Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 - An Overview

Note: I started writing this post on the 31st of December and wanted to publish this post just an hour before midnight, but I wasn't able to finish it. So the content will still be as I wrote it as on the 31st and not as if I am writing this one just now! :P

With just an hour left to spare, the year has almost come to an end; and along with the gazillion firsts that happened to me this year, it has truly been an eventful year – full of surprises. I’m going to try my best to summarize the entire year and still manage to have a short and sweet post, but knowing the way I am, it seems doubtful. So brace yourself, because there’s an entire year I am going to be writing about and I have a habit of going into details! :P

Its clich√©, but it seems as if it was yesterday that we all woke up after welcoming 2009 and it’s hard to believe that 364 days have gone by since then. Ironically, it also seems as if so much has happened since then that it’s harder to believe that it’s been only 364 days since then! Or maybe it’s just me… I’m complicating it way too much. Either ways; it doesn’t change the fact that I would want to write an entire book about 2009, its f*ck ups and how I am bidding this year a good bye with the biggest smile on my face and the bestest person on this earth by my side; but we all operate within constraints. So without further ado, considering the fact that you’ve been patient enough to read up till here; let me not ramble anymore and give you the highlights (and the lowlights :P) of 2009…

Discovering the Blogosphere...
Early in 2009, I carried forward the balance of the hurt, vulnerability and pain from 2008 (a perfect accountant, see) which ruined the first two months of my otherwise ‘not-so-great-but-still-not-so-bad’ year. And by the time I got it out of my head and got over it; it had still managed to have a deep rooted impact on how I viewed my life and what I wanted from it (read the posts from January – March and maybe you’ll get my point). I wanted to handle it all by myself nonetheless and asking for help from anyone or letting anyone “cure” me (and thereby gain control of my life and emotions) was below me.

So I asked myself if I wanted to drown in my own troubles or work towards being happy because I figured I was the only one who could make either of those happen… really… And when I was in this emotional abyss, I found solace in writing my blog. I used to look for opportunities to write. I wanted to write about what I was going through, what I felt, anything and everything, however mundane. But for the fear of letting my worst fears and feelings out in the open, I restricted my writing to random stuff, old memories, day-to-day happenings, poetry and even a short story.

And in the last year that I have been a part of the Blogosphere, I have had an outlet for my thoughts, feelings and emotions; I have found other bloggers who share my views and blog for the same reason; I have made many blogger friends and lastly discovered my need to write on a regular basis and thereby retain my sanity (whatever little of it is left!)

The first six months of 2009...
Apart from the mind numbing tension and apprehension of the approaching exams that was constantly at the back of my mind (notice that this particular thought was never at the forefront), I was barely in my senses and had very little control over where my thoughts wandered. And that coupled with the feeling of not being able to do what I wanted to because I had to study and the fact that nothing was going right in my life, got on my nerves even more.

All I remember is making huge plans about how I was going to tackle the entire syllabus and then watching these plans go down the drain every single time. But even then, it did not deter me from making a fresh plan which met the same fate as the last one and this led to wastage of quite a few days... (cough) months…

I tried waking up early to study, staying up late, staying up the whole night; but wasn’t able to. My mind used to think about things I shouldn’t have been thinking of and at one point I was convinced that these exams and the degree was not for me. It was not what I wanted to do with my life.

Crunching numbers; tallying Balance Sheets; interpreting, remembering and applying complicated tax provisions; understanding the scope and application of Accounting Standards, was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! It required operating within parameters set by someone else and rules I couldn’t identify with; and it was like curbing my thought process. I don’t know if it is because of my name, but I need freedom in thought. I work better when there aren’t any rules and all is left to my imagination. Obviously, if you leave Law, Accounts and Tax to my imagination, it’ll be more of a fairy tale than anything else, but you know what I’m trying to say.

