Adios 2008

By | 02:53 Leave a Comment
As a pre-note, I must add that I had been meaning to post this prior to 31st Dec '08 - obviously that didn't happen …. Now we can continue …

Wow – 2008 is at an end .. only a few more hours to go and the world shall be welcoming in 2009. I had thought about what I wanted to write today – and in my head – I saw the many things I wanted to talk about … after dilly-dallying on that for about an hour – I realized there was just SO much to pen down and that I'd probably not have the time to finish it off.

It's been a really interesting year so far for me … I have now been in Mumbai for just over a year – but I like to look at my stint here from Jan '08 till Dec '08 and just recap my experiences. (As an added FYI – I moved here Sept '07 but was working on a client wedding till Dec '07 and really had no life what-so-ever). January was a great month for me – I finally got relax after the wedding season got over – and I was going to be travelling to South India (first time!) for my current boss' wedding. I managed to wear a typical South Indian Sari, took a coach ride across cities, spent a blissful 24 hours on a house boat (the irony here is that I'm a vegetarian who doesn't eat seafood, and my boat comprised of another colleague from work and me – who also happened to be a veggie – the poor chef on the houseboat didn't know what to do with all the lobsters & fish he had planned for our meals!) … Once we got off the houseboat it was followed by a getaway at the lovely Estuary Island. I never thought I would celebrate my 26th Birthday in an unknown city with people who I had just come to know and were within my work environment. It was actually a lot of fun ! I got thrown in the swimming pool as the clock struck 12 and my birthday began.

The rest of the year has seen me travel a lot .. something I didn't get to do and that I was missing when I was in London (there's another whole background on that) … 2008 saw me visit : Kerala, Delhi – work related events – and the highlight of that trip had to be the 'oily food'; Bangalore – to visit my maasi, my cousin & his wife & my niece – and surprisingly also got reunited with a university friend from Montreal who I hadn't seen in about 6 years either; Goa (6 times !! and really it's a bit over rated but the only place in India where you can go and chill out on a good beach – that I know off!), Israel – now that was a craaaaaaaaazy trip with a girlfriend of mine (Ghulan, Rishon, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Caeseria, the Dead Sea) and then the to the island of Mauritius where I went twice – both times was work related. In one of my earlier blogs – you'll notice that I've written about a whale – yup that whale was spotted out in Mauritius. All of these travels in some way or form have seen me form relations with people and in some instances also come to value some of the relationships we take for granted.

Goa ..the first time I ever went there was earlier this year in February – with my younger sister – it was a time for both of us to do some sort of sibling bonding – how well that has worked out – you'd have to ask my sister – but it was a lot of fun – we actually didn't kill each other over 2 days ! The next few trips to Goa were a bit scattered – in May, I flew there for a day to meet a friend who I hadn't seen for 6 years which was really nice – however sadly this person has now been cut out from life.

In June – I was back – this time with my work colleagues for a bit of team brainstorming and a day full of presentations … Tongue of Fish is all I have to say to that trip !!!

I went back there towards the end of August for an events related conference – and my girlfriend had flown in from London and she joined me for it – it was one of the best conferences I have attended My last trip to Goa for 2008 was with an old high school friend of mine who I hadn't seen in 10 years but have been talking to over the past year online – and that was quite a lot of fun as well.

Israel … I get goose bumps thinking about that trip … One thing about me is that I normally NEVER travel with people – I always make my journeys on my own and meet with friends in different parts of the world (the benefit of having attended an international school whilst growing up) … however there is a one young lady that I have travelled with to Italy back in 2007 and we linked up again to meet in her home town. The city is simply quite stunning – there are some fantastic beaches out there and it was just such a pleasure to sit out on the hot sands, watch the waves and then take a dip in the water to cool off.

Another thing is that the people – the bulk of them – are just so damn good looking !!! The women have near perfect bodies – and the men – oh lord help me – but the men are just FIT ! Everyone indulges in beach activities and sports – everyone has a tan – and they are just drooooooooool-worthy !!! Ok I must stop now otherwise my laptop will cease to work !

