Life always balances out! Always – This was to be a fantastic year but it ended on a somber note.
Mumma lost her aunts in quick succession – I don’t know how it is with you folks but on my side I’ve always been closer to my maternal aunts just like mumma has been to hers. The advantage of growing up with a close knit family is that bonds and ties with the family members are not forced or obligatory – they come naturally. My maternal aunts are one of the reasons my childhood has so many lovely memories, and it was similar for my mom. With her aunts passing away – she feels a bit lost, a bit more old and finds her childhood memories fading away. And all I can do for her is be with her and give her a hug without saying a word.
My sis’s father-in-law passed away the next day we landed in Mumbai; the only solace being he was able to see his little grand daughter. He was a wonderful human being, kind and loving. His death was a shock that we all are still recovering from – my little niece had no clue and for a week until the rituals were sorted out – it was just me and her keeping each other company.
I realized what a good child the little one is and how blessed my Sis and Jiju are. She had not seen her parents in 2-3 days and not a wimp from the girl. I’ve not seen any 1.5 year old as well behaved as she was and I don’t say this because she is my niece. I’m not great with kids, I’ve never been – I doubt I will be; but my family thought I took care of my munchkin extremely well during those days – and that was a huge pat on the back for me. Playing pseudo mum isn’t easy – I’d always rather be the aunt.
Apart for this last month, I find no fault with 2011 – it was a wonderful year for me – personally and professionally. Especially the latter – it has been so satisfying – a great team to work with, excellent professional colleagues, challenging environment, variety at every stage and zero boredom; and the year end brought all the appreciation and plaudit for the hard work I put in. To swim in unknown waters and come out knowing the ocean like the back of your hand – I could not have asked for a better year.
I managed to meet up with most of my school friends this year – folks I had not seen in 3-4 years! The BFF visited me in Jan with her parents and we had a blast like only we madcaps can. I met up with 4 more during the year, catching up with their families and their adorable brats – UK, Ireland and India. No one can beat the charm of school friends – they know the real you, you can’t hide behind a mask and you need not put your best foot forward. There was also the realization of how different our lives have gone on to be – today we may not have many things common but that friendship forged 20 years ago still remains unchanged, untarnished and that remains one of our biggest gains.
My munchkin is growing up fast – I remember holding the tiny little girl on her first day in this world and now this 1.5 year old is running around, hugging me tight, recognizing me, uttering her first full sentence “ Wow what a guy”(She is learning well), putting clothes in the washing machine, replying to all of us authoritatively in monosyllables – “Ya, No”, speaking with the Brit accent and making me play “Dhinka Chika” all the time so that she can dance her heart out ( I’m not going to forgive her for this last bit – she gets away only cause she is 1.5) – we got to meet twice this year and I can’t wait to see her next!
I get to see my first daughter once or twice a year since they shifted base to Mumbai – and this year the gal has won a million hearts and prizes with her theatre and dance performances. She seems so grown up now – and it sucks to be so far away. Her parents, my dear friends are the best parents I’ve seen; if any one needs a crash course in parenting please do meet them.
My girl gang in Dubai and our families finally took a long awaited trip together. We had a blast – all the arguments, banter, laughter, gossip – I don’t know what I would do without this support system in Dubai. A trip that was all set to go downhill turned out to be among the best vacations I’ve had cause of the gang. So here is hoping for more in the future.
There were also the small matters of me joining Toastmasters and managing to win my first award in the Club, being interviewed by Suno 102.4 on Women’s Day for my cricket passion and also getting the opportunity at Indicast to do an entire podcast series during the World Cup with Ayaz Memon thanks to @abhishekumar and @acmhatre
I’ve moved my cricketing life away from this space but the year-end recap cannot be completed without mentioning my first love.
Towards the end of the year I got to be part of this wonderful initiative we started for the fans of the game. It is still a toddler, but we rest a lot of hopes on it. Visit The SightScreen – you will get some fascinating reads and interesting insights from the fans of the game – unadulterated and pure.
And finally, two huge dreams came true this year. Remember my bucket list? Remember item 8.a. Yes I went to Lords – the 2000th test match – thanks to my sis and jiju for getting the tickets for me. Day1, 4 and 5 witnessed live in the Mecca of cricket. I’ve visited the stadium before and done the tour – but to see a match live is another experience altogether.
But the most cherished moment of the year and probably of my life came in April, in my city Mumbai, at my favorite place Wankhede. I doubt any other moment will come close to this one. I got to see the World Cup Final in Wankhede, Mumbai. I got to see India win – Dhoni hit that amazing six and then “twirl” the bat. The experience was out of this world, and I attempted to make it sound coherent here. Whenever I felt a bit low this year – I went to youtube and watched that shot, then the celebrations that followed and then the video clips that hubby managed to take on his NokiaE71. Those moments tell me what the win meant to Sachin, to the team, to the country and to me and to you. If you did not celebrate that night – you missed out on one of the happiest moments in your life.
2011 was a good year for me – it was unexpected and surprisingly good compared to most years in my life. I’ve been happy, content and less grudging towards life this year – I made a promise to myself at the start of the year to be positive and I have tried, and it has worked.
This year I make another promise – to be happy, to smile more no matter what and to believe in myself. Two adverts this year inspired my New Year resolution and I hope they inspire you all as well.
The first by A R Rahman – the Hero motocorp Ad “Hum Main Hain Hero” – the one that tells you to look for the “Hero” within you – and believe in yourself.
The second one I came across on New Year’s Eve. The lines are innocent and pure just like the kids singing them.
Life is so short – we need to rejoice, smile, celebrate, focus on the good, be positive and be happy – so keep the negativity, the bad, the sadness, the hurt, the sorrow, and the fights away.
The video and lyrics below (I’ve tried my best to translate them for the folks who do not understand hindi)
Ummeed waali dhoop, (The sunshine of hope)
Sunshine waali aasha (The hope of sunshine)
Rone ki wajah hai kam (There are few reasons to cry)
Hasne ke bahane jyada (There are million reasons to be happy)
Zidd hai muskuraayenge (We are determined to smile)
Khush rehne ka hai waada (We promise to be happy)
Umeed wali dhoop, Sunshine waali asha
Tum dil se agar puchhoge (If you ask your heart)
Woh khush rehna hi chahe (It wants to be happy)
Jab sache mann se mango (If you ask with a pure heart)
Toh khul jaati hai raahein (You’ll find all the answers )
Toh khul ke khusi lutaao (So go and spread the joy to the fullest)
Ye kya aadha-aadha (Why this half-heartedness)
Umeed wali dhoop, Sunshine Wali asha
Umeed wali dhoop, Sunshine Wali asha
Happy New Year Folks – Hope is a powerful weapon, make a promise to Celebrate Life – It happens to us only once!