This year our colum­nist Suresh Menon has made a res­o­lu­tion to not make one – a res­o­lu­tion that is.

Suresh Menon is a writer based in In­dia. In his youth he set out to change the world but later de­cided to leave it as it is

Friday - - Contents -

First, here’s the back­ground: All these years, my new year res­o­lu­tions have been phys­i­cal (ex­er­cise more), chem­i­cal (give up smok­ing), ge­o­graph­i­cal (travel more), his­tor­i­cal (main­tain pre­vi­ous year’s res­o­lu­tions), bi­o­log­i­cal (shave reg­u­larly), mu­si­cal (learn to play an in­stru­ment), en­vi­ron­men­tal (don’t waste en­ergy), lit­er­ary (read Tol­stoy), so­cial (don’t for­get birthdays) and philo­soph­i­cal (fig­ure out if res­o­lu­tions are re­ally nec­es­sary).

Now the re­al­ity: I have no res­o­lu­tions this year. We are three weeks into the new year, and I am still… well, I don’t know what. I mean, when you get to a cer­tain age, chronol­ogy over­takes res­o­lu­tion-mak­ing. I gave up smok­ing years ago, I do ex­er­cise more, I don’t waste en­ergy, and I travel more. I al­ready know how to play a bunch of mu­si­cal in­stru­ments (even if I can only play Happy Birth­day). And while War and Peace still in­tim­i­dates me, I have read Anna Karen­ina.

Also I wash be­hind my ears, brush my teeth twice on week­days and thrice on Sun­days, say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ (all res­o­lu­tions that de­fined me when I was five or six), laugh at col­leagues’ jokes, pre­tend I un­der­stand what teenagers want (done in my early pro­fes­sional life), and read up on the af­ter­life and how to place your false teeth on the night­stand with­out los­ing them (I ex­ag­ger­ate – those res­o­lu­tions are for the fu­ture).

But for now, like Alexan­der the Great, I have no more res­o­lu­tions to con­quer. This does not make me per­fect, let me add quickly – I can see those nasty let­ter-writ­ers sharp­en­ing their word pro­ces­sors – it merely shows I ei­ther lack imag­i­na­tion or I am eas­ily sat­is­fied.

I could, of course, just to keep the game go­ing, have a set of pre-cooked res­o­lu­tions: I shall not syn­the­sise a rare kind of poi­son, travel tick­et­less or at­tempt to read a book up­side down in my bath. But these aren’t things I do any­way. A good res­o­lu­tion, I am told, is ei­ther some­thing you love but is not good for you and there­fore you give up, or some­thing you don’t do but don’t love and is good for you. Giv­ing up red meat, and eat­ing veg­eta­bles fall into these cat­e­gories re­spec­tively.

Per­haps there are things I could do. Suf­fer fools gladly, for one, or if that is

A GOOD res­o­lu­tion, I am told, is ei­ther some­thing you LOVE but is not good for you and there­fore you GIVE UP, or some­thing you don’t do but don’t LOVE and is good for you. Like giv­ing up red meat, or eat­ing veg­gies

too much to ask, at least suf­fer them sor­row­fully. Stop cor­rect­ing the spelling mis­takes in menu cards at restau­rants, for an­other. As a corol­lary, I could stop ex­plain­ing to the man­ager the dif­fer­ence be­tween ‘sal­ads’ and salad’s.

But these are mi­nor is­sues, scarcely im­por­tant enough to be raised to the level of a res­o­lu­tion. What about world peace, some­thing con­tes­tants in beauty pageants are all striv­ing for? That’s a thought, but I don’t have the fig­ure for it.

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