I am sure many of us have not made any New Year’s resolutions, because it is unlikely, they would be doing anything unhealthy, or maxing credit cards on retail therapy.
If it was any other normal New Year, people would have resolved to get fitter and more toned, trying to look like Bollywood Khans with six-pack abs or like actors Jhanvi, Sara and Malaika that have made going to the gym and getting photographed, an art-form.
Generally, people get all excited about their resolve after the midnight revelry and after sipping beverages and disorderliness on the roads, when they find they have fresh new dates to become all brand-new.
But after the initial enthusiasm, the magic wears off and you trundle off to Shah’s Shake It Off, or Kim’s Sweat Arena, only to watch TV in the gym in your new workout wear and expensive sneakers, or just enjoy the snacks from the vending machine.
You also cannot really be unhealthy when every moment someone, including your spouse, keeps reminding you to wash your hands, like a mother with an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
You would obviously be super healthy when you are told constantly not to breathe or inhale near anyone, or to invite only five people, and that too only your boring family members to your rambunctious New Year’s party, and to never eat out or bend your elbow at your fav watering hole.
Also, how does one decide to be a better person in the New Year, when it does not feel at all new, but just like the old one, as there are no celebrations, and where the weather keeps one locked inside like a hermit in a mountain cabin.
“Let’s get snow shoes, the weather bureau is promising 10cm of snow,” I told my wife, which was a mistake. We went to Yonge Street (in Toronto), which is supposed to be the longest road in the world, and we went from shop to shop in the freezing cold, trying to get her the perfect pair.
“I don’t want one with laces, just putting these on makes me breathless. I don’t want fur sticking out of the boots. This pair makes me look like a giant.” Luckily, we did not reach the US border, because the street then breaks off to Highway 11, and fortunately there were not that many shoe shops on this side of the street.
Technology has made snow shoes much lighter, not like the clunky ones which we had bought when we first came to Canada.
Shoes size-guided by weight
The shoes now come size-guided by weight, and some have binding that are freeze-resistance up to -40C and of course, non-slip, which is useful when the snow freezes in the rain and becomes black ice, and one is forced to skate helplessly with arms flailing, trying to keep your balance, just trying to cross the street.
Right on cue the next day, there was a blanket of snow and everything looked pretty and winter wonderlandish. I made the mistake of stepping out of the house in flip-flops (“I am just going to put the garbage out. I don’t want to wear snow shoes for that.”) and without thermal wear, and the shock of cold made my feet seem like they were on fire, and suddenly not there anymore.
The New Year also did not feel like new as all celebrations were put off. There were no fireworks at Mississauga Celebration Square, while the Toronto fireworks display was high-altitude and visible across the Waterfront for people cooped up in homes, and only a virtual concert hosted at the CN Tower.
Mississauga, which has a huge population of people of subcontinent origin, does not allow letting off firecrackers on the streets, which was a relief to know after the deafening and air polluting Diwali fireworks in Bengaluru.
The only thing one can make resolutions in this type of New Year is to get vaccinated, wear a mask (properly, covering mouth and nose) and to stay safe, at least till summer.
Mahmood Saberi is a storyteller and blogger based in Bengaluru, India. Twitter: @mahmood_saberi