Saturday, December 31, 2005

Adieu to 05

Another year draws to a close, and as human, logical creatures and all, we keep track of events and milestones by time, in years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds. Its around 5 AM in the morning and the house is still as I type these words on my laptop. Today evening I will fritter away the remaining moments of 2005 in a drunken stupor, boogying with Seema and close friends into the wee hours of the morning. And 2005 will be gone. Just like that.

As I lay awake in bed this morning, I was reflecting on the year gone by. First and foremost, I have discovered this amazing medium called blogging, which made me realize some of my thoughts, good or bad, would gain credibility with myself through my blog. What started as a lark, caught on and became this all consuming tryst with words. Even if nobody out there reads most of my crap, but I realized that I had crap to dish. Tons of it. And dish, I will.

The beginning of 2005 saw Mother Nature forewarn us with the year that it was going to be. Bedinning late Dec of 2004, as the tsunami was taking hundreds of thousands of lives across South East, Asia, most of North America and Europe was dismissive of this disaster, as just another local storm. The media did not expect it to be the disaster that it turned out to be. Seema got caught up in the enormity of the calamity and destruction and suffered many frustrating days watch the tsunami wreck its havoc on CNN. One morning I saw her glued to the TV, eyes moist, wanting to travel to India immediately to volunteer for tsunami help. Part of her frustration also stemmed from the health condition of her father and her helplessness, who was dying in Bangalore after a period of protracted illness. He died in January of 2005. As she made her trip with our son to pay her last respects, I was left alone at home, with plenty of time to introspect, read and just reflect.

Most of the time, to catch up on the Tsunami’s ground realities, I would read Dilip Dsouza and Amit Varmas first hand accounts of the tsunami after effects, in their blogs. They moved me, immensely. That is how I got to know about AID India and all the yeoman work they do in the rural communities in India.

Professionally, I was assigned to a different division, within our company, which meant longer commutes to work. What began as uninteresting and insipid work, later grew on me as I learn the inner trappings of this division.

What I missed most during the time that Seema and Sidharth were in India, was coming home to the demands of an 18 month old and also a 30-something year old irate, hapless mother. Most days I would end up calling them just to hear some inane gibberish, by the infant, over the telephone.

The summer months were good, but as in Michigan, they were short, just 4-5 good months. Not much golf this summer or volleyball. But what I did was practice for my half marathon with the ASHA group. This will be an achievement that will remain fondly with me for the rest of my life. Physical exertion notwithstanding, the feeling of making a difference, however small it may be, strokes the ego. Those long training runs, arduous and grueling as they were, were liberating in many ways. Where the mind is without fear and the trail is free….

We celebrated Sidharths second birthday at Stoney Creek, near our house, with close friends. And much fun we had.

Our local heroes, the Detroit Pistons, the blue collar basketball team made its way to the NBA finals and faltered in game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs. The entire state of Michigan groaned when they lost, but the boys are back with a vengeance this season and great things are expected from them. The former coach Larry Brown moved to greener pastures and big bucks.

The going was not so good for the Lions, the loser football team amongst the other Detroit champions, the Detroit Pistons and the ice hockey team Red Wings. The Lions coach was fired mid-season and there seems to be little hope for this beleaguered franchise in the coming years.

Indian cricket had its highs and low’s. After all that messy Chappel-Ganguly affair, which divided an entire nation, the team is on the rebound. There is hope for WC07!!!

We witnessed a beloved Pope breathe his last and a new Pope take office. Religion continues to have a growing influence on peoples lives.

Hurricane Katrina and Rita devastated New Orleans. Bombay and Chennai were deluged with uncharacteristic torrential rains. A massive earthquake killed hundreds of thousands in Pakistan. Africa and particularly Niger, Ethiopia continues to fight deaths by famine. AIDS is rampant.

The year began with a lame duck President taking office for a second term and Social Security rehaul seemed to be the top agenda. We all know how that ended up! The death tolls in Iraq is mounting and the President faces the quagmire of extracting the US out of this mess that they have gotten themselves into. All this while fighting record low opinion polls. With the elections taking place on Dec 15th in Iraq, there seems to a silver lining, amidst all the looming dark clouds.

On a personal front, my fathers health deteriorated and he was hospitalized twice this years. He is 74 years old, his kidneys are failing and having both his sons away from him in distant lands, has taken its emotional toll. Our house in Bombay was burgled and as of this day there has been no information about the robbers or the significant valuables that were stolen from the house. Ah, such is life.

So what are the take aways from 05, I think? Mother nature reigned supreme. From the tsunamis in Asia, thru hurricanes Katrina, Rita, earthquakes in Pakistan, torrential rains killing thousands in India, famines and forest fires, the deaths and destructions were unprecedented.

And my realization, that nothing, absolutely nothing, comes even remotely close to the profound joys of parenthood. Pure unadulterated, unmitigated, incontrovertible, veritable bliss. And that’s that.

Friends who became parents, some for the first time, some once again, “blogger”buddies, layoffs, friends and family relocating, and possibly a new career prospect for yours truly in 06 are the take away from 05. Falling in love, all over again, with the amazing world of books and reading. Marathons and social causes. Assertion, to live life to the fullest. To make each day count. Managing work-related and family stress and learning, hopefully to evolve, as a better person, with each passing day. All this and much much more I've learnt in 2005.

So as the clock ticks away on yet another year and the scientists add a second to the atomic cock to keep up with earths rotation, there is renewed hope for 2006. Hoping that everyone and their loved ones are healthy and happy. Hoping that you succeed in whatever it is that you do or covet. Hoping for a happy, healthy, safe, peaceful and great 2006.

Happy New Year.

Peace. Out.

I end with lyrics from this great song by ‘The Byrds’

Song: Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season) Lyrics

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!

5 Comments:

Blogger Sujatha said...

Hey Sourin,

Happy new year. That song, especially when I see it with the Forest Gump video (it was used in that movie), makes me bawl.

P.S. You might want to fix the typo in the sentence about the atomic clock.

P.S. 2: How is Nita? I did not hear from her after she left from India. Hope they're doing ok.

2:42 PM  
Blogger chappan said...

Suj

Been a long time.

Wishing you, V and N the same.Yes FG, what a movie gurl. Hanks simbly rocks.

Nita is moving back in April. Vinod is leaving 19th of Jan. She will complete he kids school term and then leave. They are looking fwd to their new life back home.

R u back in India? How was your trip to DC?

Sourin

6:17 AM  
Anonymous charu said...

hey chappan, here is wishing you a very happy new year...

3:20 AM  
Blogger chappan said...

Charu
Wishing you and your loved ones the same.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Sujatha said...

Hi Sourin, back home now. Glad to know things worked out with Nita. The DC trip was very good. Had a good time with friends and food. But a lot of admin stuff to get done though. All in all a successful trip.

8:16 AM  

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