As the New Year approaches, it is time for a retrospective – a look at the year that has gone by. It has been a memorable year in more ways than one. Filled with ups and downs, it is a year that will remain imprinted in my memory for a long, long time.
On the travel front, I managed to visit a lot of places which had been on my wish list. We broke a ten year jinx and finally visited Coorg. It was a short visit, though, and I hope the coming years bring me more opportunities to visit the wonderful place again. Wayanad was a first too, as were Mysore and the Jog Falls. We managed to slip in a second visit to Gokarna, and also a third trip to Goa, all these in the monsoon – a new experience for me.
What made many of these trips special was that we left Shankar behind with his work, and went ahead – just Samhith and me to Wayanad and Mysore, and we also dragged along my mom to Jog, Gokarna and Goa. Mom and son travelling alone was a wonderful experience, to be honest, and we both enjoyed it thoroughly, especially at Mysore, where we spent hours in the museums and lakes, and returned to the zoo again and again!
If the travel seems to be less than the past years, yes, it has been. The main reason for that was a tragic event in the family, when, in July, my father-in-law suddenly passed away. If his demise did alter our plans for the year, it also brought us closer to our family members, especially cousins who came from across the country to share our grief. I can never thank them enough for their presence and support during the difficult days.
On a happier note, this was a year Samhith has enjoyed to the utmost. This is the year I have seen him growing faster than ever, not just in size, but as a person too. He will enter his teens very soon now, and while I shudder at the thought, I can’t help but be proud of him! This year, I dragged him along to museums galore, both in Mumbai and outside, and his enthusiasm as well as insight has surprised me! He has made more friends than ever, and only a parent can understand the pleasure I get seeing him run off to play with his friends, and returning tired but happy, hours later! On the academic front, he aced the India Spell Bee, Mumbai edition, while, on the extra-curricular front, he shows an aptitude for cycling which delights us all. He recently cycled with his father all the way from Chembur to Thane, and just this Sunday, participated in a cyclothon too. We can see good times on his cycle ahead!
On another note, this has been the year I have really enjoyed with my camera, learning to use it a bit better, and wondering if it is time I shift to a DSLR, considering the appreciation I have received for my photographs. Our Postcrossing India friends encouraged me to print my photographs as postcards, which were very well received, and my photographs were also displayed at the Earth Mela conducted by the SPROUTS Environment Trust. Such appreciation is what we live for, after all! Besides, this is also the year my sister gave me ample opportunities to improve my photography skills – by renewing her Bharatanatyam performances. While she lit up the stage with her talent, I immersed myself in capturing the moments!
On the blog front, I have now completed six years of blogging, and have entered my seventh. Before the year ends, I will have completed 800 posts – a long journey by itself. Recently, I was listed 12th among ‘Top 31 Professional Indian Travel Bloggers’ by the Hop Around India Website. While I still don’t consider myself a ‘professional blogger’, I am honoured to be on the list! But having come so far, I can’t help wondering “What next?”
It has been a year of introspection, when I have wondered long and hard of where I am going, what I plan to do. As the year ends, and a new one begins, I know in my heart that I just want to write. It is what brings me happiness, gives me satisfaction, and that is just what I plan to do… continue writing, just as I have, for the past years, without a thought to anything else. And that is exactly what I wish for the coming years – opportunity, as well as inspiration, to write!
Meanwhile, for the last few days of the year, I am planning to take you on a visual retrospective of my year - through my photographs! So, please do keep coming back, and leave your comments too, because nothing encourages or inspires me to write more than your comments do!