Nepali Times Asian Paints
Moving on


Everyone makes 'em, most people break 'em, others just fake 'em. This riddle has limited validity, because few look back to take stock after the novelty of the new year wears off. Giving up vices and embracing virtues is all that new year resolutions are about; most of us fail epically.

But we'd be forgiven for believing the more successful among us actually stick to their 12-month plans, being made of somewhat sterner stuff. So imagine, if you will, the end-of-year celebrations at Parisdanda. Under the avuncular visages of past despots, our dear leaders are clinking whisky glasses between mouthfuls of succulent sekuwa, toasting each other with rare abandon amidst a haze of smoke. Then Dahal pops the question:

Ani, what are your resolutions for this year, Baidya-ji?
Baidya (with a cheeky grin): Um...give up violence?
(Uproarious laughter, loudest from the hard-drinks coterie, including Dahal.)
Dahal (giggling): Any others?
Baidya (more soberly):
1. Oppose any kind of accomodation with capitalist lackeys and reactionaries.
2. Assume mantle of revolutionary leader.
3. Disrupt elections.
4. Seize absolute power!

(Baburam Bhattarai and the soft-drinks coterie look nervous, Dahal discomfited. But compelled by the historical inevitability of New Year resolutions, he turns to BB, beaming)
BB (metronomically):
1. Complete army integration, decide on model for federalism, promulgate constitution.
2. Assume mantle of can-do leader.
(raises his voice to be heard above the heckling)
3. Win by a landslide in elections.
4. Seize absolute power!

(He swigs his Fanta violently. There is silence, then cheers. Baidya looks miffed, and demands of Dahal)
And you, Prachanda ji? What do you resolve?
Dahal (thoughtfully): I propose a fusion resolution.
1. Oppose any kind of accommodation, while toadying to capitalist lackeys, reactionaries, and progressives.
2. Retain mantle of revolutionary, can-do leader.
3. Win by a landslide in disrupted elections.
4. Seize absolute power!
(Cheers, jeers, and much clinking of glasses follows, late into the night.)

We must leave our jolly comrades for now, but consider this. How would you manage if each of your resolutions was challenged by equally powerful counter-resolutions, or simply undermined by one of the seven deadly sins? Say you want to give up smoking. But come Friday night you can't resist puffing in the cancer because the drag is irresistible, goes so well with those equally forbidden gulps of whisky and crunches of sukuti, and everybody else is doing it so why can't you?

Of course, private resolutions like avoiding cancer or heart disease are right for you, it's the execution that's troublesome.More complex decisions on politics, economy, career, society prove to be proper dilemmas. In these cases, crowd-pleasing fusion la Dahal may work to your advantage.

As the incremental progress of our much-maligned peace process suggests, the middle road may be the one most likely to get you where you're going. So following the example of our leaders, be prepared to compromise at least a little on those noble intentions. That way you may achieve some part of them rather than fail completely, and move forward rather than round and round in circles, ending where you started at the beginning of each new year.

Read also:
Who, What, Where, Wen?

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)