Happy New Year

Annual Sunset

It’s the same Sun that will pop out of the east tomorrow morning. Yet, today’s sunset helps us keep score that one more year has melted. It’s the 31st of December. And this is the ‘Annual Sunset’!  Sunsets are amongst the most enticing of reminders that one more block of time is gone for good. The annual sunset on can be sentimental. Partly, because the world seems eager to be done with it and embrace the shiny’, ‘new’ year!

So, its time to change the printed calendar that hangs on the wall. I have to take care to write ‘2018’ instead of  ‘2017’ on the cheques that I sign. Other than that, nothing changes. Of course, tonight some folks will move in the name of dance, to random noise that’s called music. Everybody will wish each other ‘Happy New Year’ and then go about living their lives with renewed fervour.

By the 8th of Jan, 25% of resolutions “have fallen by the wayside”. “And by the time the year ends, fewer than 10 percent have been fully kept”, says a piece in the New York Times. Thats a colossal underperformance by corporate standards, won’t you think? (Do give the piece a read. Very good pointers )

That of course, is a limited view. Thank God!

What would we do if there was just no chance in hell that we could begin all over again? Even if we knew in the innermost recesses of our hearts that it is the same Sun that will show up tomorrow.  That it’s sinking into the west doesn’t sink with it our warts and wiggles. I wouldn’t mind it taking along with it the credit card bill, the lump of fat on the hip and the sinus in the head. Alas! That said, the new year is special. For it is the chance for some energy into starting all over again.  That is priceless. It fills us with hope and courses a new energy in our fraying minds.

An uncle of mine used to say that this energy would take him through “March – April”! “If you get a few solid wins in this time, who knows, the momentum can take you into June-July”. I find this enticing today.

It makes sense. Once it is July, you are already looking at beginning the countdown to end the year and make a new beginning.  In early October, the uncle would say, ” we are going to end the year”. Looking forward to it like a kid walking with his dad to buy a promised lollipop.  The ‘looking forward to next year’ saw him through the last three-four months.

In one way or the other, he had to wade through pestilence laden waters of ‘what is the meaning of my life’ and such other desultory questions for about five months.  Right in the middle of the year. Those months could seem to have a slower pace to them.  A few other ways to work those months would help. Perhaps breaking the year into smaller bits. Maybe having other special rituals for renewal.

But right now, the Sun is just about downing its shutters for 2017. The mid-year ‘sulk months’ seem a good distance away. Those months will happen when they happen. To make them ‘happening’ is after we take care of this evening and the next few weeks.

I have on my agenda a few must-dos.

Meet friends.

Make white spaces.

Plan well and yet create the space to plan as you go.

Spend time with the little miss. Grow up with her.

Walk. Run.

Take care of the body. And the mind. That’s the best way to take care of the bank account. (“Fixed deposits are best in the bank. Spare your hips”, said a wall scrawl in Madurai ).

Eat vegetables.

Write.  Travel.

Dream.

Do meaningful work.

Shoot the breeze.

That’s the best part of beginning again. For some irrational reason, it fills the heart with hope. As this sunset sinks its teeth into the year’s neck, the fleeting gasps of the setting Sun remind me of the promises that I need to keep. No new promises. Just keeping the old ones is good enough.

That’s as good as it gets. The aim is to go through to the end of March with it. A running coach once sat me down as I shuddered thinking about how I would ever do a 42 KM run. The trick he said, “is not to think of the full 42 KM. But to have a target like “until the end of where the eye can see”.  With the run soaking up most of the energy, my line of sight was often a just a hazy patch. It helped me finish!

So, here is what I am going to do. Soak up the Sun and look forward to the end of March. Maybe, April. Before the blink of the eye, it would be July.  And then, it would be next year.

For now, go dance. Sing. Love.

That’s all there is to it. Besides saying “Happy New Year”!

There are two pigeons that dart on to my balcony. Tilting their necks and looking at me with an odious ‘oh not again’ look. I want to prove them wrong and start somewhere, even as the bright arc of the orange Sun is reduced to crimson splash on the horizon. I pull out my laptop and start typing. “It’s the same Sun that will pop out of the east tomorrow morning. Yet, today’s sunset helps us keep score that one more year has melted. It’s the 31st of December. And this is the ‘Annual Sunset’!  Sunsets are amongst the most enticing of reminders that one more block of time is gone for good. The annual sunset on can be sentimental. Partly, because the world seems eager to be done with it…”

A new year swings in! Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017.

2016 has been a heck of a year. I still remember the same time a year ago when I sat down to see a new dawn. It seemed to run in along with a lot of a promise and hope. And suddenly it is today and a brand new year is at the door! Just as what was the case last year. This year hustles while it waits. So much so, I can hear its wait! 

The little miss is all about the house as has been her wont. I have spent some part of the last year, growing up with her. More often than not, becoming present to how fast time flies away by just watching for every minute change in her and succeeding to spot a few as they happened. For large part though, I must confess, wondering how it happened!

Like when she asks me what is an ‘office’ and ‘what happens in an office’? And of course, the next inevitable question: ’What is Work?’  I am sure this isn’t unique to her or me. It must be on the lips of many kids as they stand up and begin to explore the world. It is easy to give ‘some’ answer but then the real answer is a bit beyond cursory search. 

‘Can you be a teacher in my school?’, she asked the other day. With half a popcorn in her lips and a sparkle in her eyes.

