It will be a stress-free New Year 2020, because I have run out of silly resolutions to keep and torture myself.
Saving Water: Last year I had decided to be socially conscious and help the environment and not have a shower every day to help the aquifers get recharged.
“All that bathing also ruins the skin by washing away the natural oils,” I told my wife. “It says so here in the women’s magazines”.
“Why are you reading women’s magazines?” said my wife.
“You find useful and informative articles,” I said, trying to hide the pages featuring the Miss Universe event in a magazine called ‘Women and Drones’. For some unfathomable reason it also featured an article titled: ‘How to still be friends with your ex’.
“Why are you reading women’s magazines?” said my wife. “You find useful and informative articles,” I said, trying to hide the pages featuring the Miss Universe event in a magazine called ‘Women and Drones’. For some unfathomable reason it also featured an article titled: ‘How to still be friends with your ex’.
Saving Money: One year I had read a book titled, ‘Why is my dad so stinking Rich and your dad so wretchedly Poor?’ and realised that being financially secure gives you time to do all the things you love, like crashing on the couch in the middle of the afternoon, so I started hiding money from my wife.
“Where’s your salary”? asked my wife, on the first of the month. During my early days of employment, the paper I worked for would make us stand in line in front of a window and the teller would shout out your name and hand over an envelope.
Everybody would crane their necks and try to see the figure written on the side of the envelope, but I would quickly shove it inside my shirt. (Everybody anyway, knew what each one of us was earning and was resentful of each other).
“A friend needed money desperately,” I said, handing over a sad looking envelope.
Nobody deposited their money in a bank account in those days as the banks paid a ridiculous one per cent interest, and anyway as we were all expats and soon as we had any money, we ran to the exchange house and sent all the money home and came home broke and sighing with relief.
Since my wife kept an eagle eye on me as to where I was going after work, I had to find innovative places to hide the cash. “Even if you save a dollar a week, after 10,000 months you will have enough money saved to see you financially secure in your retirement,” said one expert.
In those days, people died as soon as they retired, unlike today when people are living into their 90s or even up to 100 years, so the money saved then was enough, unless of course, you had daughters and you had foolishly promised your wife to find them good husbands and arrange a lavish wedding with the daughters dripping in gold jewellery.
Saving time: Another year I decided I would be a go-getter like the CEOs of huge corporations who get up at 4am to begin their day with a fun run on the treadmill, while making a nutritious smoothie full of brinjals, green leaves, bananas and a protein mix, the container of which had a man flexing his muscles that looked like he was wearing an anatomy suit.
You get a lot done when you get up early before the rest of the world is awake, I told myself cheerfully as I suddenly fell asleep and my head hit the keyboard and it kept printing the letter O on the screen over and over again.
“Early morning is Me-Time”, said one CEO cheerfully to the magazine reporter, while wiping his brow with a micro-lite towel.
Making of a New Me: “Happy New Year. I got a diary for you, ” said my wife, and I quietly sobbed, “No, No”.
— Mahmood Saberi is a storyteller and blogger based in Bengaluru, India. Twitter: @mahmood_saberi