The tradition of New Year resolutions is a sheer delight that one needs to salute in order to pay respect to our desire to improve ourselves as we ‘journey-on’ in the eternal pursuit of happiness in life. So it is of little account when some people retort and say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Picture this. It is a nice chilly evening and I’m all cozy and comfy, snuggled up in the razai with a cup of coffee and some snacks at hand while watching the bloke Boycott explain why the India selectors are a bunch of jokers. And then in walks my friend.
“Vijay, for God’s sake, don’t be such a slob. Don’t you know that the exams are coming up soon. Oughtn’t you be up and studying hard?”
“Sure in the fullness of time, when the moment is ripe. I will begin studying on 1st Jan”, I reply.
“Oh, I suppose that’s one of your New Year resolutions, eh?”, he asks rather derisively.
“You got it right pardner. I always like to round off things and make a new start at the appropriate moment. So what’s wrong in making a good resolution?”, I ask.
“Yeah, that’s what I want to ask you. Remember that last year you made your resolutions public. So let us review them,shall we? The first one was that you resolved to get up at 6 am.”, he said referring to my earlier article published in early Jan this year.
“Oh, I do that”, I answered rather cryptically. He gave me such a stare that I continued to state further, “You see the alarm just goes on beeping so I do get up to shut the darn thing off and then go back to have snooze till its eight.”
He seemed to relish the job of tormenting me and so continued, “And you also promised to write letters and keep in touch with your friends.”
“Oh I did manage to keep that promise …”, I was saying when he cut me short rather pointedly,”You even forgot to send me a greeting card on my birthday.”
“Well we all have temporary lapses – it is only human.”, I quipped.
“And what about doing some exercise and losing a few fat pounds you sluggard”.
This was rather weak wicket so I went on the offensive, “I admit I changed my mind on that one. You see I went to this shop to buy some clothes and they gave me everything titled, ‘Mr. Big’. It seemed rather flattering so I took a fancy to the title. Besides when I say I am ‘Calorie Conscious’, I mean that I am conscious of my calories. And I do not mind them at all. I you expect anyone to be very possessive then you will I understand why I can’t part with my calories. My track record proves it. All these years I haven’t lost any of my dear calories. The rate of return defies any Economic theory.”
“Well that’s it. Each one of your resolutions is plain crap. It is the same old wine in a new bottle every New Year. You only make them to break them.”
I replied calmly, “I can refute your reckless charges point to point quoting right from the scriptures to Shakespeare in the a language that would befit an articulate spokesperson the eminent Mani Shankar Aiyar but I choose not to. You see one of my resolutions this year is to have a ‘slow-to-anger’ approach. So I will humor pig-headed and bird-brained friends of mine. I won’t be the one to break the New Year resolutions before the first week of the year is over, right?”
He seemed to be a bit put off and ruffled.
I pressed on my advantage to say, “It just won’t be Cricket”, as I concluded and returned my attention to the match just in the nick of time to catch Hooper haul the ball over the mid-on for a mighty six.
The article appeared on February 18, 1998 under ‘The Middle’ column in ‘Maharashtra Herald” in Pune, India. Have referred my notes to restore the sequence that was smashed up to accommodate the word limit.