From The Editor’s Desk

From The Editor's Desk

Life Is Short, Break The Rules!

Dear Readers,

Everyone has got that one aunt, related or otherwise, who is quite convinced that she deserves to be the center of everyone’s universe, and worse, that she is the last word in counselling (usually unsolicited). I have one too. Firuza aunty (name changed for obvious reasons). She’s quite amusing because she is as much capable of ranting about her wayward gangubai with discerning alacrity, as she is of doling out philosophical gems by Satre and Jung!

However, come September, and doddering in comes my sixty-nine-year-old Firuza aunty, grumbling grudgingly, as she bites into one of the kaju katlis, from the 5-7 boxes gifted to her by her numerous well-wishers over Diwali. Her unique talent is the ability to churn out the choicest quotes by Ayn Rand on capitalism vis-à-vis Modi Sarkar, and some real fun sarcastic ones by Oscar Wilde on human hypocrisy vis-à-vis Shashi Tharoor; but the one quote I hear unavoidably, through October to February, when we have started indulging in the yummy merriments of the festive season, is the inviolable one by P G Wodehouse, which she has mastered, and orates with the effortless ardour of a hammed-out Broadway actor… “Wodehouse was so right when he said, ‘Everything in life that’s any fun is either immoral, illegal or fattening’. Now as a bonafide Indian Bawi, I’m able to look the other way when it comes to ‘immoral’, and I’m able to get my arms around justifying the ‘illegal’, but I can’t handle others unable to get their arms around me because of the ‘fattening’!” she laments, even as she wolfs down the three remaining pieces of the kaju katli.

“Oh well, Firuza aunty, there’s simply more of you to love… and behold!” I try to pacify her.

“With all the time you spend looking into your laptop, can’t you come out with something new with all your Google-shoogle and other 2-minute Maggie noodles style of literature that’s freely available on the ‘interweb’ these days, instead of giving me the same line year after year?” she rhetorics me, walking away, having smoothly projected her annoyance on to me! I remember the look on her face, a few years ago, when I’d responded to the same Wodehouse rant, by telling her that maybe she should go easy on the sweets and the food… she had looked at me flabbergasted and outraged, as if someone had told her that Godiwala had quit catering! I’ve become wiser since.

A lot of us, like my dear aunt Firuza, are unable to guiltlessly indulge in the seductive edible goodies of the festive season, without expressing a strong disdain about the consequences, followed by an even more emphatically voiced preference to exorcise the ghost of gluttony that possesses most of us true-blue, food-loving and sweets-worshipping bawas! Well, here’s what I say – go for it! I mean, how else are you going to live in the moment? Yes, there are a few caveats – one being ‘calculated risk-taking’ and the other – ‘intelligence’. Know what you/your body can or can’t handle, and make choices accordingly. Consider your current state of biology, not your future state of guilt. Don’t let the rancid guilt take away from the flavour of the season or the sweet in your mouth.

There are too many people I meet, who start regretting their indulgence even before they’ve started indulging! And most times, this goes beyond simply food choices during the festive season. Life’s short, enjoy it. Our sensibilities, as evolved souls, may be infinite; but our senses, as mortal humans, are limited. So make the most of all the opportunities that present themselves to you in this moment, here and now – just enough to ensure you’re not compromising on your wellbeing, but definitely not getting sucked into the whirlpool of guilt or the fear of being judged.

In the words of Mark Twain, “Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.” And nothing stretches our bawa smiles more than indulging in all these festive goodies!

Have a guilt-free, fun weekend!


– Anahita

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