Resolutions revisited

January 6, 2017 00:15 AM Kalu Maila


I have already failed the first resolution on the list but I have given myself an extension till March when I celebrate my birthday. 


Every year, come December 31, I sit to write down my New Year resolutions for the coming year. The first resolution on the list is always the goal to quit smoking. I know it’s a bad habit and injurious to one’s health but I fail to give up completely even when I do manage to quit for a month or two every year. My wife has threatened to file for divorce if I continue to light up. I’m not getting younger and if I don’t quit now, I know very well that I will suffer from respiratory illnesses in a decade or less. Almost a week into the new year, I have managed to cut down to only two sticks per day but it’s not as same as quitting.
I have tried chewing gum whenever I feel the urge to smoke. Quite a few chewing gums later, my jaw started to hurt real bad and I had to quit chewing gums instead. I tried the usual Nepali formula of cloves, cardamom, and even ‘churpi’. It didn’t work. I tried some breathing exercises but it made me look like I was preparing to break the world record in weight lifting for my weight category. 

I have already failed the first resolution on the list but I have given myself an extension till March when I celebrate my birthday. My wife tells me that I should be a politician because I like to extend all the deadlines and never seem to keep my word. Well, I promised to buy my wife a ‘Raani Haar’ or whatever it is called on our wedding anniversary in December.  December has come and gone and her profile picture has changed from our wedding picture to Aamir Khan in Dangal. I’m fine with it as long as she doesn’t put a picture of Salman Khan in his undies in Sultan.

The second resolution on the list is to wake up early, at least by 6 am, go for a run and eventually prepare myself to run the Kathmandu Marathon in the fall. I have four sisters and they have all managed to run a marathon or two here and abroad. I used to be a cross-country runner in school and managed to win a few medals. I think my sisters and I got the running genes from my late Dad who used to be a cross-country runner in his days.

I have been waking up at six in the morning since the beginning of the year but thanks to the cold, I have not taken up jogging for now. I think I will give myself a month till the weather gets a little bit better to start my preparation to run the marathon in the city. I tell my wife that running in Kathmandu is different. In foreign countries, the traffic is blocked and you just run without having to deal with cows, micros, tempos and even pedestrians. I did run a 5k race last year and I have to give credit to the person on a wheelchair who managed to beat me by 2.3 seconds. 

My sisters were running the marathon then and after the first hour, they had to compete with everybody on the road. I hope our marathon organizers will at least ask the local authorities to block the streets so that the athletes can run freely and not get overwhelmed by fumes from vehicles.

My third resolution for the year is to learn Mandarin. A few years ago, I wanted to learn French for no apparent reason. I joined the Alliance Francaise and after two levels, all I knew was how to count from one to ten and ask for a cup of coffee and crossiant. But I made good friends there and continue to enjoy their friendship even today but I can’t even count in French any more.

I know China is going to rule the world or half of it by the next decade. What about India? Well, India will be one of the superpowers as well but it still needs to do a lot when it comes to building infrastructure in its land compared to the Chinese. I have been to both Beijing and New Delhi. The common thing about these two capitals is that when it comes to pollution, they are on the same page.

In India, I can speak broken Hindi thanks to Bollywood. And in most places, people do
understand English as well. But in China, nobody speaks English or I’m the unlucky one who failed to meet a single Chinese person who spoke English. In the future, I plan to do some business with the Chinese. And yes, you can find Nepali agents who speak fluent
Mandarin to buy you what you need but it would be better if I can speak Mandarin myself instead of hoping that the translator is doing a good job communicating my message to the other party.

I don’t have the top ten lists for 2017. Only four resolutions for this year and the final resolution is to make at least a short movie. When I say short movie, I’m not talking about the ones lots of folk seem to upload on YouTube these days. I have always wanted to make a movie ever since I was 16. I have written a dozen scripts but it took me a decade to realize that all my scripts were really bad. I now have a mentor who goes through my
script, gives me advice to work harder, and rewrite most of the bad stuff I manage to put on my first drafts.

I had asked my wife to produce my short film and tried to sell her a dream of winning at some prestigious international film festival. I then tell her that I will make a full-feature movie after that and who knows, she could make tons of money if the movie is a box office success and then she can buy not only the ‘Raani Haar’ but a whole set of diamond jewelry complete with bangles and earrings, and we could settle down in the Bahamas.

My wife tells me not to count the chickens before they hatch. I tell my wife that maybe we should start a poultry farm instead since the price of eggs are going through the roof.

Then, we can count the eggs and the chicken and finally save enough money to make a movie and then maybe my wife will no longer put pictures of Bollywood stars on her profile.

The writer is a house husband who believes in changing, if not the world, the community he lives in one person at a time.


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