December 31, 2015

The Recap

This year started with a promise to be more regular with my blog and apart from the bursts of a creative itch once in a while, the promise remained just that; a promise; shamefully unfulfilled. But this year was strange in the way it shaped up. Imagine an inverted bell curve and January and December being its end. Starting on a high, falling down the slope and then as the end of the year approached, pulling oneself up to feel nice about the world around.

This year has been a year of learning humility. It was also the year of farewells. Invincibility took a beating; friends said goodbye. And somewhere in the middle of the year; life became mechanical. Imagine yourself as a firefighter and noticing the hidden flames all around you. Will you have time to go and water the seeds you had planted in your garden? 2015 taught me not to lose the woods for the trees, to let go off battles not worth fighting for and not allow one’s own self to get hurt by actions of others.

2015 was not the easiest of years but suddenly somewhere inspiration came up. You realize that when you are looking at the bottom of the barrel; it’s up to only you to pull yourself up. Strangely help came from unknown quarters. A little bird made her nest in our balcony and she refused to give in to the daily efforts of 2 adult humans who kept guarding their turf and before we knew there was a birth. She never moved.

It taught me to overcome my fears and focus on the task at hand. And somehow, things started moving at a more interesting pace. Once you cease being afraid, a lot of changes start happening to your life. And suddenly you feel free.

2015 was also the year when I took the bull by the horns and started driving. Inspired by memories of NFS in Budh Front, I decided it was time to go for an automatic vehicle. However, Kherani Road taught me that NFS is not exactly replicable in real life and dents on your car costs actual money to repair. Sadly no one seems to be paying me for a drift well-made or a sharp turn on 2 wheels! And more importantly the one who always rides shot gun if she is not at the wheels refuses to allow even the least transgression while driving.

Most importantly I managed to read. I realized that the number of books I read in a year was going down in sync with the number of blog posts I upload. 2015 changed that. 30 books along with numerous articles and treatises on marketing and strategy is not a bad way to sum up the year.

2016 will be tough as well. And that’s how Life will be for us in our thirty somethings. The occasional memories of the future that could have been will tug at heart strings but the war will rage on.

“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life.” – Rocky Balboa

December 24, 2015

Silent Night

It’s a few hours till Christmas; arguably the second on my all-time favourite festival list. And yet, this Christmas feels strange. For the first time in years, Mumbai has cooled down to take me back to my growing years in Calcutta. Bru CafĂ© has launched the Christmas Plum cake. And a lot of bakeries are trying hard to make me forget the taste and nostalgia of Nahoum. But I still am not jolly. And on Christmas, without fail, you need to be jolly.

I probably will miss going to a midnight mass this year. I probably will miss listening to Christmas carols. There are a list of ads I need to see before the day is out and I shut down my laptop. It’s almost six and I should be shutting it down and watch the sun set over Mumbai. Long long ago, it is believed that a star was seen in the sky. I should be searching for that star tonight.

As I sit, I can hear the singing in the mosque nearby celebrating the birth of another prophet. The world always celebrates life; never death. It celebrates in birth; mourns in death and yet between the cycle of life and death we play our small games; day in and day out. Sometimes the futility of it all is striking. A friend recently said, “gain experiences.” Noble thoughts but what are experiences but a display of showmanship when advertised on social media?

The sun is a brilliant hue of orange, the birds are returning home. Somewhere a bard may still be strumming his guitar for a new song. It’s Christmas and I want to pause. And reflect and yes have my plum cake. But those seem futile when your mind keeps humming discordant notes. Is there light somewhere, anywhere?

The Saviour and King, they tell me, was born in a manger.