Monday, October 15, 2012

Jad Ki Muskan (The Root's Smile)


(This is one poem that i can never forget. First heard during my 11th grade, I've been wanting to translate it for long. It gives you just one lesson--humility--the more humble you are, the better the person. Please excuse my understanding of the poem (and also the transliteration of the original Hindi version), and if there are mistakes, do let them know in the comments section)


Jad Ki Muskan (The Root's Smile)

By Harivanshrai Bachchan
Translated by Nishath Nizar



Ek din tane ne bhi kaha tha
Jad? Jad to jad hi hai
Jivan se sada dari rahi hai
aur yahi hai uska sara itihas
ki zameen me muh gadaye padi rahi hai
Lekin mai zameen se upar utha,
bahar nikala, badha hu, majboot bana hu.
Esi se to tana hu.

One day the trunk had had also said-
Roots? Roots are but just roots
Forever cowering from life
And this is its history
That it shall forever hide itself in the earth.
But we, rose out of the ground
Grew and became strong
That is why they call me the trunk.

Ek din daalo ne bhi kaha tha -
Tana? kis baat par hai tana?
Jaha bithaal diya gaya tha,
wahin par hai bana.
Pragatisheel jagati me til bhar nahi dola hai
khaya hai, motaya hai, sehlaya chola
hai

One day the branches had spoken –
Trunk? Why be so boastful?
You stay just where you are
Not budging a space
In this ever changing world, what change have you brought?
You have eaten, fattened and relaxed all this while.

Lekin hum tane se futi,
Deesha Deesha me gayi,
upar uthi, neehe aayi,
har hawa ke liye dol bani, laharai.
Esi se to Daal kehlayin.

But we arose from the trunk
Spread far and wide
Went up, came down
Became a percussion for every wind that blew
This is why they call us the branch

Ek din pattiyo ne bhi kaha tha -
Daal? Daal me kya hai kamaal?
Mana wah jhoomi, jhuki, doli hai. Dhwanipradhan duniya me
ek shabd bhi wah kabhi boli hai?
Lekin hum har-har swar karti hai.. Murmur swar marm bhara bharti hai. Nutan har warsh hui,
Pathjhar me jhar,
Bahar phut phir chahartin hai..
Vithkit chitta panthi ka shap tap harti hai.

One day the leaves had also said—
Branches? What is so great about branches?
We understand that they swayed, bowed and danced. But in this ever changing world
Did they even speak a word?
But we, have spoken our mind
Our voice filled the world with such sweetness
Every season seems anew
Falling in autumn,
And with spring a new beginning
Adding life to an otherwise meaningless life

Ek din phoolo ne bhi kaha tha - Pattiyan? Pattiyon ne kya kiya?
Sankhya k bal par bas daalo ko chap diya.
Daalo ke bal par hi chal chapal rahi hai,
Hawao ke bal par hi machal rahi hai.
Lekin hum apne se khule, khile ,phule ,hai
Rang liye, Ras liye, parag liye, Bhramro ne aakar hamare gun gaye hai, hum par boraye hai.

One day the flowers had also said – Leaves? What have the leaves done?
Just because of their sheer numbers are they so visible
They survive only due to the branches
They sway only due to the winds
But we have bloomed on our own
We’ve brought colour, fragrance and pollen; even the beetles have praised us in their songs,
They have lived on us

Sab ki sun payi hai,
Jad Muskayi hai.

After listening to everyone
The root just smiled.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How We Were Taught Part 2

It might look like a nice outdoorsy summer retreat, but if you have sat in Mrs. Bharathi's class, you wouldn't think so


Leaving your old friends is never a good thing. I remember the first time I went to the Hill Top Public School, Puthiyara in Calicut. The year was 1998, and it was with my granddad, on his old Kinetic Honda scooter, going up the winding red-bricked road, around the tile factory with the long chimney towers on a rainy Monday morning. It was a modest school with a few building here and there, but more like a holiday home or farmhouse—well that is what the entrance atleast looked like (above) (it today houses more pucca buildings at least two-three stories high). I was not happy at all that i had moved in there. Firstly, I had to sit in a tempo van and then come to a place (whereas i used to walk to school back in Muscat, secondly, I knew nobody there, thirdly, i had to learn the Malayalam language, and finally, did I mention, not having friends? It is always difficult shifting schools, and so it was for me too. But the view from the top of the hill – priceless.

