I started writing this blog at the break of new year, but due to bone breaking schedule of 7 phased U P elections which I presided as Joint CEO U P, I could not finish this any time before. So with this delayed delivery I am trying to pen down the key words which appealed to me relevant, in the year gone by.
America. Yes, its America. I finally striked of ‘America’ from my bucket list which for long, had ‘visiting America’ as one of the items in my to-do list. So in year 2016, I landed at JFK Airport. The first brush with USA was a long queue at immigration counter which was longer than what we all witnessed outside ATMs by the end of the year. Though I was expecting some piercing questions by the immigration officer, but that gentleman from Florida was welcoming in all respects. Sorry Shahrukh, but I got through rather too easily.
Banks of Course. The banks were there since last century or even before but with onset of ATMs we had starting to forget the banks staff and their managers quite conveniently. We were quite cosily interacting with ATMs till demonetisation hit us all on the fateful night of 8th November. We soon realised that we need to know our bank and its staff, otherwise we would end up standing in queue for ages. So now I know Mr Naval and Mr Jha and Miss Priyanka and Miss Divya are important persons in my bank as they could easily tell you that bank did not have Rs 24000 to give you and you could be unceremoniously returned with a paltry 5000 instead, that too in soiled notes or unmanageable for now 2000 bill. I learned the lesson hard way.
Calories. Ask any body who wishes to be fit. Keeping track of calories burnt in every step you take and in each work out you do is the new fad.
Demonetisation. Do I need to write anything on this? Everybody right from Bastar to Banaras, Kashmir to Kamnyakumari, Terrorist to tourist knows about it. It was the world of the year not for me alone but for the whole country, literally. Disney
Election Commission comes to mind as my year ending quarter was spent for days and nights at the commission’s Lucknow office preparing for all too important U P Elections, the result of which is out now and you can see how important and how meteoric that was.
Florida is the place for kids as with Disney’s multiple game parks and Universal Studio’s fun parks, you would not feel anything but younger. This is the place to be for the kids and also for those who want to be kids notwithstanding their age. Florida is fun actually.
Grand Canyon and nothing else. The history of millions of years beckons you to feel like a very small droplet in this big cosmos. The grande rocks stand their with all majesty and grace.
Hong Kong for being my multi transit route airport and for offering some hot soups and souvenirs for my visits to Fiji.
Irom Sharmila ended her fast after 16 years. What a resolution!!
Joyrides. I wanted to close the chapters of joyrides in 2016. I had enough of them this year. Though kids were the reason we went to Orlando, the Mecca of fun and amusement parks. The Disney and Universal and Sea World are located here and you can have one of the best rides available anywhere. I enjoyed all of them in front rows and believe me they give more thrill than anything else in this world, but I think it’s time to hang my boots at 45 plus as far as joyrides are concerned.
Kapil Sharma Show continued to amuse the nation with his team of Dr Mashoor Gulati and Bumper and Chander and all. Always a fun to watch.
Las Vegas was on my itinerary this year which I can also call an extended Indra Sabha for all it shows you and you find out sooner than later that why it is called a Sin City.
Cirus Mistry was ousted out of Tata. The full story behind this will always remain a foraging agenda for journalists or may be a biography coming soon.
Narendra Modi obviously continued to hog the limelight for all the right reasons.
Olympics at Rio were in this year. Notwithstanding politicians’ embarrassing desire to get clicked with the star athletics at the wrong time at the wrong places, P V Sandhu, Sakshi Malik and Deepa Karmakar gave us many chak-de-India moments.
Parenting. I had never before confronted and struggled more on the issue, than this year. With tow teenage kids the parenting can be most challenging and unnerving task of the world. You can prove to be an absolute dumb. It can expose you like never before. You can handle your kids only if you know what parenting is all about. Thankfully by the end of this year, I came across a masterpiece book, ” Between Parent and Child” written by Haim Ginott. This is a master piece. I am still convalescing after being hit by this book. Thanks Ginott.
Queues of course, with rich and not so rich queuing up right from the dawn to dusk.
Cho Ramaswamy uniquely talented and fearless journalist left us in 2016. We are going to miss his no holds barred journalism from southern part of India. Knew perhaps too much about politicians.
Surgical Strikes was a word used as never before and the scars of it on our neighbor might be still fresh.
Thinking Fast and Slow. This is the title of the book written by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman after almost half a century of serious psychological research work is a gem, the most elaborate treatise on mind. It tells about how our mind thinks and how it does not think. In my life I have not read a book more important and more revealing than this. It talks about system 1 and system 2 and thread bares the concepts and frameworks of mind. I can say before I read this book, I was a moron who did not know about his own mind, I may not still be a great brain, but I know, I know a lot more about me than I knew in 2015.
European Union lost its sheen when Britain decided to do a long overdue Brexit.
Varanasi. In this second visit of me to this city of lights, I realised to some extent that Varanasi or Kashi or Banaras was a not a city alone. It was more than that. It’s a way of life, its whole philosophy of life. I think there can not be more layers in any other place in this world. It’s a city full of energy and full of consciousness, its full of life and full of death. Manikarnika ghat can so easily unnerve you and so easily can enlighten you. Just be there.
Wikipedia continued to give us an access to the store house of information of course subject to the choice of those who are contributors to it. Wordpress though continued to be my desired place to be always.
Xander Cage and Deepika continued to keep us waiting to thrill. Its out now though with less of a fizz, but still not that bad either.
Yoshinori Ohsumi won the noble prize for medicine for his outstanding work on Autophagy.
Zika Virus did some more damage in Brazil and continued to remind us that we have more to do in the field of health and nutrition globally than guessing the height of trump towers.