Humour: New Year’s Revolution
Here we are, taking tentative steps into another new year, looking for ways to be better. If one were to go over a list of one’s New Year’s Resolutions over the years, chances are we would give up by the third or fourth item, discouraged by our embarrassing lack of fortitude. And who wants yet another reason to feel sad in a world that’s so unresolvably …weird? It’s so much easier to propose changes to others with an attitude of wicked condescension. So here’s a list of things I’d like to see change around me in 2020. Anything to delay self-examination.
I think it’s time for extreme measures. The shrivelled-up, unloved, inedible coleslaw, languishing in the corner of a too-heavy plate, must go. Wherever the tradition came from, it has lost its bite over the decades. Too many otherwise thoughtful establishments serve up the culinary superfluity. Like a spinner on a green top or a pin-striped shirt in Ranveer Singh’s wardrobe, it serves no function. I can think of a dozen exciting replacements for this side dish that is never more than an unkempt prop on a glittering stage. A delicious pickle. Tangy compote. Candied nuts. The time has come, comrades. Cole’s Law must be repealed.
Gifts under duress
Can we all collectively decide to stop stressing about what to gift each other on birthdays and other events? If gifting is about giving, then we’ve lost the plot entirely. Now this is not to say that the ultra-thoughtful among us should not continue to devise innovative presents of infinite sentimental value. I’m just buying a get-out-of-jail-free card for the rest of us who live by a starker philosophy (often mistaken for miserliness). Let gifts be separated from days on the calendar and dictated, instead, by spontaneity. #SecretScrooge
Dude, it’s time to say toodles to bro, bae and boo. And toodles too, while we’re at it. I miss the ‘ing’ that has been reft from ‘amazing’; ‘amaze’ just doesn’t cut it. ‘Amazeballs, on the other hand, gives me goosebumps and not in a good way. I totes don’t get it. I stay up late wondering how to perfect the use of the word ‘lit,’ but the situation’s bleak. I’ve never got the feels for throwing shade at someone at a party that’s cool AF. My mood never be like: Yasss. Okay, I’ll stop humiliating myself and say what so many pre-millennials must think – slang peaked with ‘cool’. As an affirmative response or appreciative adjective, nothing comes close. Can we just stick to pre-’80s, grunge-approved, bling-resistant slang? Cool!
Why the obsession with fun that can only begin at the time most adults would prefer curling up with a book or a cat or an OTT platform? Why this relentless assault of the nightbirds that leaves the rest of us defending ourselves feebly? And if it’s not the night brigade, it’s the early risers who pull rank. I dream of a world where no one is judged on the basis of the time that they sleep or rise. Most of all, I fight for the rights of afternoon nappers, the most reviled group in the hierarchy of sleepers. As Oasis memorably sang, “So I start a revolution from my bed.” Right after my afternoon tea.
It’s, like, so 2010s. No, it will not take two-and-a-half hours from home to office despite what it looks like. No, that’s not a snake on the tarpaulin roof of the shack. No, you will not trip on your fancy new heels and spill wine on your ex-lover’s pretty new partner at the college reunion. No, the reheated burger will not kill you. No, we are not doomed to eternal oppression. No, no, no. It’s time to pay heed to the words of the mighty Ghalib, who knew a thing about hope and its necessary delusions.
Humko maaloom hai jannat ki haqeeqat lekin
Dilke khush rakhne ko ‘Ghalib’ ye khayal achcha hai
(We know the reality of paradise, Ghalib/But it’s a thought that pleases the heart)
Rehana Munir’s debut novel Paper Moon is now on stands
From HT Brunch, January 12, 2020
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