Monday, December 17, 2007

Do One New Thing - Fourth Week

By Gaurav Parab

Everyone has vices. Bad things one does by design, a few habits that are picked on the way, and then there are those little demons that define you as long as you can remember.

A chance conversation while I was doing my thing for the 3rd week reintroduced me to a big vice that I had somehow picked on the way. My friend, as we walked to office that day, mentioned that the canteens in our massive campus report about 200 Kgs of wasted food everyday.

I was stunned. The magnitude of this criminal waste stayed with me as we walked on, for I knew that I contributed to it everyday, even if in small measure.

You see, I have this habit. (Let’s hope the ‘have’ has now become ‘had’)

I always leave food on the plate when I am done. And what makes this stupidity reach the next level is I have no idea why I do that. My friends have kidded me about it, but I have always joked about it – calling it my little offering to my devils or my good luck charm.

It has nothing to do with the quality of food, or the time of the day. It is just the most stupid signature move that one can have.

It is not that I have not tried to improve. When TGF cooks, one has no choice. I know I have lick the plate clean to avoid being kicked clean. But the attempts were always half hearted. I would soon relapse into my addiction, and start leaving food in the plate. (Usually it was the last bite – or a little rice)

This week, as part of my plan to do a new thing and make myself the best possible version of me – I decided to put an end to this insanity. I decided to finish each and every meal this week and then carry the momentum to the next week and possibly the rest of my life.

When I started out on Monday, I thought this would be the easy thing to do. But I realized that even a simple thing like this is full of challenges:

Day 3, Dinner: The mysterious onion appears

I am almost done with dinner; I see a full onion staring at me from behind the dal katori. As my mother screams out from the kitchen about ice cream – I am tempted to smuggle the plate out like I always do and throw the onion in the bin like I always do. Then I remember my thing for the week, and pick up the onion and start eating it. Mom comes in and sees me eating a fully juicy onion instead of ice cream – leaves the room shaking her head.

“He has finally gone to the other side” I hear her tell my father in their room. I shake my head and wipe my tears. I want to die.

Day 4 and Day 5. – I am sick

Day 4 and Day 5 I fall sick. This is the perfect recipe for throwing a tantrum, feel sorry for myself, come to office late and be Very Very Picky about food.

“Sorry Mum, the food is good but I need some caviar and champagne to wash it down”

I hear her again as she moves out of the room “He is really really sick. He finished his food. Should we call the other relatives?”

Day 6
Pretty girl walks into the restaurant. I look at my unfinished dinner, and I look at her walk out again. I am torn.

I finish my dinner. As a parting shot – I look at the last piece of sandwich and say “I hope you are happy now”

I did manage to carry the momentum with me today, and I am confident about doing it for the rest of my life. All it took to fix a little bug in me was a little resolve, focus and common sense.

I am sure that there are a million others like me, who waste food for no apparent reason. If you are reading, I hope you too start licking your plate clean – if not for the billions who are not as lucky as we are – then at least for the sake of the every onion who faces a crisis of identity every time someone leaves it half eaten.

Ask yourself, how good will you feel about yourself if a shark left you half eaten every time you went for a swim?

See my plan for doing one new thing every week

See what i did the first week

See what i did the second week

See what i did the third week


bhags said...

OMG, what happened to your hair this ur new Tom cruise hairdo...:P

Sai said...

Kudos on starting this off.
Don't worry about how long you will be able to continue. Just take it one day or one meal at a time. At every meal ask yourself, will I be able to finish this? Don't think of the future at that point of time or later. :)

Anonymous said...

Did you eat your hair too?!?! Hahaha!

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