve by herself before Bunny comes off his high horse to “rescue” her, and if there weren’t the imagery of happy families celebrating the festival everywhere around him, Kevin would realize that his independence of staying home alone is quite liberating. Maybe, Rahul Raichand would have only “Khushi” and no “Gham” if he didn’t resort to every form of ‘Parampara.’

Alone together: Maintaining a sense of community while social distancing -  Las Vegas Weekly

So this is for everyone who is celebrating the end of a year on their own. Everyone who wanted to be home but couldn’t, everyone who is perfectly satisfied being by themselves, and especially those who prefer to stay home when everyone else is partying, I see you, I appreciate you, and you are not alone.

Being alone together is massively underrated and solitude doesn’t necessarily mean loneliness. 

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