So I found reasons to get away from my books – any thing would make me happy as long as it got me far away from those gigantic books. Fortunately, when I had reached the highest level of crap that I could put myself through, Sandeep and Jay’s birthdays came like a blessing for me. I took it upon myself to do something awesome and thus, not even throw a second glance at my books. Jay wasn’t in India then, but that didn’t kill my spirit. I made birthday cards for both of them and it was as if I had set a caged bird free.

Sandeep's Card... Top - From Left to Right - Front Page, The Left Page and The Right Page... Bottom - From Left to Right - Centre Page, Centre Flap Open

Jay's Card... Top - From Left to Right - Front Page, The Left Page and The Right Page... Bottom - From Left to Right - Centre Page, Centre Flap Open

In each of the two cards, the pictures were flaps that would open and each of us had written a personal message in the flap with their picture on it. Cute, isn't it?? :)

At that time, I was convinced (and to some extent I still feel so) that I’m in the wrong profession and stopped caring whether I passed or failed – my biggest mistake. My attitude towards my exams directly affected my result. How couldn't it? In my head I knew that I didn't care about the exams and that made me a little lax when it came to studying. It was mid-April by the time I realized that I should stop bullshitting around and actually get something done. But it was too late by then. And even with the epiphany, it was actually May before I actually put in some effort.

I had done tid-bits of the syllabus till then; and in May, I went from studying for 3-5 hours a day to more than twelve hours. When I now think about it I still am surprised that I was able to achieve that. But when your ass is on fire, you tend to do a lot of things you never thought you were capable of.

May dragged on and so did the sixteen days of exams in June and by the time I was done with the first six papers out of eight, I knew it from my gut that I was going to fail. I was so confident that I did not bother to show even a little bit of enthusiasm to study last minute and test my luck (which has usually saved my butt all these years).

Five whole months, and two weeks of another month had literally been wasted after an exam! Five months and two weeks of my life I was never going to get back; that I spent within the walls of my house (my study room to be more precise) without meeting friends; that I spent reading books that I didn’t care about when the books that I wanted to read were biting dust somewhere in my shelf; that I spent waiting for one call from someone which made my otherwise dull day a little brighter; that I spent not watching the movies that everyone else was watching; that I spent not having the life a twenty two year old should have. It didn’t seem worth it then, and it doesn’t seem so even now.

What I gained from this whole experience, is only the belief that if you start off with the right attitude and maintain that attitude, you’re going to get what you want no matter how unattainable it may seem. Maybe with a different attitude and a different frame of mind I would’ve felt differently and done things differently – just maybe.

(P.S. I was just proof reading the entire thing, and even reading this is depressing me. So I’m going to move on to another topic. I apologize if I’ve left a few loose ends; but I don’t think anyone cares.)

My personal life gained some stability somewhere around March and I felt more confident and content emotionally after a really long time. It was because I was re-bonding with my close friends and they gave me some direction. I started looking forward to meeting them more often and there was some hope for happiness…

So around April, when my mind was free from emotional troubles, I started to realize that I should put in at least some effort and that I did, albeit a little too late. (I know I just said I wouldn’t talk about this, but this is how I spent the first six months of this year…)

But the last fifteen days of June, were the best!!! Exams got over and I was with my friends for an entire week!!! I spent the most awesome time with all of them and we decided that we would all go for a weekend trip in July and that raised my spirits… Phew! I was going to get some semblance of a life back…

The trip, and then, a Full House!!!
So we all (except Sandeep; who couldn’t make it, and Jay and Omkar; who weren’t in India) went on a trekking trip and scaled the highest peak in the Sahyadri ranges and though it wasn’t easy, it was something I will remember for the rest of my life (even more so because I have penned down every single detail of the trip that I could remember!)

After we were back from the trip, Mami and the kids were here from the US for about two weeks. So from three people in the house, there were suddenly six people. My grandparents used to drop in everyday to spend time with the kids, which made it eight people for dinner. My dad arrived somewhere around the 22nd of July and was here till the first week of August. So anytime that I would have otherwise spent in catching up on the reading that I had been wanting to do, or the movies that I wanted to see; I spent running after the kids, playing with them, pampering them and listening to them talk in their cute accents; and then in spending time with my dad!

