Living on a pipe dream | india | Hindustan Times
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Living on a pipe dream

This New Year, I have resolved to write a page daily, so that I complete my first work of fiction by the end of 2008, writes Vanita Srivastava.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2007 22:36 IST

I started making New Year resolutions two years ago. The idea came to me during a journalistic assignment, in which I had to ask celebrities in Bhopal their New Year plans and resolutions.

That year, I mulled over what I wanted to change about myself, before finally deciding to foray into social service. I resolved to do my bit by distributing home-made roti-sabzi to the poor and needy every Tuesday. Inwardly, I nurtured a dream of receiving an international award for social work.

I chose a Hanuman temple and began distributing the rotis and aloo ki sabzi to the beggars sitting outside. The first few months went off well, and my philanthropic instincts were satiated. But after three months, I began to notice discontentment amongst my small ‘beneficiaries’. While some would complain about the poor quality of the sabzi, others would crib about the number of rotis being given. I remained unfazed. I was, after all, bound to face a few hurdles on my journey to becoming an award-winning social worker.

However, after six months, my social service ‘crowd’ became intolerable. They would mob me the moment they saw me approach. Those who could not get anything would even curse me. So I pressed the brake on this dream.

On January 1, 2007, I resolved to do something that would make me look better. I vowed to go to the gym six days a week.

This time, I dreamt of sporting a perfect body, perhaps even bagging the Mrs India award on the way. I even bought a diary to keep a daily account of the calories I was consuming. I would ‘punish’ myself the day I did not go to the gym. But even after seven months, the weighing machine remained obstinate and refused to tilt even half a kilo on the slimmer slide. To make matters worse, I was bedridden for several weeks with a severe back problem, thanks to an overdose of push-ups. So there ended that dream.

This New Year, I have resolved to write a page daily, so that I complete my first work of fiction by the end of 2008. In my dreams, I have won the Booker Prize.