Weird thought occurred to me as i stood outside Jade Cinema post a session of "provoked" (which isnt a bad movie .. one cud watch it in the absence of much better to do) .. what was i doing last year this time? And the year before? And the one before?
The thought probably occured coz ive always maintained that every phase of life was better than the previous .. and its always been true .. (by that logic tomorrow will be even better than today and i have reason to be delighted .. but thats a story we'll reserve for another day) .. which is why usually ive looked back and thought, how did i manage to get through that time at all? Obviously this doesn't discount or belittle the wonderful people who brought happiness into life, most of them are still around, its the circumstances im glad to not have anymore ...
Last year this time .. hmmm .. was actually a pretty good time except everyone wanted to price down everything and i was going crazy with all the chip allocationing!!! Then there were these ad hocs coming in that i couldnt care less about given i had interesting conversations with frnds to come home to .. so i actually felt bad about sitting in office!!! So work wise, it wasnt the best, otherwise pretty good. :)
The year before that .. hmm id jus made it to P&G and was waiting it out at home in Bombay so they would call me to Singapore soon and relieve me of the boredom that was home after 2 bloody fantastic years of being surrounded by people at IIMB. Took up random driving lessons which i never even completed .. and for sure id run down someone today if asked to drive to save my life ... which pretty much negates the body count in the universe and hence amounts to negative ROI on the effort of driving!! :P Also went to the dentist and the ENT for multiple sessions coz my gums and ears had been ignored for 2 yrs on campus and were kinda out of the running and in bad shape :( Sulked a lot that i was missing life on campus, chai and sundry others with friends, spoke to friends a LOT on the phone, caught up with relatives as if i was to die in the next month and id better take all their blessings before that happened, fought a LOT with the incredible loving woman that is my mom, gave my bro a hard time with sharing the room after 2 years .. accused him of being spoilt, accused my mom of spoiling him and accused dad of doing nothing (god i never knew i had such immense capacity for accusing!!! :D) Eventually P&G kinda gave in and said ok stop making life miserable for everyone .. come join us in bombay till we work out ur work permit for singapore .. and so i chugged to and fro from andheri to borivali by train for 2 weeks starting may .. talking to Tyrone over the phone everyday and feeling shit scared and breaking out into a cold sweat even though i hadnt officialy met him in person even (yes, imagine the effect he has on u in person!!! :PP Kidding .. hes the most adorable person ive ever met!!!.. more in another post) So essentially i started out on that thing they call a dream job, and i cant complain so far :)
Year before that, had just moved to Citibank for an internship. The fools put me in Madras, likely after looking at my surname (which technically isnt even my surname! the world needs SO much education on tams! yet another post on that one :) ) where i knew no one except nutan who lived miles away from Mount Road in secluded Adyar!!! Finally ended up living with the Dushyanth's adorable mom who was cool, conversation savvy and so like my own mom that half the days were a breeze thanks to her! The maid hated me.. but thats another story :D
Citi was a nightmare in many ways, although i made my first acquaintance with Aparna (who is now technically inner circle:)) and the lovely lady Pallavi Tyagi and had my first taste of corporate life, i was also shown the ugly side of bossdom by my 'wonderful' boss who saw nothing wrong with publicly insulting me and screaming at me loud enough for Aparna (who sat on the other side of the floor mind u) to hear. Nothing in my life has ever been that humiliating, i left that place feeling like the most stupid insignificant person in the world, and it took a brilliant real coach like Tyrone to redeem my faith in my abilities (seriously, he deserves a whole post here.. later though). I still came back post summers unsure of whether id like to go to Citi, figured i wud if they promised me i wont have to work with her :) THank god it never came to that .. thank god i work on Olay.. thank god tyrone worked on olay .. thank god for sooooo much that summer!! :D
Year before, had jus received calls from the IIMS, was touring south india when i found out B had accepted me .. did a mini dance on a main road in Trichy :DD So did Sandeep ... thought that was the best time of my life :) little did i know there was SOOO much left to be seen and enjoyed yet :DDD
Year before had jus about started prep for the CAT... life revolved around studies, assignments and the like .. shamu and i were best pals by now ... she'd turned into one of those ppl we call FPG (friend philosopher and guide), i know ppl find it tough to believe that kid can be P and G .. but beneath her silly exterior lies a grown up woman worthy of tremendous respect for her values and strength :)
Year before, had jus decided to take the CAT and was doing a lot of gen chilling. Dont even remember those days, so insignificant they were. No plans, no nothing. Just lots of travel to and fro college, studies on weekends, assignments and lots of friends made in the process .. some stayed .. soem didnt .. all for a reason i guess :) All i rbbr is thinking nothing in particular and everything in general :) and doing pretty badly in term exams coz the big play thing had jus happened .. now that was fun!!!
Year before? Oh it was 2nd term exams approaching, we were moving house, Sandeep was getting his sacred thread .. so we had the ceremony clashing with my mech crach courses and life in general was quite hectic. Incredibly, i scored the highest ever marks that term with a whopping 77% .. still dont knwo what the hell happened between me writing the paper and results being declared :) Someone was drunk, and it certainly wasn't me!!!
Year before? 1999.. HSC exams had jus gotten over and we were vacationing in Kulu and Manali as a family. MEt another fam on the way and had a fantastic time travelling together!!! I remember feeling terrible about how 'chubby' i was back then, and now look at me, im one mass of bones with a little bit of flesh in all the politically correct places! :) No wonder amma sighs each time she sees me after a long time and sets out on her mission of bringing back the color to my cheeks! :D
Year before, agarwal classes had probably jus started, studying for the 12th had jus picked up i think. Afternoon batches meant reaching Dadar at a sweltering 1 pm in the afternoon after navigating my way from Dadar TT to circle. And misplaced AC vents meant carrying a sweater to wear through classes for fear of freezing into extinction even before i had a chance to give the darned exam, prep for which was sucking the life out of me!!!
Year before, SSC exams had prob gotten over, mom was in hospital getting operated for a hernial (which because of many reasons, the family's negligence being prime, recurred in 2002 and had to be operated again, paavam amma!) and we did a little trip to a place called Bordi close to Bombay. All i remember of this place is lots of chickoos and trees with chickoos and a family in the adjacent room of the hotel that used a lot of foul language while refering to each other!! :O
Year before.. studying for class 10 .. quite a fun experience actually :) But so not worth mention :)
Year before and before and before ... Aprils meant summer vacation --> Id walk to the library outside my building while mom left for work at 9 am, borrow the thickest book i could find, come back home, sprawl out on the floor from 9.15 to 12 under the fan and READ ... jus read as much as i could, usually finish a typical Grisham in under 4 hours. Then have lunch, nap, pick up Sandeep from the bus stop, perform sisterly duties such as conjuring up his evening snacks and milk and in general boss around a lot :) Then we'd settle for a good one hour watching cartoon network together, esp Johnny Quest at 6 pm or so. And then the rest of the evening would be spent helping mom in the kitchen, gallivanting with friends, and meaningless television with family :)
I dont remember much about the summers before say 1995. Many were filled with vacations with the family to new places and were lots of fun. But, somehow life seemed to have started only after i turned 13 or so and academics assumed a strange centre stage in life :) Before that was a lot of drifting and being a kid like many others.
Without a doubt, if i had to point out the best time of my life, id say now! I loved my years at IIMB coz they shaped so much of who i am today. Amidst harsh judgement and brilliant minds, i was sculpted into a person even i like better today :) IIMB was unforgettable and yet the severing of the umbilical cord happened only when i started to work at P&G and moved to this wonderful city. Then on its been a roller coaster of sorts, admittedly there has been frustration, disappointment, loneliness, indifference and inertia along the ride, but more than anything there has been evolution, learning, discovery of the self, exhilaration, travel, achievement, independence and indulgence :) This, today, is what i know as the pinnacle of my life so far, and i hope to find reason to believe that things will only get better as i go on :)
Wish me luck!!!