Skip to main content

Rear view records

If I say a lot happened this year it will be quite the understatement of sorts. 

Life took all kinds of turns around bends that could give anyone a heart attack and also had its share of astronomical highs that one had never anticipated. If you saw a number 9 of the Indian cricket team score a ton in a test last week, my life felt the same too. Although, the speed at which it came was akin to a ton in a T20. 

Never been the one to complain but this year seemed to be one of the toughest in terms of a million things such as the health of loved ones. However, it was one of the best years of my life too when you see all that the universe conspired to throw at me.

Not one to trust in religion, I have consistently believed that life's zeniths are not far behind from its dreariest lows. It reminds me of an old post that I wrote on up being the only way to go when you are at the bottom is up. That has been followed to tee and I am proud to say so.

- Personal life lifted off like a shuttle from Cape Canaveral and soon flatlined like a SpaceX rocket on its first attempt at landing. Thank god for that. Looking back I am gracious.

- The year began with a holiday to Hong Kong and Macau and what a terrific start to the year it was. Especially when the last time I travelled overseas (a debut trip) was almost 12 months ago and that was Amsterdam. I had no idea of what was to come.

- Dad registered his firm and that feels great.

- Grandmom was back in the hospital again. 4 months of trauma and heartache for all of us with little to hold onto. Emotional roller coaster. 

- Got selected to represent India at Cannes. This meant 7 days in France and the cote de azure. 

- 7 days of Cannes were extended with a backpacking trip with the boys. Italy was added to the trip too for a 10 day period. I have a Schengen visa for a year now as a bonus from that trip. Always, gets me thinking. 

-  I swam in the Mediterranean off the French riviera. Who would have thought of that at the start of this year?

- I managed to watch a live screening of the French play soccer at the Euro amongst the Parisians. What a vibe and an experience.

- Spoke to strangers using nothing but only Google translate.

- Rode the TGV to Paris from Nice. I can't wait for the bullet trains to come to India. Well (raised eyebrows).

- Managed to ride in the famed F1 circuits of Monaco's chicane.

- Saw the Mona Lisa & St Peter's basilica for real. The latter had me stunned while the former had me wondering why. We also sampled Rose from across the Louvre and the Notre Dame.

- Getting to see the Eiffel tower glitter at night and breath in France, it couture and cuisine was another moment I am sure I will and keep going back to.

- We toured the Amalfi coast via boat past Positano, Sorrento and Capri. 

- Managed to savour some home brewed wine in Sorrento and mind you there is little you want to ask for when the wine is served straight from the barrel.

- Stood on the oldest slopes of the Palatine hill in Rome which are one of the oldest documented landmarks of human history. Mind numbing. Ate Gelato from a shop over 160 years in business gazing at the Pantheon in Rome.

- Got selected for an international exchange at work to go back to Italy  (Milan) again!

- Lived through the fashion swirl of Milan fashion week. I wore a suit to work by the way. Nothing comes close to representing your country anywhere on the globe.

- Cooked an Indian meal for my Italian colleagues - Butter chicken. Sourced masalas from a neighbouring Sri Lankan store.

-  The sister got engaged. I love her to bits. Glad she gets the attention for these things and I get to use her as a human shield when asked about such events in my life : ) 

-  Work life changed gears with a new movement that warrants a goodbye Mumbai post. I had noted the landmark move to Mumbai with this one

- Close friends turned distant earlier in the year but my travels overseas got me to make new friends this year. Haiti, Argentina, Italy just to name a few have extended families for me now. The universe keeps a balance.

- I cooked a fair bit this year. For family and for special friends and I think nothing serves love better than a hot meal.

- I am about to turn 30 but have never felt conscious about age or the number.

- This year was the poorest in terms of posts here but I clicked a tonne of images that I am proud of and the passport might need new pages soon.

- The next year will begin (well almost) on foreign shores and that has me thinking that this year was almost spent on foreign shores entirely. I spent 45 days in Europe and China when I think of it.

(Coffees getting cold)


RB said…
Yay! What a fab year! You know the best thing about sitting down to reflect like this is that it clearly surfaces how the universe works hard to create balances for us. I get some of your updates from social media, some from this blog and a few from common birdies around the world. And I think this post tells me that the year has been of net gains (including learning and saves). Cheers to that!

Where next from Mumbai?

Akshay said…
This as a copy paste inspiration from your last post RB. :) Well the year had its share of crap, I don't know how much you know but net gain at the end like you say.

Am off to Manila, Philippines. Aoge?
RB said…
Net gains! That's all that matters. But dude, Philippines!! Congratulations! :)
Mere ko aana hai. Tum pahuncho phir main plan banana shuru karungi. Is it a longish plan?
Akshay said…
Hanji. Long one.
P. said…
I've been absent from this space for so long that I am reading this just now. But thank goodness that we have been in touch otherwise. Else, I would have had to drown you in the brilliantly turquoise waters of Cebu Island.

You, my friend, have had a fantastic year. And I couldn't be more proud of the amazing things that you have achieved, the strength that you have demonstrated and the new journey that you have begun.

Being away from home is never easy - but I have a sneaky feeling that you won't be very miserable :)

Let's all write more this year. It's liberating and heart warming.

Popular posts from this blog


Ek jagah hogi, jo jahaan hoga.
Dhoondha na jaane kise, kahaan-kahaan hoga.

Summer days.

Summer days.  April, July may be.  Pokhran, 96
Vacation days that saw afternoons stretch longer than the entire period itself and all I did was look out at the heat blaze past the tar surface of the roads outside. When nothing would move or dare to, these sparrows like school kids after the days final bell would dart between these slabs of stone placed on the boundary wall. The gateway although not aerial would always see them dive down and pass through it. Reminding me of planes in the sky while I trudged along indoors with my set of GI-Joe's wishful that I could have joined them.
Summer days.  June. Gurgaon, India
Days of hard labor when everything has changed from fantasy to non-fiction. The heat is unrelenting and the tar roads barely seem to be a challenge. As I dive through sometimes meaningless tasks trying to find a vent between the melancholy chores that stand on the boundary wall like those slabs of stone, I often hope...  Are those sparrows still flying like they did? Will I …


The things that have changed in life ever since I moved far east.

I am no longer Akshay but AK. At restaurant reservation desks, client meetings, emails and receipts as well.Chopsticks are a part of kitchen cutlery and so is soy sauce a staple part of the diet.Officially an NRI now and that warrants an NRI account to be opened soon. Hate the tag.I have 700 unspent India rupees lying on the kitchen counter. Need to get rid of them before De-Moditisation takes toll on the 100sThe laptop and phone now keeps track of 5 times zones. DC, Melbourne, Qatar  & home of course.Mango pickle is a highly traded commodity.Local Indian store is on uber and saved places on maps.Shaving cream is on the endangered species list. Foam is challenger.I only cross (well mostly) at zebra crossings. Tagalog is getting added to a list of languages I know a smattering of.