Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The New Year Resolution!

On a bright sunny morning, I got into the lift to go meet my kids over breakfast. They were staying with their grandparents (they seem to prefer it), when a lady got into the lift with me. She gave me a wide smile and I returned it thinking she must be someone I know.
"How are the kids?", she asks me.
"Fine. They've begun to speak. Quite a handful now." I reply politely.
"How old are they now?"
"18 months."
"Time to have another one. No?"
I stare at her in bewilderment! Last time I checked, my mom in law was home, my mom and assorted aunts were completely disinterested in my reproduction plans (even before I had the kids), and this lady didn't look familiar.
"You must have another one. Children need siblings", she persists.
I wanted to say, "as you command! In fact I'll name my next child after you. Oh wait! I don't know who you are. I've never seen you before and I probably never will again. I will only remember you as the crazy lady in the lift, but what does that matter? If you think I, a rank stranger should have another child, then it is clearly my duty to do it!" Instead I politely say, "Well I do have two!"
"Oh!", she sounds surprised. "I thought the other one was not yours!"
And the crazy old bat got off the lift, probably to go and ring someone's doorbell and interfere in someone else's life.
Turns out, she visits someone in the building and has seen kids playing downstairs. So she took it upon herself to give me some advice! She seemed like a well meaning old lady, but there wasn't any good in this conversation, was there?

And this pretty much sums up our lives! Strangers, friends, relatives who decide to inform us of how they think our lives should progress. "Finished college? Get married." "Studying art? For what? You'll make no money and just waste your time." "Shifting abroad? Take your parents." "Got married? Have children." "Making enough money in your job?" "Not got a car yet? Work harder!" "What? Don't have your own house? Do you want help finding a better job?"

The thing is, though we either laugh or complain bitterly about these people, most times we let these things influence us! Look back and think. How often have you wanted to do something and stopped yourself because "what will people think?" "My friends will laugh at me." "I will be called desperate!"

This getting influenced is pretty subliminal. We're conditioned to conform and everyone has the right to comment somewhere in our sub conscious. And it doesn't end will nosy old neighbours and aunts. Our friends have the right too! However evolved we may be, we do think of what society will say and end up giving up a lot of our freedom and happiness willingly, though we may not realize it.

"Can't drink too much. People will think I'm a lush!" So? Will these people be paying my bills? "Can't marry that girl. She's great but not pretty enough and I want my friends to be impressed by my wife's beauty." This one is not direct and pretty much self generated. "Can't go out with that guy. I like him but he's bald and people will wonder why I'm with him!" Really? Would these be the people who will never lose hair?

When I was single and started Footloose No More with Abhishek, our friends laughed - called us desperate! Hell yes! As Abhishek very wisely puts it, "desperate is a positive word! Only if you are desperate  for something will you go out and get it!" Desperate for a new job? You'll hunt. Desperately hungry? You'll go out and get food in biting cold! Desperate for a drink? You'll call everyone in your phone book to see who wants to go out! Then why not be desperate for the things that could bring you joy? Why think about what people will think? Is your life not all about you?

As I look back on my life so far, I realized that everything I've done that brought me joy was insipte of what anyone thought! I went out and led a full life, full of little joys and giant troubles. But it was all my own. And if I were to weigh it, even when I failed, I failed with joy at having given everything I wanted a shot  without caring about what anyone thought.

And I learned the greatest lesson in life - People who matter don't mind. And those who mind, don't matter!

This new year, go ahead and try it. Live for yourself. It's your life and you get just one shot at living it the way you want. It will never be perfect, but it will be yours and what you make of it.

This year don't make a resolution, start a revolution - for yourself!

Happy New Year!


  1. so let this be a desperate year...

  2. Love it! My mantra. Need to see this old bat though..
    ...I'm desperate for a lot of things this year.

  3. Great article, a good read to begin the new year of 2017.