It's that time of the year again when each of us, individually and in armed civilian groups, have to make a choice: is it really such a good idea to embark on a new year at this point in time? I mean, do we actually want to go through another 365 days of this?
If your answer is in the affirmative, and you have made up your mind to take the bull by the horns in the china shop, then let me compliment you on your courage, shake you by the hand and wish you god speed.
May your days in 2004 be filled with joy, prosperity, happiness, an absence of colliform bacteria in your bottled drinking water, an annual average of less than 50 microns per cubic metre of particulate concentration in the air you breathe, a mobile phone that can actually make contact on the first try and a flight to Delhi that takes off on the day that it is supposed to.
On a more personal note, let me say that I know from past experience that new year resolutions, once made, are difficult to keep. However hard we try, by January the fifth, we are back to being grumpy couch potatoes with a poor sense of personal hygiene and smoking a pack of Yak a day. We need new year resolutions that are realistic and which we can actually take to the implementation phase. Otherwise what's the point, right?
In view of the above, therefore, I have drawn up my personal list of new year resolutions which are not copyright and may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, and transmitted in any form (electronic, mechanical, photocopying or by the Hubble telescope) provided these suggestions are not attributed to the author or publisher in a court of law:
1. I will try my best to be grouchy and cantankerous throughout the coming year. After all, what is there to be cheerful about?
2. I will take up smoking as a hobby in the new year as part of my personal effort to keep beleaguered American tobacco farmers in business. It's the thought that counts.
3. Since it causes ulcer, I will stop drinking tea. And take up whiskey instead.
4. It's dangerous to keep your anger bottled up, so after being stuck for two hours in Teku because of a julus, I will give vent to road rage by knocking down every orange Hilltake portable road divider and stake my claim for the All-Nepal National Knockout Cup for Toppling Road Dividers in the Supporting Actor Category.
5. It is the duty of every citizen to contribute to the municipality's compost campaign, so I will begin the new year on a clean slate by dumping all my bio-degradable garbage on the sidewalk in front of my house.
6. I will try to read a book in 2004.
7. I will spend less time aimlessly surfing the net this year, and more time in the Casino watching underclad Uzbek artistes do the Nefertiti Bellydance.
8. I will join politics by opening a vulcanising shop and become sole supplier of X-tra Roadgrip Hi-flammable Tyres TM for the 25th Decisive Phase of the Street Agitation Against Regression.
9. I promise not to make utterances that may be construed to be seditious within earshot of the state law and order restoration council. This time, I really mean it.
10. I will endeavour to make a complete Ass of myself every week throughout this new year.