The two years I spent there, seemed to just whizz by, and not many long lasting friendships arose out of it. I am still in touch with a few of them, though. The teachers too, I can vaguely remember. But there was one teacher that who I would say was a reincarnation of one of those clich├ęd boarding-school-warden-english-teacher types. Her name was Mrs. Bharathi. Although the whole class would be at their mischievous best in other classes, her one session, commanded the attention of every student in the room. And surprisingly, it was in malluland, and the influence of this teacher that got me attracted to the English language. She was never the type that would unequivocally pour out marks for you during your quarterly, half yearly, final year or even the most trivial class tests. There was a standard she demanded. And if one could cope with that, you'd pass the subject. I think my understanding of the language increased by leaps and bounds, after learning from her. But back then, we were just plain scared of her. We would make sure we did her homework, even if it meant neglecting other subjects. She also used to be my elder brother’s class teacher. So any bad behaviour or not learning, it would reach my Mom's ears, via my brother. That was more than a decade back. When I met her almost 6-7 years later after her retirement, somewhere around 2005-06, she didn’t seem as intimidating like she did then, even remembering me (although it was my brother she knew better). We talked and reminisced and joked of her 'terror' days, and we laughed over it, telling us 'it was all for your own good'. But she was surprised that I had taken up a degree in functional English, of all the subjects out there—yes, I  never topped the subject of English, the two years I was there (nor any other subject). But proud of us all, she is today.

Other than Ms. Bharathi, I think I remember Mrs. Saira, who used to teach us Hindi, Mini miss, who used to be out PT teacher (we just had one basketball court and no other playing ground), and I sucked at it. It was also here that I got onto the religious side of affairs, as we would go for our dhuhr (afternoon) prayers in the makeshift mosque inside the school (well this was again new for me, because our school in Muscat began at 7 in the morning and ended by 1.30 p.m. Here, it began at 9.30 in the morning and ended close to around 4 in the evening, which was not to my liking at all). I don’t exactly remember the teacher who taught us, but he encouraged me to take part in an azan (calling of prayer) competition. And for the first time, after my second grade sports triumph, I actually won something in a school competition. That was my only moment of glory there. My grades dropped dramatically after moving here, but that had more to do with me, than the teachers. But thankfully, the nightmare lasted only two grades for me—fifth and sixth, because Dad brought us all back to our favourite city—Muscat—in the millennium year.

It was like being resurrected. And it was also about bringing back together a division, that has been close to my heart—F. And with the intermittent memory of Hill Top, I was on my way back to old friends, familiar grounds and the scorching heat of the Middle East.

On that note, I shall leave you lingering for my second stint at ISWK.

Friday, September 7, 2012

How We Were Taught, Part 1


Over the past few days, I have been privileged to read some of the most amazing anecdotes by students of their most incredible times in school or their fondness for one teacher or the other. Some in blogs, some picked up by media, some shared and some just stumbled upon. When I look back, I see that it is not just these few people who’ve had some unforgettable times in school. I believe each and everyone of us have a story or the other. I know what you must be thinking right now—uh oh! He is going to take us on his nostalgic trip once again. Well you don’t go wrong there—as I am going to do exactly that!

School for me were three beautiful establishments—the first being ISWK in Muscat, where I began, then HTTPS, Puthiyara in Calicut and finally MESRRS, Pavangad again in Calicut. I still remember vividly when my mom told me that I had to go to school, but before which I had to give an exam. My mom being herself had us gotten started at an early age, teaching us (my brother and me) alphabets and basic counting and giving the best teachers’ experience even before school began in reality for us. It needn’t be anything major, but you give her a book with question and answers and she would sit and hear you out after she asked a question, pointing out mistakes as we went on. And for her part she loved teaching us. She had sat down with each one of us three brothers’ education almost unto eighth grade. But it didn’t stop there; it is through her motivation that the three of us are into as diverse a field as we are in right now.

So coming back to kindergarten, I still remember heading to Muttrah (that was where our school was located, before moving it to the better building-ed Wadi Kabir location), sitting in a classroom full of little kids, each of them finishing up their own tests. After a couple of days I got my results and it turned out that I had done immensely well. But then my mom saw my paper, and she came up to me and showed me where I had gone wrong. There was a math counting exercise in the paper, where I had to write the number of objects that was in a row. Me trying to be a smartass, went on to count the box also in which I had to write the answer. Thereby, losing marks, but jumping to KGII instead of KGI. The first few years I have not much memory of. It seems to me now as if it was all too blurry and way too quick.

