Thank God it’s over. The whole New Year’s Eve stress, I mean. Did you too, like me, had to answer almost every homo sapien in your universe about where you are going for the New Year bash? And then to worry about how boring it’ll sound to answer ‘Nowhere. Just staying at home.’ I used to think it’s one of those polite questions for which people don’t wait to hear an answer. So, when a colleague asked me in the corridor, I casually replied I’m inviting some strippers home for New Year’s Eve. She heard me. So did three others. Moral: People do hear stuff, and judge you... and give you weird looks. So watch what you say.
Anyway, as I said, the tamasha is over and we have nicely stepped into another year. Waise, please allow me one more silly thought… what’s with ‘ushering in’ the New Year? You don’t have to usher anything, woh apne aap aa hi jaata hai (it will come on its own). Try kar lo (try it).
Okay, enough of digressing into weirdness. I’ll come straight to the point. This whole ‘New Year resolution’ funda is pretty outdated. Say things like ‘I’ll lose weight or I’ll quit smoking’ and you’ll be considered ancient. The cool thing apparently is to claim that you don’t have any resolutions. Well, as uncool as I am, I actually have one this year. And that is to fall in love…with myself. Do NOT make a face and say it’s a cliché, just yet. Hear me out.
In a very scientific way, I went about searching a common thread in the several hundred emails this column gets. (Are you able to see through my attempts to indirectly mention how popular the column is? I’m ashamed). Every damn mail is about how people are dissatisfied with something in them. ‘I am not good looking, so guys propose to my friend instead’ or ‘I flunked the exam because I can’t concentrate’ or ‘I’m too shy, can’t speak in public’ etc etc. We are too bloody hard on ourselves. All of us. So quick to find faults in us, indulge in self-bashing and self-pity day-in and day out.
Well, enough. This year, I’m going to woo myself, because as my uncle Oscar Wilde said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Here we go...
1 Learn to take and believe a compliment: This point is more for myself than anyone else. If ever someone says something nice to me, my first instinct is to say, ‘That can’t be. I don’t deserve this.’ Bullshit. Ab diya hai toh kuchh soch ke diya hoga (if it has been given then some thought was put into it). And if the other person is faking a compliment, it’s his problem not mine. We’re too quick to believe people when they say nasty, hurtful things about us. And too quick to disregard something good being pointed out. Not anymore. This year, I’ll let self-love score over self-doubt. I’ll allow myself to accept compliments gracefully, and feel happy about them.
2 Enjoy the courtship: No matter how much you argue on this, the fact remains that your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have. It’s vital that you love yourself. And I’m not referring to masturbation, you silly, though I’m no one to tell you how to express your love. Just remember the last time when you gifted yourself something really nice. Not something you needed, but something you wanted. When is the last time you took yourself out on a date? Enjoy your courtship with yourself, it’ll strengthen all other relationships you have. Set aside some time, and money, every month for pampering your self. Sometimes it’s not wrong, or selfish, to think of Valentine’s day as a day for YOU. Try it.
3 Do you like yourself...as is?: You know, there’s a thin line between genuinely giving yourself credit for something good in you, and turning conceited and arrogant. The latter is a big put-off and I’m sure even you don’t like narcissists who are too full of themselves. So, if I suddenly see people liking their own Facebook statuses from tomorrow, I will jump from a building and leave your name in the suicide list because of your staunch inability to understand that there’s a difference between healthy self respect and a creepily adoring your own stupid-self.
But, that said, it is really important that you appreciate yourself, just the way you are, and not what you aspire to be. Take a paper, and write down the qualities you admire in people you like. Then see how many of those you yourself have. And please, all those who are going to use vague words like ‘nice’ for themselves can fix an appointment with me to receive their first slap in the New Year. What’s with this word — ‘nice’. You use it for everything — a gesture, a person, an animal, a movie. Thoda vocabulary improve karo (improve your vocabulary). Using the same word for everything is not quite… err..nice.
4 Have your ‘I-don’t-care-moment’: Again as I said, don’t turn rude or arrogant, but once a week, stand in front of the mirror, think of someone who hurt you, and loudly say ‘I don’t care’. Do not spend your life seeking approval of others. Because others would never stop saying things. At some point, you have to stop torturing the person inside you with all the crap going on in your life. Give yourself a break. Just like you won’t bother a girlfriend or boyfriend with only negative stuff and would try to say soothing, calm things to them, it’s important to treat your innerself the same way. Hey, sorry if I’m beginning to sound a bit creepy. If your parents drag you to a shrink after this, please don’t say I asked you to do all this. Please.
5 Forgive yourself: We kill ourselves over our mistakes. It doesn’t occur to us that like others, we also deserve forgiveness from ourselves. Remember, there is no mistake in this world which is not pardonable. No more torturing yourself because you are an easy target. And yeah, in the quest of loving yourself, don’t aspire to be 100% like someone you idolise. As talented as they are, duplicates of super-stars can never be super-stars themselves. Be your own super hero. The original one. I’m suddenly reminded of a few lines from an old hindi song I quite like. Makes a lot of sense to me… hope it does to you, too.
“Aur nahi toh kam se kam, itni toh taqlif karo; logon ki tareefon mein, kabhi apni bhi tareef karo
Sab se toh tum khush ho, apne aap se kyun naraaz ho … Lekar apna naam kabhi, tum khud ko awaaz do”
(At least do this much, while complimenting others, sometimes compliment yourself; you are happy with everyone, why are you upset with yourself..sometimes take your name and call out to yourself)
Happy New Year
Sonal Kalra just went overboard and posted an I love you card to herself. She’s being dragged to the mental hospital now. Please help. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/sonalkalra13. Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra