The Annual Re-cap.

Made it just in time. 

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?

- Created a stable, settled life for myself - for the first time since I left home.
- Saw work on bill-boards and in newspapers. (Very cool feeling.) 
- Acid. (Have to write about this sometime, it was hilarious. May I hastily add, not cool. Not cool at all.)
- Bike ride across Goa 
- Learnt to ride a scooter, and if anyone snorts in disbelief right now, I rode it over hilly areas for 10 KM without crashing. 
- Adopted two cats
- Found two grey hairs. (Yes, TWO.)
- Opened Christmas presents 25th night, not the morning. 
- Some stuff in London that would take too long to talk about.
- Got a home with more than one room and real furniture. 
- This doesn't count as something I've 'done' - but this is the first time I haven't looked forward to my birthday. I'm 23, that's fine, I don't want to be 24 particularly and after that, comes 25 and honestly, what is the point of life after that?

- Oh my god - there has to be more. What sort of faffing is this? WHAT HAVE I ACHIEVED IN WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST MOMENTOUS YEARS OF MY LIFE? Apart from minor work-stuff, not much. 

But as always:

- Loads of stuff I can't make public. Ha. 

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Severely limit drinking. (I'll elaborate the Code another time.)
Start studying again. Yes, studying. On my own. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?

My Bhutto and Kebli. 

5. What countries did you visit?

England. And the UAE if you count Dubai airport which I do. 

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

Money. As usual. 
Travel - although 2014 wasn't as bad as 2013 travel-wise.
Something else I can't explain here. (Due to inability to articulate, no mystery.)
Seeing more of non-Bangalore family and friends. Especially Mawii, I really miss Mawii. 

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory and why?

February. I found out something that changed my life (when I am being dramatic). 
And something that's just a pain in the ass (when I am not being dramatic). 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Related to the above.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Related to the above.
And something to do with someone I love. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yup. But I'll refrain from boring you with the details. 

11. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Mama. She had a tougher year than I did and didn't complain once. 
And my sister Pria - because she is a hero, although this has been the case since birth. 

12. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Mine again. Mostly. But oh well, you grow, you learn. 

13. Where did most of your money go?

Cigarettes. Alcohol. Autos. 
This has been the same for the past six years.

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

This holiday - one glorious month off.
Seeing my family and friends - especially Pria and Nain and Nicky (who visited me from Bombay to throw up in my bathroom - I'll share that story another time.) 

15. What song will always remind you of 2014?

Sunday Morning - Lou Reed.
Pale Blue Eyes - Velvet Underground (this reminds me of a person actually, not the year itself)

16. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

I'm not sure. I'm definitely not sadder, but the happiness I have right now is a different sort so it can't be compared.

17. What do you wish you'd done more of?

All the things I keep telling myself I ought to do. 

18. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Nothing comes to mind really. 

19. How will you be spending Christmas?

Christmas is over. And I spent it in London after years, surrounded by my family, eating the turkey and drinking the wine and playing the traditional games, and meeting the friends, and seeing the art and the plays and Christmas carnivals and - my god, it was so special. 

And Pria gave me the most touching present I've ever received - so I spent at least an hour crying. 

20. Did you fall in love in 2014?

I fell down a rabbit hole.

21. How many one night stands?


22. What was your favourite TV programme?

Kept changing - phases, y'know. 

23. What was the best book you read?

I think I can count the books I read (for the first time, not re-reads obviously) on my fingers - so I won't list anything here. Nothing was life-changing. 

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?


25. What did you want and get?

Many things. 

26. What did you want and not get?

One thing - but I didn't want it for very long.
And a flat I fell in love with. But I don't care about that anymore, my own is Home. 

And seeing many friends. 

27. What was your favourite film of this year?


28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 23. Had the usual party - did not wake up with a hangover the next day. 

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not dreading the future would have probably helped. 

30. What kept you sane?


31. Who was the worst new person you met?

Didn't meet anyone (very) horrible. 

32. Who was the best new person you met?

The 8B boys.

33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learnt in 2014.

It's not a lesson per se - but I learnt how loved I am. Many special people went out of their way to make sure I knew that.  
And that taught me how important it is to show people you love them. You can go a lifetime without knowing how important it is, but luckily, I didn't have to.

