As I write this post, I draw closer and closer to my 24th birthday. Just a couple of minutes to go for the 'occasion'.
My 24th year has been pretty eventful to say the least. Lots of ups and downs since Jan 18, 2011. Just a day after my 23rd birthday, I was on a plane to New Delhi to visit my ailing Grandmother who had suffered a fracture. I was in the capital for almost a week, oversaw the surgery and left 2 days after that. She was recovering slowly and exactly after a month, she breathed no more. I was on the plane again, this time with my whole family. It was a difficult time for me. I always felt I lacked 'that emotion' which would make any normal person cry in such a situation. I was totally numb. I felt it deeply but there were no real outburst of emotions as such.
Back in Hyderabad, I resumed my job at 'my' startup. Things were going great. Got loads to learn about Social Media, Management Consulting, Marketing, Strategy, Hiring, the whole 'Startup affair', just about everything and 2 -3 months later we merged with a partner firm. Another startup, with some fantastic individuals. Together we moved into a new office and started work big time. It was to some extent the turning point of my nascent career. I got exposed to Content Strategy, Communications strategy in general and met some more awesome people on the way. Towards the end of the year, we got another partner and that really provided us with the stimulus to diversify and explore a new domain- Design, which otherwise wasn't top priority. The year ended with a lot of parties and get togethers and I could really see something 'great' brewing in the organization. Hope to see Deep Red Ink gain more momentum during this year and cross the targets we've set for 2012.
On the personal front, I first got a chance to organize an International Fund raising event in my town- Hyderabad in March, which was a huge success. In June I attended a life-changing workshop- Tao of Facilitation, thanks to my folks at work who encouraged me to go for it. I learnt to Accept things in their present form, acknowledge silence, develop a helicopter view of things and discovered responsibility in a new way.
Soon after that I was selected to attend 2 Internationsl conferences, one in Switzerland and another in Sri Lanka coincidentally with overlapping dates. I was fully funded by the US Government for the workshop in Sri Lanka and went for it. It was an enriching experience really. I got to represent India at an International level, sharing the platform with leaders from South Asia. Made a lot of friends, understood key issues plaguing the region and crafted a 'solution' to a panel of global experts.
Being a cricket fanatic, it was a great first half being an Indian fan, having to see India lift the World cup after 28 years but also had to deal with humiliating defeats abroad in England and Australia.
These were more or less the highs, but what struck me deeply throughout the year were Deaths of my dear ones! I lost my Grandmother in the first half of the year, then my Grandfather in August, a dear friend in the following month and exactly a week back another close friend. The most recent loss has really hit me hard and it's yet to sink in.
Another friend was hospitalized last week due a bad lung condition. I hope and pray to the Almighty to heal him in super quick time.
All in all, it was a year filled with surprises, adventures, unexpected challenges and enormous gratifications, unprecedented joys and irrepairable losses.
Here's looking forward to a great journey of 365 days around the sun, minus the losses.