Mauritius … An island of pure relaxation … the lifestyle of the people here is so different to that of anywhere else in the world that I've noticed. It's nice to see such laid-back Asians – the predominant population of the country is Indian. The most amazing thing about the island is that there are barrier reefs surrounding the whole island which allows one to enjoy the waters without getting caught out too deep. There are some exciting things to do that I found out about – zip lining being one of them – where one is strapped onto a harness and just hangs off these lines between mountains and valleys. How wicked is that !!! I went snorkeling there for the first time – and the waters are just CLEAR and Blue – with a huge variety of fishes ! (oh and I'm super paranoid about fishes coming next to me!) My boss – yes – I mentioned this was a work related trip – threw breadcrumbs all around me whilst snorkeling so I was practically assaulted by these tiny fish and was pretty much jumping out of the water out of fear !!!

Just had a quick read of what I've written and damn it sounds like I had a complete blast all year around …. Then again I've not once mentioned any of the work related things that I have to get up to – so I rather you know just how much fun I had instead

But seriously – it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride this past one year – new avenues at work have been explored; the people who I have interacted with – some more than others – and the impact they have had in my general outlook; gotten to spend more time at home (considering I didn't live at home for 8 years) and that has been a test in itself ! I got to spend a lot of time with various members of my family (believe you me when I say we are a BIG family !!! 25 odd cousins on both my paternal & maternal side !!). As I mentioned earlier – I went down to Bangalore to visit my eldest male cousin and got to hang out with his wife and daughter as well as his sister – that was a fun filled weekend.

As an FYI – the majority of my cousins are older than me and married with kids – and it's been a busy baby season for my family between 2007 and 2008 !! My cousin, PCH, in the States had a baby girl – and she's already 9 months old as of today. In September – my niece ZG turned a year old ! In October my two nieces in London turned 2 and 1 respectively! Then my other cousin RM and his wife BRM in Mumbai had a baby boy in November. For the duration of November – my cousin RC & wife SC from Spain were down with their three kids – and I just got to spend a fair amount of time with my nephews and baby niece. December was super exciting : my nieces AD and RC both turned 1 year old; my cousin MC & wife DC from New York had twin boys in December !

Not to mention that another cousin of mine got engaged in August – and another one got married in December ! In addition to all of this – I have gotten to hang out with another cousin NC for the past 1.5 months as she's recently started working with me. If it wasn't for her – I swear I would forget to eat every day ! And she also reminds me to constantly drink water as I barely get through a quarter bottle of water a day !! She's now helping me get back into yoga (I only got into because of this mad woman – she bugged me for 2 years to join a particular course and I finally did!) and hopefully get me back into shape in time for my birthday (ok so it's a bit farfetched since my b'day is in 3 weeks).

I've always believe that people are not what they seem to be – the way one might be within a work environment is completely different to the way they are in a social setting … so where's the brain wave in that thought you might ask …. Well over the year I have come to realize that the majority of people are just too damn scared to actually let others know who or what they really are and what makes them tick ! I've been a part of a predominantly expat society within the city – that doesn't go to say – I don't mingle with the locals either – in fact some of my best times have been with my more 'localized' friends – who just happen to be on the same sort of mind-set as me.

This city is a hub for millions – to come and make a name for themselves – from the local shop vendors, to aspiring models – people flock to Mumbai to explore opportunities. I'm fortunate enough to be here with my family – and have opportunities come to me on a plate as opposed to me hunting them down. As the opportunities grew – I saw the drawbacks to it all … the stress; the laid back work ethics; the inability to work to deadlines; the constant battle of egos within the same company; the 'motivational' talks that go nowhere; even those who aim for perfection start to show a 'whatever' attitude because the network of those around them can't understand perfection.

With all good things – the year 2008 also comes to an end – and as I wait for the clock to strike 12 and bring in the year 2009 – I can only look back at the past 365 days and smile - I've thoroughly enjoyed all that the year has brought me and can't wait to find out what 2009 has in store for me :)