34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.


I apologise about the damn spaces - they're driving me crazy but I have to go shower and decide what to wear so I don't have time to spend forty minutes making them even.

Happy New Year, by the way. As they say, it's another chance to get it right.

Even though you won't, you obviously you won't, you'll get it wrong, horribly wrong. But it doesn't hurt to be optimistic now and then.


After typing that, I went to get ready - I was drying my hair after my shower, and brushing it out in the attempt to achieve a wave, and it got stuck in the brush and couldn't be untangled and I had to chop a chunk off. You can't make out because of my parting (thank goodness).

Also I have a really really bad hangover.


December Ramblings

I woke up this morning because the sun was in my eyes, and because it was cold, just a little. And the first thought that occurred to me was, it's December. For three minutes, I felt a familiar rush of excitement, a feeling I've gotten every year, on the first day of December. Then sleep took over, and didn't release me until half an hour after I was supposed to leave for work.

It's always reassuring, the feeling of excitement. I felt it at seven, at ten, at fourteen, at eighteen, now, at twenty-three. December's still my favourite month of the year.

When I was in school, it meant bringing out the blazer (after I turned twelve). Man, I loved my school blazer. It made me feel so grown up. I'd look at the brats who hadn't graduated from sweaters yet and I'd be all, ha-ha, snot nosed children with lice, I was one of you once (minus the lice), but now I am more validated than ever before, because I have my blazer.

I regret to say that this was a recurring monologue. It didn't stop after the first year or two, it went on firmly until I graduated.

And December also meant Christmas which meant PRESENTS. I've always had my list prepared since August. Post August, new things are added, old ones are removed. Finally, I decide on one big present, or maybe a few little presents. That hasn't changed. What's on my bucket list this year that I am hugely excited about?

A cycle.

That's right. I am going to re-embrace one of the facets of my old Delhi life and use a cycle to commute between home and work. But because I am grown up and evolved, it will be a mountain bike. In further evidence of my maturity, I've actually researched different cycles in order to short-list the one that's best suited for my requirements and personality. I will go to the shop and actually try it once before buying it (i.e. before my mother buys it). See, I am now sensible and careful and level-headed enough to care about these things. It doesn't detract from the joy. Nor the incongruity of being excited about a cycle at twenty-three. Twenty-four.

Which reminds me. In exactly a month and a day, I'll be twenty-four. That first grey hair I found is a poignant reminder that my youth is slipping away. But then again, I've been saying the same thing since I was about thirteen (minus the grey hair).On the bright side, as I was telling my father the other day, the hair was most definitely silver. This is extremely reassuring - my father's side of the family, whose colouring I've inherited, get silver hair as they age. Not grey. It's a very nice silver actually, quite attractive, so I will just let my hair go about its natural course and laugh at all the poor souls who have to hide their common, plebeian grey-hair with dye.

Although I devoutly hope nothing will show until I'm forty.

I have completely lost track of what I meant to write about - something to do with December and childhood and nostalgia, blah blah blah. I don't need to feel nostalgic, come to think of it. Last Christmas, I woke up alone in the room flat I shared with no one. For the first time in my life there were no presents, there was no tree, there was no Mum with smiles and hugs.

But the day was still beautiful and I felt grown up and I celebrated with rum in my coffee before going to my brother's to be with people I loved. So really, you could say I've made Christmas my own.

All the same, this year, I will be back in the Christmas of my childhood. Back in London. Waking up in Pria's room on Christmas morning, jumping on her bed, then going to jump on Rajeet, and then insisting on opening presents before breakfast, not after; and eating traditional Christmas lunch with about five hundred members of the family (just kidding, one of the regulars is arriving on Boxing Day so it'll only be 499 of us) and rounding off the evening with mulled mead and Monopoly (which I hate).

Those are the sort of things December brings me every year, though the forms they take on change. A pause from my incessant complaining and pessimism to just be thankful for my life, which is a pretty lucky one; and the comforting knowledge that it's absolutely okay to eat pudding three times a day because Father Christmas, no matter how old you grow, will always bring presents: a magical calorie deficit being one of them.