Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pillars of Life

With New Year, comes the New Year resolution time. Everyone from the Page 3 party mongers to the clerk in the government office makes one. Some say they will start doing something. Some promise to stop doing something. Intentions are sincere and profound. Chubby people want to reduce. Skinny people want to gain weight. Lonely people wish to make (more) friends. The (more) social ones aspire to be more diplomatic. The shy ones boast of becoming extroverts. The out spoken make a silent wish not to embarrass themselves more than the other as often as last year.

All start sincerely too. But somewhere down couple of months (sometimes even weeks) the magic perishes. Life is back to normal. Habits die hard. Good or bad, is a very subjective issue. All is well if done in quantum.

Many men swear to quit smoking. I salute Saif Ali Khan that he did. Few men want to give up drinking. I salute the ones who actually do. Couple of my ‘rowdy’ friends (as described by my parents and wife) announced to the world at large that they would give up smoking or drinking this coming New Year. One of the audacious friends’ threatened to give up both! I was mighty impressed by their declarations. Only those proclamations were short lived. Time period of my awe to their resolution was shorter. The very next day, my friend who had declared he would not smoke from 1st January ’07 got news that his cousin was coming from the US of A. He quietly ordered him to get a carton each of Hawaiian cigars and Marlboro sticks! Once the word was out, he said they are to gift people on New Years’. That was a good one. The pal, who swore not to booze anymore in 2007, drank so much in his office New Year party that he could not find his residence that night. He slept in his car all night. His statement the next day was, “since I shall not drink any more; I wanted to finish my quota”. This was a better excuse. But what really brought the true resolution to a halt was the one who had the courage to state that he shall never kiss a cigarette bud and gulp alcohol. This pal stopped smoking totally. He did not even drink in the New Year party. He started chewing pan masala saying he needs a ‘soft’ alternative to give up smoking and also to distract him from picking up a cigarette. Within a fortnight of New Years’, he is consuming 10 sachets of masala everyday! Needless to say, not boozing doesn’t matter. Guess, he has a new resolution already in mind.

I smoke. I drink too. It never crossed my mind to quit either. My father caught me red handed smoking when in College. He reprimanded badly and broadcasted that if am caught the next time, he shall disown me. I never got caught. The same day he took a step further and declared the day I wanted to start drinking, it should be with him and bought by my earnings. Ofcourse, he had doubts that I have already tasted blood. But this was a good way to give me a matured thinking. We sat the evening I received my first pay cheque. I did not want to get disowned. I was not sure about my job. But I was sure about my father’s words. In no way I was better than anyone of the above. Although, I never made larger than life statements and then had my foot in my mouth. But I did have a streak of hits and misses. Hence, I decided to build my life on a structured framework.

The four pillars of my life are my wife, Gold Flake, United Breweries and the strongest, my father’s words.


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