Sudha Menon, I will be Nasty in 2017 !

Like all of us are wont to do as the year races to the finishing line and the new year awaits in the wings with tantalising promises and possibilities, I have decided what my new year resolution is going to be. I will be Nasty in 2017. And, unlike the hundreds of other resolutions that I have made over the year, I am going to try very hard to stick to this one.

Being nasty will be hard work, trust me. Nasty requires thought, mindfulness and a belly-full of determination to not stray off the promise you made to yourself. But if you do it, the results will be amazing. Try it.

Here is my secret recipe for Nasty. Try it and tell me if it worked for you.

The N in Nasty is for negativity. In the coming year, I have a pact with myself to send out more positivity into the universe. I mean to say No to saying negative things about others and about myself because I have come to believe that thoughts have a life of their own and what we wish upon ourselves and others have a way of coming true.

During the writing of my upcoming book, Devi, Diva or She Devil, ace director Farah Khan spoke to me about the time she discovered she was finally pregnant, after years of trying to conceive through IVF. From that moment she and her husband told themselves that they were going to be parents to triplets because they had waited very long and wanted desperately to have not one, but many kids of their own. And, miraculously, when the results arrived, it showed that she was to have triplets! Having the kids has been the most fulfilling thing in her life, she told me.

N is also for Never and Nobody. Never is a word with a hard ring of finality to it. It closes the door on people we care about and shuts out opportunities that might transform our lives. N is also for Nobody. Don’t treat people like they are nobodies who are inconsequential. You never know when the tide changes and that Nobody will hold the key to your life in his/her hands.

Through the years that I spent with him, right up to the time he passed away early this year, my father treated everyone he came across with unflagging respect and dignity. Even his arch rivals in thought and ideology were never dismissed as inconsequential or not deserving of kindness. “Kindness and a smile does not cost us anything but it can change the course of someone’s life,” he often said. I will do my best to follow in his footsteps.

I promise to say No to the things and people who drain my positive energy and prevent me from being the best version of myself that I can be.

The A in Nasty is for Appreciate , Admire and Accomplish. I promise to appreciate the things that other people do and to tell them, more often, that I admire what they have been able to accomplish. It is the easiest thing to sit on the sofa and criticize someone and pop their balloons, without having accomplished much on your own. Instead, I promise to cheer my friends and perfect strangers too, when they take risks, walk along tough paths and accomplish what they set out to do. Who knows, some day I myself might find a depressing day light up by a stranger’s appreciation and admiration.

The S in Nasty is for Sacrifice. I shall never forget the many sacrifices, big and small, that my own parents made to raise their four children. When he gave away chunks of his modest salary every month to send a poor child to school or pay for a colleague’s hospital bill, my mother pawned her jewellery and made sure her own children stayed in school, even though their shoes were sometimes torn and their fees were paid embarrassingly late. Back in her tiny coastal village in Kerala, there are families whose daughters went to college or sons who picked up professional skills because she dipped into her own, very limited monthly budget, to make those dreams happen.

I have promised myself that like my parents, I too will give more and expect less in return.

The T in Nasty is for Thankful and for Time. I have promised that I will say Thank You more often to the people who touch my life with their kindness, thoughtfulness and concern for my wellbeing. More thankful to the people who enable me to make the most of my own potential- the domestic help who arrives every morning to clean my house and put food on my table; the driver who patiently drives me to my various meetings even though I sometimes drive him round the bend with my backseat driving instructions. And so many other faceless, nameless people who surround my life.

T is also for Time. I promise to respect other people’s time and mine too and not squander it away gossiping idly, forwarding watsapp or watching inane stuff on the telly. Instead, I have promised to call up my mother each day and the folks who I have lost touch with as I have gotten increasingly involved in my own life and work. Our time is indeed the best gift we can give our loved ones.

And finally, the Y in Nasty is for Yes. This year I promise to say Yes more often. Yes to new experiences , friendships and to exploring other facets of my personality. For years, my husband has expressed his great desire to go on a holiday to Leh, Ladakh, to see the world with a new perspective by going sky-diving and bungee jumping and each time I have squashed his enthusiasm by saying he is welcome to go alone, because I am too scared it will aggravate my back pain.

In 2017 I promise to say Yes more often and welcome adventure into my life by walking on the wild side. It will take lots of effort and courage but it might be just what the doctor ordered for my life!

Sudha Menon

Sudha Menon

Sudha Menon is an Author, a Writing Coach and a Speaker on Gender and Diversity.

You can reach her on sudhamenon2006@gmail.com or her twitter handle@sudhamenon2006
Sudha Menon

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