Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Year

At the tail end of 2014, as the year breathes its last and lays down to rest in the world's memory, it's time for my traditional reflection/retrospect post.
If you go by the Facebook 'My Year' thing that is so popular, it seems I haven't lived at all this year. I guess there is some element of truth in this because it was harder than usual to remember defining moments from each of the past twelve months. But there are some really awesome things that happened so a better way of putting it is to say that I have lived in pockets, with some months packed with activity and others just passing by dull and unexciting.

A close friend from college tied the knot. It was an intercultural "love marriage" and I do quite love love marriages so it was a fun way to start the year.

A best friend suggested I submit a paper to the 2014 conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research. I did with full confidence that it was not "good enough" to be accepted but it was and I was So Thrilled!

These two months passed in one big blur which marked the end of one year teaching at a school in Ahmedabad. I learned a lot and I (hopefully) taught a lot but I had had more than enough and knew it was time to move on - that is, quit the job and focus on my writing dreams.

I traveled to Hyderabad again to quit my job and to tell the truth, the trip is a bit of a blur, though I remember receiving a lot of presents and beginning to plan for a vacation with friends...

I think this was one month where I truly didn't live at all. It was disgustingly hot in Ahmedabad and I was prepping for my IAMCR paper presentation that was coming up the following month.

The first international conference I ever attended - in Hyderabad - I met a lot of really amazing people and shared my work with them and generally had a good time. I suppose it was worth the significant amount of money I spent on the conference fees. :P

The Trip of a Lifetime! Mumbai and Goa - eating, shopping, lazing, and exploring Goa in a rented car using my (not so) trusty GPS - bliss! (Despite a few rough patches which anyone is bound to encounter when travelling with friends for the first time :P)

I wrote an article for Teacher Plus! This was my only real "published" piece of writing this year which is a bit shameful because I should have written a lot more stuff, but oh well, no point regretting now I guess.
Also, my friend S came visiting!
And, I had a small reunion with some college classmates and our favorite professor. :)

Started gearing up and making plans for a wedding in the family. (Not mine, just FYI.) Marriages make me happy even though I personally don't believe in them. :P
And, and - my paper proposal got accepted to the Journal of Children and Media! If the final paper gets selected, it will be my first academic publishing credit! :)

Perhaps this was my most busy month of the year. What with NaNoWriMo, house renovations (in lieu of the upcoming wedding), shopping (also in lieu of The Wedding), and of course, my birthday.

A month of ideas and plans and hopes and dreams. I went for a movie with my college friends after so, so long.. - PK - which is a fun movie and - for anyone with a brain - it's not hurting any religious sentiments. It's just raising some interesting questions and holding up a mirror to society. Why vandalize movie halls just because you don't like what you see? Misplaced notions about religion are going to be the end of humanity. The Peshawar atrocity just proved it yet again. And still, people will never move beyond fighting over Gods.

Anyways, so that winds up 2014. The coming year has a lot of potential to be better and I hope to be more proactive, productive and proficient in everything I do tomorrow onward.
So long!

Friday, December 19, 2014


Helter-skelter, pell mell, my dreams are pandemonium. They whoosh across continents and dive into the seas, run naked up mountains, then hurtle carefree down the slopes. They lunge headfirst into exhilarating waterfalls of possibilities, then bob in winding rivers like contented ducks. Clearly, they don't know what they want. But maybe that's okay. Because they are happy trying different things, even if all these things are only happening in my mind. - For now, at least.
What does it take for a dream to find it's way out of the comfy crevices of the mind (or cushy corners of the heart) and manifest in the real, tangible world?
Sometimes, luck. Fate, destiny, karma, right-place-right-time, whatever you call it.
Other times, hard work. Or discipline, devotion, determination and drive. (Wow, did I just discover the 4 Ds that make a Dream come true?!)
Most of the time, I think, a delicate combination of the two. Perhaps the stars have to line up just right and you have to have slogged just about as much as you can, and your resolve has to be cast in stone and then magically, beautifully, you will achieve what you want.
My dream has always been to write and publish a book. Last month, I almost got that first bit done. I say almost because the first draft of my novel (the one I wrote for National Novel Writing Month) is like a newborn who hasn't been swabbed and prettied up for the world yet, It's raw and cranky and bawling for attention but hey, it's still my baby and I love it! :P Though I'll love it a lot more when it's nicely edited clean and I'm over the trauma of the pain and turmoil that went into creating the damn thing.

So yes, I guess half the battle's won in getting my dream out of both the comfy crevices of my mind and the cushy corners of my heart. Now, I just have to redouble my levels of the 4 Ds mentioned above and patiently wait for the stars to line up just right so that my dream will at last sprout wings and take flight.
And then, I can chase the next one - across continents and seas and mountains and rivers aplenty.