Dec 30, 2013

And that's a wrap...

It's that time of the year again. The Gregorian calendar turns around in 2 days.
I'm at work, having just come back to Hyderabad this morning, after a short trip to Bangalore. (The 3rd time in this month!)

The office is scanty, with an odd head popping up here, one odd keyboard tap there, just the way I actually prefer it to be, what with most of the team away on vacation. (or in Goa, in other words!) and here i am, doing this "my year in review" thing, more as a documentation exercise for me, than because everyone else is doing it. (I'm a Cancerian, I preserve everything!)

While quite admittedly, I'd still consider 2013 to be one of the most banal years ever career-wise, what with me being in a team I didn't belong, doing work I didn't believe in or working towards goals I never aimed at, just trudging through a general state of inertia and stagnation (as verbalised in the last post on here); at least it got me spurred into thinking about the big picture and deciding to shake the status quo and get out of the comfort zone. And here I am, all set to make a BIG change in the coming year, after making what was probably one of the most difficult but inevitable decisions I've had to take in my life.

The new year will be a harbinger of change, (yes i just used the word harbinger. My fax machine is proud) and how! A new job, a new (old) city, a new country perhaps, and a new lifestyle. But more on that as time goes along. I know now what Delhi must feel like with Arvind Kejriwal coming into power and all.

Other than that, I think the other highlights of 2013, have to be all the traveling I did through the year.
Beginning off with the Bombay trip in Feb, the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and Varanasi in March, the summer vacation in Japan and the semi-work trip to California and a one day stint in Amsterdam, respectively.

While going to the Kumbh Mela had me discover a completely new side of India, an overwhelming one, it also made me believe in faith and people's unflinching devotion to it.
The fact that thousands of people from across the length and breath of the country would travel all the way, despite their limited means, to a place just to take a dip in a river deemed holy, made me truly believe that if you believe in doing something badly enough, the odds for making it happen could always work for you, including having a tatkal railway ticket getting confirmed at the last moment!

Travel-wise, the solo 10-day vacation in Japan was a definitive moment in the year. The country, that I confess I knew nothing much about apart from the conventional image of it being one of the most hi-tech, advanced places in the world. The sheer natural beauty, diversity and the way it pays attention to aesthetics, not to mention crazy, had me awed, for a long time to come. Spending a whole day with the Cherry Blossoms or trying to remain standing while tackling an outrageous moshpit during the tool gig at the Ozzfest are definitely experiences I'm not to forget for this lifetime.

Mt. Fuji as seen from the annual Shibakazura festival, Japan, 2013.

Travelling to the US in Sept, a second time to the country, was also an experience worth taking back from 2013. Not that the trip was the most extraordinary per se, but the fact that for the first time in all my years of working at Google, I finally stepped into the GooglePlex and during Google's 15th birthday anniversary at that! And that, definitely was a plus. Everything I'd seen or heard about the disneyland-like world of Google's silicon valley HQs was every bit true and more. A city in a city by itself. Hearing Larry and Sergey live at the TGIF was a (googler's) dream come true.

Me at the GooglePlex, circa sept 2013.

Personal relationships wise, like all other years, 2013 was no exception with lot of new friends, interesting conversations, random-chilling, a new flatmate, and also when some friendships fell through. All my best friends from college (along with 153495 other people I know) got hitched, leaving me subjected to family's "your turn" looks again!
The most interesting aspect here, had to be, dating someone from work, twice at that and changing my whole perception about the concept of dating a colleague and clearly not being against it anymore. I'd agree. It's not bad at all, and definitely gives whole new reasons for coming into work, when all else fails.

And of course while I'm writing this on my blog, and am likely to share this on social media, how could I leave alone, this facet, apparently interspersed with my life- Social Media!
While I have gradually become less active on facebook over time, twitter emerged, rather remained, as the clear winner as far as pie share of social media's realm went. Gained about a couple thousand followers in the year, made it to a couple of buzzfeed posts but I think the biggest feat as far as my digital participation goes was starting the travel blog, finally, which I hope will see a lot more posts and traction in the new year, which hopefully means MOAR travelling!

I don't have any resolutions for 2014 (just like no NYE plans either) but probably buzzfeed has already come out with a list for all of us to get inspired by. Or I'd just refer to my "25 things I learned in life" post again for direction.
I definitely plan to be more spontaneous next year! (heh) Talking of which, just got a tattoo, rather spur-of-the-moment, a few days ago, and the second one at that, first being exactly 6 years ago!) As always learning to play the guitar, a new language and teaching at a school will return as my top unfulfilled wishes.

I do hope that it will be a year as exciting-in-parts, as fulfilling travel-wise and less disappointing career-wise, than this year.

Here's to new beginnings and old wines.
Here's to blurred pasts and crossed lines.
Have a good one, everyone and thanks for dropping by, always!

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