Archive for December, 2009

To 2010…

Posted: December 28, 2009 in Life and Living

As each year draws to a close, I usually use my blog to look back at the previous year and set my goals for the year ahead.

My goals for 2009 are here, and this is how I fared on them…

Remain employed, and have challenging work: In a year of recession and lay offs, I fared surprisingly well on this count. The most secure thing that I had was my job, till at the end of the year I decided that I wanted more from life.

Complete the two books that I have been working on: We finished work on one of the two books. But we still haven’t published it.

Read two great books. Watch two outstanding plays: This year, I finally read Mr God, this is Anna. I also read The Professional by Subroto Bagchi, and would thoroughly recommend it. Among the outstanding plays that I watched in 2009 were Breaking Up is Hard to Do, The Blue Mug and Katha Collage.

Visit two places that I have never visited before: Alleppey and Coonoor (Ooty). I also travelled to Bombay, Pune, Goa and Pondicherry. But they don’t count because I’ve visited all of them before.

Watch five outstanding movies: While there may have been more, there are three outstanding movies come to mind amongst the ones that I watched in 2009. They were Quick Gun Murugan (released in 2009), Dersu Uzala (An old Akira Kurosawa classic), Suman (Jaya Bachchan’s first film, made at FTII Pune) and Man in the Moon (the film that has a teenage Reese Witherspoon was released in 1991)

Contribute to the quality of life in Bangalore: Not too much to boast about here.

Close my educational loan: I did manage to do this, and it was my biggest achievement of 2009 🙂

For 2010, I wish to…

  • Complete work on my three books that are currently a work in progress
  • Launch Rewind, my own film renting library
  • Travel to one new place
  • Watch five outstanding films
  • Read two outstanding books
  • Watch two outstanding plays
  • Contribute to improving the quality of life in Bangalore

Christmas 2009…

Posted: December 28, 2009 in Life and Living

As the holiday season comes to a close, I find that Christmas 2009 is my best Christmas season ever. So, what were the things that made it so special? When I ask myself that question, I find that it’s not about the turkey or the finely decorated Christmas tree. It’s the people that make it unforgettable.

This year, the Christmas season was kicked off in early December with the Charity Bazaars. I attended three of them, after almost two decades. There was the oldest of them all – the United Charity Bazaar, held at Lingerajajpuram this year. For those with the stiff upper lip, there was the St Mark’s Charity Bazaar. The artistically inclined would probably Studio Satva’s Christmas Bazaar at Whitefield.

So as you can, my gift shopping began quite early this Christmas. But if 20 years ago, it was my mum who took me to the Christmas Bazaars, now I was taking her. This made it pretty special too.

Also, for the first time in five years, I also attended UTC’s carol service with my mum. The service is special because choirs from across India sing here, and they make you aware of the many traditions of Christmas that co-exist in our great diverse country.

I missed out on the December traditions of Bangalore Habba and the Kala Madhyam Mela. But we just about made it to the other old tradition of the Strand Book Fair, and spent some time poring over stacks of books.

As we do every year, the family got together to set up the Christmas tree, decorate the house and make sweets that have been made by Malayalee Christian families over generations. We shopped for the traditional Koshy’s Christmas cake and wine made by the families who excel at this art in the Cantonment. This year, we also shopped for Christmas chocolates at the mall, many of them made by my friend VH.

In a return to another well loved childhood tradition, I also returned to the forgotten custom of Christmas card writing this year.

By this time, the Christmas carols CD had moved from my car into the house, and we were waking to the sound of our favourite Christmas songs everyday. Somewhere between the chill of December and the lull of the music, getting to work was an uphill task everyday. Only dressing in cheery red or green made the task easier.

The week before Christmas, we had a little get together of faithful friends for an evening of caroling at PC’s house. None of us got the notes right. But it was awesome to watch the piano played with such accomplishment by those from a previous generation.

I spend most of the weekend before Christmas shopping for my mum’s Christmas clothes. We could not find anything that she liked, and put it off to the new year. But, we did share the traditional roast turkey at Koshy’s.

Christmas eve also demanded a visit to Koshy’s, where I shared a glass of wine over candlelight with NG. Then, Manoj and I went church hopping (literally!). We drove past all the old Bangalore churches, taking in the lights and the congregation. But most interesting, understanding that each of these churches have their own unique aura, evolved over the last century.

Back home, we wrapped the kiddy’s gifts and got them under the tree. There’s something very lonely about a tree without gifts on Christmas eve. So we just couldn’t leave it that way.

Christmas day was spent calling family and friends. We also had the family Christmas lunch, with mum joining us this time. Later, came the time to share the gifts that I’d been buying for friends throughout December.

The Christmas weekend ended with SJ, a great friend from my college years, paying Bangalore a visit. I met her, the special man in her life and her mum for dinner at The Only Place. Then, the weekend ended with a great family celebration of Manoj’s birthday. A perfect end to the season of togetherness!

And so at the end of the season, my status on Facebook read, “CD Is warm in the after glow of her best Christmas season ever… And yet the beauty of a special Christmas in not simply in the many old traditions of the season.. It’s in doing all of this in the celebration of the spirit of love and togetherness that first gave meaning to otherwise empty actions 🙂 …And so, may the after glow live on…”

A new chapter…

Posted: December 26, 2009 in Life and Living

When I look back over my life, December 8, 2009 will always be a landmark moment. It was on that day that I finally quit my corporate career and decided that it was time to just sit back, find myself and then follow my heart.

The last few months have been a turbulent period and it reached a point where I could not feel myself anymore. I pushed myself till the point I could. Then, on the morning of December 8, I woke up to find that I had lost the will to push myself any more.

What were the things that really mattered in life, I asked myself? I discovered that my job was not one of them.

So the need to step back and find myself under the bloody mess. I found that I just wanted to wake up at my pace every morning, listen to the sound of the wind sometimes, read my favourite books again, watch the movies that I’ve been putting off till tomorrow and spend time building my home.

Then, I wanted to pick up and complete the three books that are almost near completion or have been on my mind for some time now.

And I knew with certainty that the time to do all of this was not tomorrow, but now.

The darkest points of your life are also sometimes turning points. For it is also at that point that you stop pushing yourself to attain things that do not really matter.

At the time when I quit, I was not sure about what I’d do after I completed the writing of my books. But now, since then, the path has cleared. I will return to an old business idea that I first thought up as a student of Communicative English at Jyoti Nivas College. More on that in a later post.

But for now, let it be said, “I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”