‘Sure’. I said. It is the most inviting approval I have had of 2016. Something that I can gloat about. ‘Can we begin tomorrow?’, she asked. If there was ever a heart that skipped a giant beat on hearing a job offer, it would pale in comparison to mine that day!

Or of this time, when she said ‘Push me higher Appa’. On a swing by a lake in idyllic Mount Abu. I was a tad scared, for this was a swing that was just there in the midst of undergrowth and uneven ground. A plank of wood, two pieces of a rope all on one sturdy tree branch. That made the swing.  ‘Dont be scared, Appa’ She said. With a silly smile as an enduring accompaniment as the swing climbed newer heights.  ‘I am going higher on my own Appa. You don’t be scared’.

For a moment, I didn’t know if I should clap in joy or wince in despair. After all I was expecting these lines down the road. After many years!  I brought a smile on plastic dry lips and clapped.  ‘Letting go isn’t easy’ I told my missus over dinner that night. Silence stayed tall in the room as we munched on some veggies. ‘It isn’t easy at all’ added the missus in-between all her munching. I wast sure if she was talking of the veggies. That’s part of the plan for this year. Munching more veggies that is. And yes, ‘letting go’ of stuff that we have been holding on to is also part of the plan! 

A couple of days ago, we were at the movies with the little miss in tow.  Dangal. The movie that everyone is raving about. The movie about a father who lives his dreams of winning a gold medal for the country by getting his daughters to do so, long after his prime.  The melodramatic storyline with wrestling bouts that go on predictable lines to leave India with a gold medal and left me with a stern headache. A headache that only loosened up when the little miss looked into my eyes and asked: ‘Appa, they did all this for one medal?’

I smiled ear to ear.

As the same Sun rushes in a new year, these and her other questions dawn on me with new meaning.  I don’t have all the answers. But the very fact that the questions are here is enough to keep me on the swing of life. For that I am thankful.

I wish you more questions and deeper conversations!

Happy New Year 2017! Here’s to a fabulous 2017

Renewal Time!


A brand new year has come our way. Yet again. Like it always does. Here is another opportunity to seek renewal of promises made and conversations had. With others and ourselves too.  ourselves too. 

Here is a wish. Actually here are a bunch of wishes for you. For me. And for the rest of the world. A set of disparate wishes that perhaps form an incoherent bouquet of sorts. Delivered with love, which is its only redemption. Perhaps!

Here is a wish for moments stolen from the frenzy of daily living to pause and ponder. At the marvel of creation and the simple joys of life and living too. 

A wish to keep reality of the large world firmly in our midst even as detest even the slightest seconds that we are disconnected, from the internet that is!  

A wish to stay healthy in the mind & body, with a resolute belief that ‘things have a way of working out’. A wish in tow for good sleep. Good habits. And great choices! 

For patience with our fellow people. For acceptance. For passion, consistent effort and zealous work to strive for progress.  

I look at my daughter and the words flow on to the screen with greater ease. 

A fervent wish for each of us to be filled with curiosity about what’s possible. A child like laughter. Togetherness. And a devout hope for a better future. 

And then, to look around and pass these, better wishes and some cheer, at the first available excuse to our children. And their children. Year after year. 

For now though, its Happy New Year 2014. Heres wishing you the best! 

Happy New Year



It’s a brand new year. May it bring with it quiet resolve and constant love.  May 2013 be the year when each of us pulled all of us to a higher plane!  May there be abundance of health, love and cheer in our lives. May our outlooks get powered by that sense of ‘abundance’. 

May there be peace. May goodness be our permanent companion and fairness be our passport to higher order. And let there be challenge just enough to strengthen our backs and solidify our resolve.

May there be laughter. Dance. May there be reading. And writing. And an unwavering spirit. To take our collective futures, forward!

May our children grow stronger. Drawing strength from the resolve of their character rather than the weight of a bank balance. May they learn to see, appreciate life, living and giving. May they see a life that has a greater end than pointless effort and mindless competition. Oh yes, may we see it too!

May our worlds emerge far clearer, when we take stock at the end of the year. May our lives resonate with a spirit of having made a difference to someone. Or to someplace. Or to something !

If that sounds like a tall order, perhaps we should leave it at a simpler wish for all of us: a renewed energy to stay happy pursuing our passions and passing on some cheer. May we stop to say thank you to folks like Walt Disney who said, “Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age and dreams are forever.” 
May this year be the year that we lit a lamp to dispel the darkness, and from the depth of the shadows may there emerge a billion stories. Of how ‘better was possible’ because we tried. 

Happy new year! 

Hello 2007 !

2006 was a defining year. 2007 will be even better for each one of you, your families and all who you knew.

2007 brings with it new found hope that the equation of the world order will edge towards balance & become more and more democratic. That the individuals will still be able to wield more power than governments. That poverty will be reduced for all those who are resourceful.

To me, 2007 holds out new hope that barriers and borders will become much more blurred. And we will all stay better connected. I am equally conscious that 2007 will have its share of disappointments and occassions for the teardrop to fall. But hopefully, it will bring with it the resolute resolve to get up after a fall and march on.

At a personal level, 2007 is poised to be a year of great challenge and opportunity. I am all set to continue building on all the fundamentals that i have carefully put in, and augment it further. Each day will bring in more learning, and i hope i am mentally alive to catch each of those.

So, with that, wishing you a very happy new year !

Lets join the chorus and say, Hello ’07 ! Nice to meet you !