By the time he left, we were on house arrest because my other cousin Rudransh was detected with swine flu! I was able to catch a few movies then since Natasha and I couldn’t even step out of the house. But then the results happened and that ruined my mood and any enthusiasm I had in watching any movies.

Discovering a new career...
After working for about one and a half years with one of the big four audit firms, I had decided that the corporate life was not for me. I am not overtly ambitious; I am not someone who doesn’t mind spending twelve hours each day in office and still be content with their life; especially when it means giving up your social life, your hobbies and everything else that you like doing. I am not one of those women who want to compete with men in terms of how much they earn and yet I wouldn’t want to depend on someone for every penny that I wish to spend.

One of the best things that happened to me this year (the bestest of the things is still to come up!) was discovering that there was a job that offered all of those! One of my friends had already been teaching in our coaching classes (the same place where we were coached for our CA exams) and he mentioned something about a teacher required for Math. Now I love Math! I had done a little bit of teaching before so I thought why not give it a try.

I spoke to Ma’am who was really happy about me wanting to teach. So I started teaching in mid-July and ironically, since then I have taught Accounts, Costing and Financial Management; but I haven’t taught Math!!!! Yes… it’s true… That doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed it, because I have.

I still remember my first day in class. It was seven thirty in the morning and I, who was used to going to bed at 6 AM for the last six months or so, had a hard time waking up. I was up nonetheless, and a little drowsy, but I still managed to talk sense; and once I started talking the words just kept flowing. It was as if I had been doing this all along! It was amazing how it felt so easy and effortless (and the students understood as well of course :P)

So yes, now I have a job where I work a maximum of five hours a day and it pays well. Also, I get to do the two things I love the most! Talking and writing on the board with chalk!!! :D :D

The second half and a second chance...
After the results, I realized what I had done wrong the first time and geared up for my second attempt fully realizing that the wrong attitude would plainly do more harm than good for me. So very optimistically, I started planning yet again and tried to start studying (and I was still teaching as well) knowing fully well that I had just two months and a few days before the exams as opposed to the three and a half months that everyone generally gets for their second attempt (our May exams were postponed to June, so the results were delayed by a month.. but the November exams were to be held on schedule).

But there I was again, with an awesome plan which if followed properly, would guarantee results and I couldn’t study more than twenty pages in a day! Somehow I managed to do a little bit and leave it up to fate and only time will tell how I have fared. It’s safe to say, that I had a second chance that I could have utilized well, but I didn’t.

The Big Fight...
After my exams got over in June, though the first three weeks were good, something went wrong somewhere which resulted in a huge misunderstanding that almost broke me emotionally once again. After years of wondering where our friendship/ undefined relationship stood, I was once again at crossroads beginning to question the very foundation of my friendship with and my feelings for this one person. I had thought that somewhere in April we had reached some sort of agreement (if not conclusion) as to where we both stood in each others’ lives and I was confident that given time, it would only result in something better.

But the number of frustrating experiences that both of us were going through in our lives managed to create such a chaos in his mind, that he preferred to deal with it on his own, in his own way which has proved to be utterly useless in the past and it did more damage to our friendship/ undefined relationship than anything else ever did. But as always, I was confident that there was nothing that the both of us couldn’t get past. We have had huge fights and misunderstandings before and were able to forget all that and still be best friends. So why couldn’t we get past this? Why was I feeling that this time it was bigger than all those fights put together?? Especially when neither of us had said a word to the other…

THAT was the whole problem! We hadn’t spoken to each other for about a month and the fact that it didn’t bother him bothered me to an extent I can’t even begin to explain. How can you go from being best friends one day (which means talking to each other EVERYDAY) to not talking at all without any specific reason?? And then not even missing it?? We had suddenly stopped having telephone conversations and I didn’t know why!! Things got worse after the results where he chose to drown himself in his troubles like I had almost done in the beginning of the year.

