Saturday, December 31, 2016

Things that made 2016 unforgettable

The year is about to come to an end. The time for a review is upon us. This post, more than the others, is for me. One day when I am old and wrinkled, or maybe later in 2017, I will read this and all the other annual posts and smile, laugh and cry, not in this order necessarily.
Unfortunately, for most parts I have to nod in agreement at the hundreds of memes flooding Facebook and Twitter that claim that 2016 has been one of the worst years. Office was eventful to put it mildly. As the HR and senior management tried to make up their minds, I was put in three different teams and under five different bosses in a span of six months.
January and February were cosy and comfortable at home. Meanwhile, there was a whirlwind at work.
In March we travelled to Mangalore to be with V’s parents. We went to my in-law’s farmhouse for the first time. V showed me around with so many childhood stories delivered at various stops. I drank nearly half of the coconut farm's produce. It was blissful. The barbecue managed by my BIL, cooking by my SIL, the pool shenanigans of our two-year-old nephew, my brother’s singing, my MIL’s anecdotes and FIL’s jokes and our laughter under the star-lit sky made the trip everything I had imagined it would be and then some more.
April went by with office playing more than required on my mind. But I did wear lots of sarees as a part of the 100 saree pact. I also painted penguins and ladybirds of some stones to decorate my balcony.
May started with a happy buzz surrounding me. The happy days didn’t last long. We suffered the biggest loss of our lives. I had a miscarriage a day after the pregnancy test came positive.
I was on bed rest for the better part of June. I lost a baby and in the aftermath lost a few erstwhile close friends as well. Friends, who I believed would be a part of my life forever, decided to keep their distance even at a time when I was drowning in the black pit of sadness.
July was about surviving. I am a child of a survivor. I have seen my mother survive hardships, one after the other. So, I decided to be inspired by her. No. I did not pick up knitting needles. I rekindled my love for photography. I started baking. I bake some kickass cupcakes with buttercream icing and meringues now. And I started posting shameless crowd sourcing pleas on Facebook for a KitchenAid tilt stand mixer.
The trip to Tirupati was the highlight of August. Had a great time with family. The food in Tirupati is to die for. We then went to Bangalore. Food was not as good but the weather was awesome. We visited the zoo. Seeing animals with Amay was loads of fun. He said hi to the bear in the sweetest voice. I learned that even if the guide says don’t make noise, a two-year-old will say ‘ROAR’ when he sees a real lion for the first time.
By September, following several visits to the doctor, constant hand holding by V and continuous support from elders of both sides of the families, I started feeling more like myself. I started eating better and exercising again.
October was exciting. V’s parents visited us in Delhi. This time they stayed for a little more than a month. V and I took them for a road trip to Kasauli. It was one adventurous drive. So much fun though. We bought 14 kg apples while returning. V drove like a champion. I cooked a lot and pampered them to my heart’s content. And I was pampered as well. Had a fantastic time celebrating Diwali with them.
Mid-November saw me returning to the HumSoc department. Like I told LB, it seemed like I was returning to my parent’s house after getting used to hostel life. Getting back to work and the grove of the department was not difficult at all. However, I am wiser to the changes in me and around me now.
Just as November was ending, office became interesting as ICSE decided to introduce a new syllabus. I loved being immersed in work. Bone-tired I managed to work on a book and handed it over for production in around 13 days. Proud to say, I did not have to sit late or work over the weekends. And I am more than happy with the way the book looks in its final avatar.
Just at the onset of the ICSE madness, V and I went to Bharatpur for our anniversary. Returning to the same road after nearly five years of the accident and coming out unscratched was a win. Sighted lots of birds and my favourite owls. At one point, V and I were atop a machaan, it seemed that it was just us two in the entire world, surrounded by hundreds of birds. Magical.
We got V’s drums home. His joy was priceless. And I am so glad that I played a role in making it happen for him. He plays for hours over the weekend while I bake or read or paint or cook. Our house is a happy home.
Prasha called from the states to wish us and told me that she bought a KitchenAid for me and that Mami was going to bring it to India on her return. Man, the Secret works! The fact that my baby sister bought the best machine in the world for me made it even more special. My cupcakes, my cakes, my meringues and the buttercream icing have started tasting so much better now! Yay!
December brought with it K from the US. She stayed at our place for one night. It was so much fun. K and V met for the first time but it just didn’t feel like it. I was happy to be surrounded by so much love. Mami bought the KitchenAid. My excitement knew no bounds. I was jumping with excitement. So happy with the gift. And can safely say I receive the best gifts. And the cherry on my cake of happiness was the fact that V got a big Christmas tree and a lot of ornaments for me to decorate.  
Just as 2016 draws its last breaths, G and her family have reached Delhi (from Calgary via Amritsar). I will be meeting them on the third day of the New Year. My joy knows no bounds. I will be meeting her kids for the first time!
The last day of the year is also marking a first of sorts. V and I are hosting our friends for a New Year party. This is the first time ever that I will have friends over. The only other time I celebrated with friends was in Pune in 2011. Otherwise New Year’s eve has always meant plonking in front of the TV or writing my annual posts, once from Goa, with my friends fast asleep on the bed next to me. I have cooked for the better part of the day. My house is my point of pride and it is ready to welcome friends with its warmth.
I hope 2017 continues to bring joy our and your way. May we end the negativities in our lives one-way or the other and move on. May we begin on newer paths of happiness and contentment. May we continue to bask in the warmth and glow of love and loved one.
Happy New Year!