THE YEAR THAT WAS

Now for the last Thursday of the year, which incidentally is also the last day of this year, a round-up of the positives and negatives of the year that is about to say goodbye to us.

The year for us, unfortunately began with the regrettable and untimely demise of my dear father-in-law. A true traditionalist, he lived life to the fullest with a loving wife (who left us a few years back), two loving daughters, a precocious grand-daughter and yours truly, who went all out to make him happy. He was an avid movie-watcher and a veritable treasure trove of movie trivia, having been associated with cinema theatres all through his professional life. He was always entertaining us with vibrant tales from his childhood – tales which in itself would have made an engrossing movie. It was an inopportune lesson on the ephemerality of life for us – Papa we miss you.

Other than this misfortune, it has been a good year for us in general and me specifically. After spending a few years away from my family, I finally managed to move back to Mumbai. Having spent a couple of years (sharing living space with strangers) in the superficially beautiful emirate of Dubai, life should have been pretty easy for me. But let me tell you from personal experience that there is no greater sorrow in life than being away from your near and dear ones. So when I was offered an opportunity to work from the Mumbai, I naturally grabbed it with both hands. Then during the latter half of the year, after a lot of goading from my dear wife, I finally pursued my love for writing seriously, and started this blog of mine. Just like music, writing gives me a lot of joy, and I cannot thank my wife enough for having helped me realize this.

 

As I have mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I usually do not watch Hindi movies, much less appreciate it. But surprisingly I watched a couple of Hindi movies this year which made me introspect. Dil Dhadakne Do made me appreciate life and my loved ones even more. Tamasha made me reflect about all the things that I have done wrong in life and how I need to make the most of an opportunity when it comes my way. Bahubali made me marvel at how a strong script and good special effects can elevate a movie to unprecedented heights. This movie and also the recently released Bajirao Mastani proved that Indian filmmakers too can create epic masterpieces on celluloid, if they put their hearts to it. These movies, along with the other gems of the year like Katyaar Kaljaat Ghusali, Badlapur and Talwar, though few and far between, assure me that all is not lost for Indian movies. I also feel that this has been the most pathetic year for a certain Shah Rukh Khan, who had to resort to “Kajol”ing and literally begging viewers, while enticing them with offers of rice and washing powder, to watch his horrendously movie Dilwale – how the mighty have fallen! This year also saw Salman Khan being acquitted in the drunk driving case after a torturous thirteen years of legal gymnastics, in the process being the only “sober passenger” in the world’s first driverless “drunk car”! Like the previous year, this year too saw the man-child Sanjay Dutt spending more time outside the jail than in it. He seems to be less of an inmate and more of a visitor to the jail! These celebrities and their antics do teach us that when money talks, no one checks the syntax. Our “venerated” parliamentarians taught us how to earn money without having to work – how to have to your cake and eat the baker along with the whole bakery! None of the bills that would make India a better place for its denizens were passed, with almost all of them being inundated in the din of chaos and cacophony created in the name of democracy.

 

I do not make resolutions for the New Year – I believe that if I want to give up a bad habit or start a good habit I should be able to do so at any given time. But there are a few things that I would like to correct in myself, the first one being keeping my temper in check. Over the past few years I have toned my temper down considerably, but there is a lot more that I can and should do. Especially keeping in mind the fact that I have a growing child at home, who may pretend to ignore me when I am angry, but will surely observe me and acquire this bad habit. Another quality of mine which seems to have got lost somewhere within me is my ability to weave stories. My sister will vouch for the fact that as a kid, I could regale her with fantasy stories of kings, queens, princes, princesses and their various mythical adventures. I still attempt to weave a tapestry of magical adventures for my daughter, but it does not come as easily as it used to. Somewhere in my desire to make a comfortable life for myself, I seem to have lost my once chimerical imagination. I will try and get that creativity back this year and maybe even attempt to write a book – another long-time dream of mine.

So overall this has been an evenly balanced year for me, with some genuinely positive achievements and lots of motivational learning. The greatest one being that earning the love of your family is more important than earning money. Life can end in the blink of an eye and the present moment is all that you have, so enjoy it to the fullest.

In the coming year I shall continue to learn and make myself a better person. And thankfully I have two of the world’s best teachers at home -my wife and daughter. Let me end my last blog post of this year by wishing you and your families a very happy and prosperous New Year – stay blessed always.

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