We're already 2 days into 2013 and this post is hence, 2 days late in the coming almost to the point of sounding a "me too" effort. I'm not sure why this must be done. Not sure if it MUST be done. But I want to do this. More for me to keep the last year close to my heart through words before the memory plays its games. A lot of you (hopefully) reading this are a part of a lot of what I say in this note, or maybe this won't interest you or maybe you'll find your own thoughts paraphrased through mine.
When I look back on 2012 I don't see it in terms of days or months, but the things it was, the experiences it brought and the lessons I learnt. ( Or learnt that I needed to learn them). So for consistency sake, breaking this post into parts I call themes.
Love: Love as it revealed itself, is beyond societal expectations of it. It is not scribbling on the back of note pads or drawing hearts and kisses to each other or changing a facebook status. It doesn't have to be forever. Love came in many forms, shapes and timelines this year. Be it rediscovering the joy of a crush or a high of being with someone as crazy and yet intense as you. Love is not getting picked up in luxury cars to be taken to fancy dinners but waiting at a bus stop together & making a day out of it. Or being engrossed in a conversation about Tibetan Monks over a maggi at 2am on a terrace wanting to half kiss, half slap the guy you're arguing with. Putting up a hammock under a full moon and lying with a person staring at the starry skies for hours. It's listening to a song in a language that none of you understand but knowing exactly that it's your song. It's not who'd come over to drink with you at night but who'd stay over to have tea with you in the morning.
Career: Fortunately in the company that I work at, one of the 100 perks that I'm priviliged to have, is not a "My job sucks" moment. However there comes a point in time wherein you realise that who you work for, may not always work for you.
I've learnt that laziness and ignorance can be suicidal in a corporate environment. That procrastination can be cool now, not later. ( heh). It also came with the realization, that there is no room to be complacent and think you have it all just because you work at the company you do. Slack at one opportunity and it will come right back to mock you, to show you how you fucked up & continue to rear its ugly head at every opportunity! (hah or the lack of it)
Much to my relief (or rather a painful admission) I learnt that working in the best company does not make you the smartest or the nicest person. You have to go out, go beyond the bubble of your world and see the amazing work others are doing, how the little things that you take for granted, bring joy to others' lives, and that a salary, whether in the low or the high end of the scale, can never be a good enough measure of happiness with your job. And finally that noone but you can take your career to the place you want it go.
Art: I can't remember anytime I was not 'arty' or didn't think in colours, shapes & patterns rather than figures, charts & data. But 2012 was a year that I turned my passive, pushed to the backburner hobby to an active pursuit, gave my passion the time and dedication it always demanded of me and as any good 'marketer' would, created 'Junk Funk' on facebook. The online platform to encourage, promote and market art by me and others. This renewed passion for arts also resulted in a major interior overhaul of my house, which to date is my most prized possession ( well funny 'cuz i don't own it), in a project at office wherein a bunch of team and I created a "Google' logo out of discarded paper cups & many other such things, making it almost an epiphanial experience for me.
Home: The year started with struggling to find other houses that I could call home and then finally getting the one that had seemed to choose me than the other way around. I realised that a house is not just four walls that you come back to sleep in after a day out, but it's as much a part of you as you're of it. It defines you, and if you give it enough love and care, it reciprocates all of it multifold by making itself the best place to be in the world. I have shared this home, with many amazing people in the one year. My best friend of 10 years, a guy, an American girl who at one point was just a stranger and finally another girl whom, in ways, like it did to me, the house called out to. I shared some amazing moments with all these people, be it doing up the house together, cooking, sharing a smoke or a rant on the terrace, quibbling over small 'domestic issues' or just 'being' in a common space yet in our own, in peace, love and acceptance of differences.
Music: I can safely describe 2012 as the year of music. As with my own resolve to, as with almost every new person I met, I discovered and shared together a love for exploring, appreciating and listening to music, irrespective of genres or setting. This musical journey included tripping over ambient trance music with Andrew, humming old favorites with Anirudh, cracking over silly ad jingles with Pallavi to Danika & I blaring out some happy, trippy music in the house, never having quite a dull moment.
This musical 'renaissance' also manifested itself into attending many live gigs and festivals around. If there was a smooth Jazz gig over wine at a historical monument, there were also the 'local' band gigs at hard rock cafe. And then there was the Nh7Weeekender in Pune and the Oktoberfest in Bangalore. Infact the year end, I was motivated enough to start a little music project of mine of my own that entailed crowd-sourcing a song from different people across social media and compiling it all into a playlist which turned out to be a brilliant mashup of music across genres, regions and tastes.
Travel: To say that I live to travel is not an over-statement. Those who know me know that I travel at the drop of a hat (or ticket prices!) and 2012 gave me that and more. So while I'm yet to experience the joy of luxury travel at beloved company's expense, I took a big leap of chance and travelled all by myself to Australia. A trip that I would always cherish for the perspective, and the confidence it lent me and left on my life forever. The reaffirmation of the traveller and not the tourist in me. The year also saw a lot of other 'smaller' trips to Delhi, Pune, Hampi, Goa, Chennai, Mumbai and the countless trips to Bangalore and reconnecting with people from all of them and re-assuring myself that disance can barely take away from solid relationships.
Friends: Friends is a loaded term. 24 years and something and I still struggle to define who my friends are and how close they are to me.
I do have some people in my life who comfort me, humour me and give me a whack on my ass when I'm screwing up. Some go as far back as a decade to people I might have just started talking with days ago. But the best gift of 2012 in terms of 'friendship' has been the concept of letting go. Of understanding that friends are people too. They have their view-points, grudges and being a friend comes with appreciating and being accepting of that. That the best of friendships are tested over the most bitter fights. That one apology- either given or requested-is all it takes to reclaim years of a friendship that was once beautiful and source of much comfort and fun. That one doesn't need a cafe to reinstate some friendships; sometimes just a whatsapp group does!
2012 also has been a year of meeting people, who would come to mean something and add value to life in their own little ways. Be it through other friends, at work or via twitter or other platforms. I realised that sometimes nameless/faceless people on the internet could be bigger comforts than 'real life' friends or that a few laughs could be the biggest bond you could have with someone. I have rediscovered the joy of just staying in, on a couch at home, with my dogs on either side and feeeling close to nirvana. I've made my peace with babies and instead of getting annoyed at their tantrums or wailing, learnt to be good around them so I could pacify them and have begun to enjoy their giggles. ( Which btw is one of the most therapeutic sounds in the world)
All in all, personally 2012 has been an enriching year. Truth be told, even if it ended, I'd have already lived my best, yet. If you were a part of it, if you touched my heart even in the smallest way ( And no, I don't mean that minimal invasive heart surgery) take a bow because you're awesome and because I want you to stay.
Here's to a new year and new beginnings over some old wine. Here's hoping your new year is the best yet, you've had.