“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” are immortal words spoken by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler to Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind (1939), to tell her that he cares nothing about what would happen to her or what she should do. By saying this, Rhett has made peace with himself forever. I think I should make this my New Year Resolution to end all resolutions.
New Year Resolutions rank only second to the fancy-number-date-hysteria when it comes to ridiculous Georgian Calendar based observations. If you really want to stick to a decision you make, you will do so irrespective of the date you take the decision on, be it January 1 or June 17th or November 22nd. In fact, there is more chance of you sticking to the decision if you DON’T take it on January 1st.
But what is this resolution business anyway? In these days of degenerating decency and conspiracy theories, I have a theory to explain this too. I have felt that these “Resolutions” are more often than not, a list of desires people have deep within them, that they DO NOT want to become a reality. They use this “resolution” drama to create a hype and hoopla to show that they care. Like the guy who buys that overpriced Hybrid claiming that he cares about the environment while the only thing he cares about is the mileage. He would be ready to burn the entire Amazon rainforest to the ground if it promised to increase his mileage by a couple of kilometers/liter. If you take any random New Year’s Resolution list, chances are that it will be populated by these usual suspects:
- Quit Smoking
- Quit Drinking (Alcohol)
- Start Exercising
- Lose weight
- Spend more time with family
- Read more books
- Stop telling lies
- Make more money/Pay off debts
- Get out of the rat race
- Pursue that much neglected hobby…
And so on. To those who say “Taking New Year Resolutions is a tradition”, I would say that the real tradition is breaking New Year Resolutions. For example, the person who vowed to quit drinking will start on Jan 2nd itself, to cure that hangover. People themselves that they will rid themselves of vices they only love too much. That is why I think this entire resolution business makes zero sense, however noble the intentions may be.
Sometime back, I decided to make a bucket list. Halfway through, the list almost contained entirely only names of places to visit, from Easter Island to Ilaveezhapoonchira. That is when it hit me that this list had an uncanny resemblance to resolution lists. Both the lists contained only ends or end results, and not the means or the ways to achieve them. You want to quit smoking. How? You want to catch a plane to Las Vegas? How? All these ends could be achieved automatically by working hard enough on the means.
Next question. How do you work hard enough on the means? To catch a plane to Las Vegas, you need money. To quit smoking, you need to summon all the will power you have, or conjure up some it you don’t have any. People fail in achieving these things (like making money and coughing up willpower) because of the general cluelessness about what the heck we want to do in life and even if we do, the way to reach there (Most cannot see beyond themselves becoming B.Tech Victims). Add to that the lack of concentration we have on the tasks at hand as how easily we are distracted by almost everything around us.
Everyone Wants You to Give a Damn.
It is a damn conspiracy. Everything in the world all around you, everyday, every minute, yells, shouts, screams and flashes Neon signs at you, wanting you to give a shit about them and their lost causes. The noise is unbearable. Everyone desperately wants you to believe that the Universe is in imminent danger of tearing itself to little pieces, and the only thing to save humankind is to give a shit about them and their cause. All this noise emanates from hollow vessels and all they want is more sheep to be added to their fold. The sheep start giving a lot of shit about these non-issues losing themselves in the process. Some noise generators are:
- The entire environmental mafia, ranging from Global Warming to Save the <insert species name here>.
- Religious nutcases and their “I swear only this is the truth” propaganda.
- Doomsday Sayers and their half-truths. The 2012 paranoia is an example for this.
- Conspiracy Theorists and their waterless theories.
- Fanatics of anything: Religion, Language, Race, Caste and other narrow parochialism.
- Politicians (Whatever be the color of their flag).
- Those shouting against politicians.
- Publicity mongers: Those snobby Bollywood types mainly. Other types like writers, failed artistes etc.
- Pointless Squabblers: Dog vs. Cat, Mumbai vs. Delhi, Android vs. iPhone…
- Advertisers. Advertisers. Advertisers. Advertisers. Advertisers. Advertisers.
- Marketers. Marketers. Marketers. Marketers. Marketers. Marketers. Marketers.
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”
There was a time when I did not give a damn about pointless and empty issues that were of no consequence to anyone, save fanatics and hypocrites. Life was peaceful, calm and serene, ordered, the nights were silent, and yours truly was dubbed “the coolest guy ever” (for never losing his cool). Then, I guess it was that scourge of the modern world, Orkut, that infected me with that deadly virus of the Indian internet world called “Outraging”. I started following everything and going nuts over anything under the sun, moon and stars. My world became a loud cacophony of a million unstrung and off-key notes. My head was crammed with files and folders on everything from local to inter galactic issues, badly in need of a defragmentation. The “cool” tag was long gone, and what remained was almost just a bunch of nerves. I started forgetting everything. That is when I decided to draw the line. I pressed Shift-Delete on 60% of the stuff in my head, and decided that, from now on, no attention will be given to un-necessary things and people. Let them shout, scream or do whatever they want. I am switched off towards them. I am not going to waste my precious grey cells in worrying about non-issues. You should try it too.I am going to concentrate on a few things that really matter. It should be quite easy, that should be the means to achieve all those ends. The means will have my full attention. Everything else will follow, hopefully.
I don’t give a shit. Life will be peaceful again.
Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2012! May life give you lots of good health, wealth, love, happiness, prosperity and Tatkal tickets.