A week after the results we met with our group of friends where I made it very clear to him that I was not the least bit interested that he was there. I didn’t acknowledge his presence there except for saying ‘hi’ when he got there and a ‘bye’ before I left. This weird attitude from me - someone who used to pamper him to no end and put him before everyone else; bothered him and it led to an exchange of almost 25 text messages, at the end of which we decided that we needed to talk to clear the air and it couldn’t be done over SMS. Of course when we did talk it was a very weird conversation since we hadn’t spoken for almost two months then (it was as if we had forgotten how to talk to each other) and we spoke about everything other than what we wanted to talk about. He said he would call later and he never did.

After waiting for about two days after he said he’d call me, I wrote him an e-mail. An e-mail which I regret that I ever wrote; which if God would have decided to punish me, would have resulted in the destruction of our friendship that was barely holding itself together after all the mess we had gotten ourselves into over the last thirteen years. I have never ever written another e-mail like this to someone who has been so so dear to me. On second thoughts, I guess that’s why the letter was so painful. Because I was hurt once again beyond what I could handle and the only way to let go of the pain and anguish was to let it out. I said things that I knew I would never be able to say to his face and in a way that he (and even I) never dreamt I would.

The ‘e-mail incident’ I thought was the last straw and that effectively eliminated whatever tini-tiny scope of reconciliation was left and I had prepared myself to lead a life with him not even being present in it as a friend. It was hard, but somehow I managed. And one morning, out of nowhere I came up with a post (that melted his heart when I read it to him later…) that surprised even me; and I realized that if I could never get him out of my head, getting him out of my heart was out of question!

Then October came and the pressure of exams was at its peak again. We meet at Amit’s sister’s wedding in the last week of October and exchanged pleasantries. We spoke as a part of the same conversation but not directly to each other and by the time we said our bye-byes, we both wished we could have talked just a little bit more.

I came back home after attending the wedding and started preparing for exams which were to begin in about 10 days. After our first paper, I found out from Jyothi that he wasn’t too happy about the exam. In fact, he was very upset and I decided to forget everything else and give him a call. I hadn’t directly spoken to him in months and didn’t know what I would say even if I did call him, but I knew once we started talking it would be easy.

We did talk; about general stuff. I told him not to worry and some other stuff that I don’t remember all that well. But all I remember is that, as always, it was easy to talk to him; and even though the conversation lasted just about ten minutes and we didn’t talk much, I felt a lot better and maybe somewhere he did too.

During the next few days, we exchanged a lot of text messages and spoke after every exam and the bond was rejuvenated. A few days later (still during the exams) we spoke about what created the problem earlier, the letter and how upset he felt when he read it, why I did write it in the first place and everything else that we needed to know about the last three months. And in those eight days, we created a bond which (knocking on wood) is going to last forever. I guess being deprived of his presence in my life for about four months was the price I had to pay to have him in my life forever. It was totally worth it!!!! :D :D

A few more surprises...
December brought in two more surprises in the form of Omkar coming to India; which was totally unexpected because he had been saying that he wouldn’t be able to make it this year because of his assignments, etc; and Jay who also came to India a few weeks earlier than he had told everyone he’d come.

So with 9 of us being present here at the same time, we planned an awesome three day weekend trip to Daman and Silvassa (it’ll be up on the blog with details soon enough!) and had a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration (also coming up soon).

All's well that ends well...
So since that Friday the 13th in November, life has been treating me pretty well (except for the bike accident) and I have no complaints whatsoever. I have been teaching again after my month and a half long break during October-November and have been enjoying it fully. But I have not been able to devote much time to my blog (and my writing). So in the New Year, I have no specific resolutions, except that even with the busiest schedules I won’t compromise on giving time for two of the most important things for me; my beau and my blog!!! :D :D

Happy New Year folks! May 2010 rock more than 2009 or any other year ever did! Cheers!

- Nikita.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Niki!!

    The Blog is very well written. Thanks for everything. And for one last time, I am sorry for what happened in the past. I hope we remain like this forever.  :) .

     - Sandeep