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2013 has possibly been the busiest year of my life till date; it was busy as hell and the hangover still persists.

The year started with a Baby Shower in mid January, after which Divya went to her parent's place - beginning a persistent nomadic life for me for more than 6 months. I would dash through the week, managing groceries, maids and bills and run off to either Indore or Pune over weekends to spend alternate weekends with Divya or my parents. If there were weekends when I would be in Mumbai, there would be enough office work piled over to catch up.

I spent several train and bus journeys working on my laptop sitting in awkward positions, and being the source of the dim (and for my co-passengers - irritating -) light emanating from my laptop screen. I have been on con-calls at all kinds of odd places - the hospital, highway Dhabas, on way to Mumbai-Pune expressway and Food Plaza on the expressway near Lonavla. Also spent several Monday's coming back from work and going straight to the bed.

To cut the story short - along the way Navyaa was born, adding a few joyous sleepless Saturday nights as well, when I was at Indore and she wouldn't sleep the whole night. Both me and Divya would try till wee hours of the morning, finally giving up and handing over the baton to Divya's mother.

Sometime in June, it seemed that this "travel" rush would end when Divya would return to Mumbai; but the ship's course suddenly went into a reroute. We fixed Abhi's marriage on the very next day of Navyaa's naming ceremony and the circle started again - trips to Pune helping my parents plan for the wedding. And so it went all the way till the marriage in December.

The last 3 months have been tiring, and more so trying - while the preparation of marriage was midway - I lost my beloved grandmother. I was her eldest grandson, and probably the most loved; she meant a lot to me - in more ways than being a grandmother. This was my first close personal loss and made me realize the importance of spiritual awakening in life. Truth to be told, I realized that I am far away from being what the Gita calls [Chapter 12, Verse 13-14] - "समदुःखसुखः क्षमी" - "alike in grief and joy".

While my life took these several turns, almost like a bus crossing a circuitous route filled with ghats - public life in India has also seen a lot of change, not necessarily in 2013, but definitely in the past 3 years. 2013 in particular saw the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, the man who has defined so much for India since the 90s, a man whose career graph can also be said to be analogous to that of the Indian economy.

The past few years have seen a lot of icons of the last 50 years pass away - Bollywood legends like Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand, Yash Chopra; parallel music icons maestros like Manna Dey, Jagjit Singh; the world lost Nelson Mandela this year. It is as if, the first few years of the 2010 decade are trying to wake us up to the fact that the new millennium is already 10% over and its time for the old guard to retire and a new guard to take over.

This is not all - we saw the rise of people's movements across the globe from Syria to Egypt to Turkey; even a communist, authoritarian and centrally controlled China saw public outburst against Bo Xilai turning him from a modern day warlord to a corrupt criminal. There was groundswell in America as well for Barack Obama, as was the public outburst in UK against Gordon Brown. India saw the rise of public protests over apathy of politicians towards key issues like women's safety and widespread corruption - a groundswell which led to the formation of the 'Aam Aadmi Party' (AAP), which is poised to turn tables in the next general election in 2014 in the world's largest democracy.

These two threads of my personal life and developments in public life have been intertwining in my mind in the last few days and there's a voice which calls out ....

the days of trying are over, take control, your time is here;
the days of taking comfort in being an apprentice are over;
the old guard is no more there to guide you,
beware life is uncharted territory now;
the world is your playground now,
but it is no more a child's play;
Rise up to the occasion, or fade into oblivion,
Shut up and live a life of silent comfort
or have your say and save the day.

2014 clearly looks to me as a watershed - I hope, it will mark a point where a whole generation will mature to take control and another will fade away into past, yet, taking solace in the knowledge that the world is now entrusted into better hands!



  1. Has the hectic schedule in 2013 had any effects on your health?


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