Burning the Old Man..!

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What are you doing?” I gasped as I saw the old man on fire just before midnight of the old year.. “Burning the Old Man!” said the group of youngsters. “Help!” shouted the old man, as the flames reached his beard.

“Ha, ha, ha!” shouted the boys with glee, and stopped me from pouring a bucket of water to douse the flames, “You can’t do that!” They said, “He needs to burn for all the bad he did last year!” “What did I do?” screamed the old man.

“You shut us indoors!” screamed the boys, “Brought in Covid, and enforced a lockdown!” “I didn’t, it was the old man before me,” said Old Man 2022, trying to shoo the flames away.

“That’s true,” I said, pitying the burning figure. “But what about the war you started in Ukraine?” The old man put his head down in shame.

“That’s a terrible war!” shouted the youngsters, “You allowed a country to bully one so much smaller!” “Well,” said the old man, “That was so much away from you all, why burn me for that?” “Aha!” I said, “So there’s nothing you did closer home, did you?” The old man with fire engulfing him looked at me, “Well,” he said, “I did please a number of people here!” “You did?” I asked.

“But before I tell you please tell me from which community you are?” “Does that matter?” I asked puzzled, “You have been sent down by Father Time to please each and every community, why do you then ask to which I belong to?” “I couldn’t please everyone!” said the old man, “So I spent my whole time pitting one against the other.

I made the majority community feel insecure against the minority one, I made neighbours look with suspicion against neighbour, I…” “Enough!” I shouted angrily, “Lighting another matchstick and throwing it at the old man, “Burn old man, burn, you were not fit to come down to earth and serv us.

Burn 2022, burn!” I heard the sound of the clock striking twelve, and saw a Young Man walking down the path of Time, “Hi!” I said, “Welcome 2o23!” “Thank you!” said the Young Man, “What are these embers still flaming?” “2022 burnt to the ground,” I said, “Burnt for bringing division to the world, especially here! What is your agenda?” “Peace!” whispered the New Year, “And goodwill among men!” “Welcome 2023!” I whispered, “May this be a year of goodwill that you bring, and may that peace and goodwill overshadow the earth!” “Thank you!” said the New Year, as crackers burst and fireworks filled the sky. “Welcome 2023 into your lives!” I whisper, “Happy New Year to you..!”