Abhijit Bhaduri | Jan 05, 2010
It is that time of the year when I avoid meeting people. Everyone wants to know about your New Year resolutions. This question just forces me to lie through my teeth just so that I remain politically correct and acceptable to my loved ones. It makes me worry, that, by myself I am not good enough. Like a soap bar I have to be relaunched periodically as ‚Äúnew and improved‚Äù every year until someone discovers that the jingle refers only to the wrapping and not the soap. The ‚Äúnew and improved‚Äù bit refers to the resolution and not me.
The pressure to lie is incredible. My physician (who himself weighs more than a walrus) tells me that he wishes I resolve to lose weight this year. I nod, smile and say, ‚ÄúThanks, Wish you the same.‚Äù He is not pleased. I swear I did not mean it that way. I thought he was going to say the usual stuff about wishing me a very happy and prosperous new year and I just wanted to return the favor. The Lehman Brothers and other members of The Family have ensured that they wring the mickey out of this year. Anything that salvages the next year is welcome.
In the office, my boss is throwing the mandatory Holiday Season lunch. I am trying to make the most of the opportunity. Soon some twerp announces that we should all share what resolutions we have made for the new year. Before I can stop the train wreck, the thing gathers momentum. There is the usual nonsense about quitting smoking and drinking (only after the new years party, they add). Someone talks about spending more time with their kids – instantly drawing a few ‚ÄòawwwwNN thats so sweet‚Äô from those present. This is like seeing someone‚Äôs kid‚Äôs pictures. The ONLY socially acceptable response is to say, ‚ÄúThey are really cute‚Äù. Everyone has gone through the drill. The biggest shirker in the office is sitting next to me. He climbed two notches higher by saying the politically correct response at work, ‚ÄúI would like to improve my work-life balance‚Äù – thus implying that being overworked was not an option next year. I was about to make a nasty crack about the fellow‚Äôs work ethics when I realized that it was my turn to share my resolution for the coming year. The world goes blank around me. I am still working on mine, I state. There is much disappointment. I am relieved. I snap up the last dregs of coffee and thank the boss for the bonding moment.
Why must I want to improve myself? Why must I quit doing something? Why must I develop a puke inducing habit like waking up early to go for a run? That‚Äôs what I call a double whammy. Wriggling out voluntarily from under the quilt on a cold winter morning – is that being smart? After that one bad move, why would I want to further add to the stupid act by choosing to go running aimlessly?
In an office situation, make sure you never share your resolutions. You will never win. I have learnt this bitter truth the hard way. I had once said that my NYR (that‚Äôs New Year Resolution for those who still haven‚Äôt got that one figured) was to learn cooking. My feminist colleague almost clawed out my eyes for stating that my R reeked of chauvinism. I have not even started cooking yet, I protested. That‚Äôs exactly what makes you a chauvinist she said. You can‚Äôt ever win with that chick. She could traumatize a serial-killer.
I want to be a better human being next year, I had once stated, in a weak moment among friends. There was much derisive laughter. Going by where you are, anything will be an improvement and an easy one at that my friends said. Who needs enemies, I woefully thought as I looked at those sitting at the table and laughing at my expense, literally.
Take away this ritual of NYRs and you have a greater chance of improving the level of honesty of the masses. The world needs flawed people like me ‚Äì in urgent need of making resolutions. Heck most of us know just exactly what improvements we have to make in our life. Why wait for the stroke of midnight of the New Year to start doing what we should have been doing anyway? Who needs more broken promises? Here I am ‚Äì resolution free and loving it. I like the freedom from guilt and broken promises. Any takers?
Abhijit Bhaduri has authored two novels Mediocre But Arrogant and now Married But Available that is published by Harper Collins. You can read his writings on management, movies, humor, etc. on his website www.abhijitbhaduri.com.
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