“Is it already April? I can’t believe it!” said my younger daughter while we were coming back from her dance practice. Like always I shared a pearl of wisdom from the times, “You know time flies”. She nodded in partial agreement and moved on. That made me look at this fascinating element of time and year. My wife says after September every year when we have all our festivals one after the other we suddenly notice that we are in March. I can understand Feb ( short month) and all the months from Sept to December. But what made January a breeze for me this time? The only place I can dig to check for details is my journal and rightfully so it meted out some nice information.
January started with a new fitness routine. After so many years I had fixed my bicycle and every weekend I was doing my bit in going around the apartment with that and I enjoyed it very well.
Later in January, it was time for my grandmother’s 98th birthday celebration. Every birthday after her 90th birthday has been special. As it was falling on a weekend I made plans to attend. As usual my mother has a routine. She knows how many people will turn up ( hopefully with gifts) and how many return gifts ( fresh currency notes) she has to arrange. Apart from this she would also know by now how many will turn up early and just on time for cake cutting and our customary sadhya. So like last time around it was easy for my mother to roll it out. But this time I thought of a change and that was serving Cake and Jalebi on plantain leaves along with the sadhya. My grandmother savoured this combination to everyone’s delight and that was a magic moment. Our close relatives thronged that room to seek her blessings and customary photo shoots followed. I enjoyed some good conversations with the relatives after a long time.
Post three weeks of travel it was time to ask myself ” How many Dolo tablets have I eaten so far in 2023?” Thanks to cold and travel I understood the magic of Dolo and also having second opinions. “Dr, do I need to continue gargling with Betadyne?” She looked at me with a smile and said , ” No you can do it with Honey”. This was like the “ice-cream moment” which I had experienced when I had to undergo a small nasal surgery. This time around I was indisposed for close to 10 days at a stretch ( Worse than Covid). I had been travelling continuously for 12 days , multi cities and finally as masks were a thing of the past I realised how much that piece of layer would have helped if I had religiously worn it during travel. Now we always have a rather pressing side of the story which is by pattern recognition. It’s been seen I generally get sick in the first part of the year and there is a wellness recovery. So I would not attribute what happened in those 10 days to travel & virus infection. What I would like to share are moments where we had to quickly decide and think on our feet. It was my daughter who asked me , ” When will you get well ?” and ” Have you decided to keep hair on your head”. I explained to her how the treatment is progressing and in the case of hair I asked a counter question if I look good with hair. To that she just responded with a vociferous no. This experience is also about a conundrum I faced when I had to change doctors twice in two phases. How true was this for me ?
This year I started looking for new singers on Youtube and that is how I got fascinated with this singing duo from Bengal and I started listening to Bangla songs. One morning my wife checked with me about what happened to you. I told maybe these are some newfound fascinations. After all, Algorithms simplify our searches and it leads us to places where never would have gotten through those basic searches.
Apart from cycling , time on youtube with music, another fascination was to get an idea of the collection of books which I have in my house. This lead to speed reading, skimming and sometimes having a sense of wonder ” Oh no, I didn’t know I had this book, I purchased it on kindle as well“, I also noticed that I had two copies of the same book. It was now up to me to to intake all the knowledge and wisdom from these books in this year.
Apart from the above-mentioned things I also had a fascination for web series ( a fascination I picked after seeing Family Man a couple of years back). We started watching Scam 1992, then Khakhee, Mukhbir, Farzi , Fawda etc. Some of the movies I have seen also made me feel good- Kantara , Gold, Gurgaon , Mukundan Unni , Inception ( 2nd time) and one more round of RRR with extended family on our new TV screen.
My mathematics skills were put to the test when my daughter came and told me that she likes “Ratio” and thankfully I was able to solve one problem for her.
In one of the sessions with my friend and coach he took us through the concept of flow. That made me realise a few things in life which I was able to connect and trace back. I remember when I was in a coffee shop with one of my friends how time flew when we were in a flow state. As one coffee chain’s punchline says “a lot can happen over a coffee” we proved it that time. It started with the Spotify wrap-up of the year, went on to discuss surveillance capitalism and we meandered nicely into by-lanes and lanes of AI, technology and how we are being leveraged by Technology.
We also had a get-together with our old friends whom we were catching up after a long time. I was unable to meet any of my friends for so long. Good vibes seem to be the reserve of a tribe that clicks together. So far it has been about family and work and a little time with new friends and old friends.
A few things that have stuck with me so far…
I understood that the Amazon guy delivering our package is always Subbu and he disappears without a trace. We are yet to see his face.
I understood how considerate Uber drivers were in dropping me at the hospital doorsteps. I thanked one driver who maintained his car very well
I cannot forget one pharmacist who gave me Rs. 2/- balance when I asked for strepsils which were missing in a couple of pharmacies inside the hospital.
I saw the joy on the face of a security guard when I told him I am from his home town and that conversation lingered for a few minutes. This happened when my Digiyatra was not working and between him and a young staff member, there was a debate about whether the issue was because of the App or the iPhone model.
2023 so far has been about exploring and learning new things. The best thing that has happened so far was making Plato’s maxim a reality, “A house that has a library in it has a soul”. It was a dream fulfilment for me for the last decade.