As always, January brings in promises of prospects and hopes of highs. As always, December closes with lessons of losses and reminders of regrets. I used to do a yearly stock-taking till I was in Ahmedabad. After that, things changed one after another. First, the year end stock-taking stopped and then, diary writing itself. So much so that this blog may also breath its last some day soon, perhaps!
Anyhow, for a change, as 2013 counts its last moments, I am trying to look back at those 364 days so far. Was it a year passed by too quickly to fulfill all those plans or was it a year moved too slowly to squeeze life out of life? Well, as most other things I don't know, I don't know this either. But some special events can, nevertheless, be counted.
If 2013 can be said to stand out for any thing, it must be travel - the year of wanderlust. I traveled almost through out the year, for official reasons and for personal, to exotic places and to dumps, lived luxuriously and just survived, stayed long or transited, went alone and with large groups, and Ohhh... what not!! A small list would help, perhaps, for future reference.
So Indore as workplace and Lucknow as hometown are obvious in the list. Visited Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi probably nth time and for n number of times - all for official reasons though but I stole some time to go around, relive some old moments, and meet with friends. Visited Ranganathittu in Mandya and Karnala in Raigad for bird-watching and could have covered Unnao also but for the Lakhnawi laziness in winter mornings. Interestingly, official visits took me to Kathgodam and Nainitaal after merely 4 months of a personal vacation in Mussoorie and Haridwar. Had a quick visit to Goa for, probably, fifth or sixth time.
As I recall, the first travel of the year was to the Maha-Kumbh of Prayaag via Raibareilly and Pratap Garh and the year's last travel was to Varanasi, with a quick excursion to Chunaar in Mirzapur. So in essence, started the year of Wanderlust with Ganges in Prayaag, visited Ganges in the middle of the year at Haridwar, and ended it in the lap of Ganges at Varanasi.
What else did I do through the year? Well, visited a lot of old friends - Gun & Meha, SSS & Pavitra, Brajesh & Ranjana, Prageet & Chanchal (and a new friend - few months' old Sher Khan), Megha & Dibbi, Tripti & Vipul, Mahesh & Lakshmi, Madhura and Rohan, Parimal and Vipul, and many from good old days. Also met almost all of my favorite professors at LU and IIMA. Met with many wonderful people and hopefully, will remain in touch to learn a lot from them - Priyanshi Srivastava, Manish Shukla, Anshul Shukla, Ashutosh Pandey, Saurabh Yadav, and many more! Made a lot of enemies also but that is okay - reminds me that I still can stand against things I cannot stand.
Ahh.... the year was not so bad after all... yes, I couldn't write much - neither poetry nor research papers; yes, I couldn't meet all the people I so dearly miss; yes, I couldn't change all the things in the world I wanted; yes, I couldn't do all the things I wished, planned, or desired... but hey, there is still few years left for me to do all that... perhaps, 2014 will fill the gaps. And if not, 2015 is not far away, you see!!