But I do remember my class teachers. There was one Mrs. Neethu ma’am who was our teacher in the first or third grade. Again, as I told earlier, too blurry, too quick. But I clearly remember our second grade teacher, Ms. Loraine Pinto. I have for one have been trying to locate her the past few years. But it’s a difficult situation for a teacher to recognize you after like 18 years—either you had to be freakishly talented or annoyingly mischievous. I was an in between student. But yes, Loraine ma’am if you are reading this, I hope this will be a memory refresher. She was a tall teacher, who used to come in these red and grey suits, had long nails which were always painted red, and used to be super fond of all her kids, me more so. I still remember one science exhibition day, she gave me a new red Pilot pen and asks me to finish off the ink in it. I just scribbled the hell out of that pen, and finished off the ink in it and gave it to ma’am. She looked at the pen and then looked at me, I knew I had done something wrong—in my frenzy I had gone on to break the nib of the pen. She had a good laugh and gave me another pen to finish off. She taught us everything—math, English, science, social studies, assignments where you had to stick pictures, colouring within the borders, and to me, my most fantastic sporting achievement ever in school life—winning the inter class sports competition, after losing out to the A division in every practise run. It was the annual sports day, and we had to take part in a team event, where eight of us would line up behind a race line, and one after the other would run to a distance and go and build and rebuild a pyramid made out of soda cans, placed at a table at a distance. Our class, the F division, which would become synonymous to becoming the average class with extraordinary people, was kind of pathetic at it—that is what one would say, when we went on to come in last in almost all the practice runs. The A division even received prizes during these unofficial races. But when it came to the real deal, we surprised even ourselves. We left our best and fastest runner, Aemon, for the last. Each of us, did our best, making and destroying the can-pyramids one after the other. When Aemon ran back after making the pyramid for one last time, we couldn’t believe our eyes- we had won! I clearly remember the excitement that ran through us, when we finished the race—still gives me goosebumps. Yes, primary school was that exciting for us, especially with teachers like Ms. Loraine Pinto.
Where memories began



Then in the fourth grade, I encountered the teacher I will not forget for the rest of my life—Ms. Charmaine Bell. She is to me, the best teacher there ever will be. I still remember her coming into the class, with her curly frizzy hair and big smile, while we rose in chorus - Good morning ma’am! It was she who inculcated in me the will to be capable of anything, the ability to excel and the importance of being a team player. In that one year in fourth grade, I learned so much, that I believe will remain in memory forever and hopefully will be passed on to my own kids. I remember one instance, when we had to do the class play. There was Warren Vaz (who is right now a chemical engineer, if I am not mistaken) and me who were vying for the role of the Prince in the fairy tale, Cinderella. And then there was the wordy role of the narrator. I really wanted the Prince’s role, but Charmaine ma’am was so sweet, that she convinced me to be the narrator, which had more importance and stage presence than any one else. And I had like pages and pages to learn before I could actually go on stage. With the help of my mom, I actually did learn all those lines, by heart. On the day of the play, everything went absolute smooth, and after I had said my last line, I walked backstage, and Charmaine ma’am, comes and grabs me and tells me I had been just plain wonderful, and plants a kiss on my cheek. I hastily rubbed off the lipstick mark on my cheek (as you would see any young boy do), but the pride I felt in me, when she told me what a wonderful job I had done, I don’t think any other instance with any other teacher could equate with that. The very lady moulded us even more going into the fifth standard. (I met up with her in 2010, along with Jonathan, and she is still the sweet frizzy haired lady with a smile that can make anyone's day)

And then in the fifth grade, there was the arrival of another teacher that greatly influenced me in the art of story telling. When he had come, he was a French teacher, and did teach French to the higher classes. But to us, or rather me, he will always remain our temporary-math-teacher-turned-permanent-math-teacher in fifth grade. We were struggling with a replacement for our math teacher. While Mr. Keerthi Kumar, the man forever in the white shirt, pants, shoes and even hair and beard was up for teaching us in a few years, fifth grade required someone less intimidating. So as we waited one fine day for out math teacher to show up, a thin, lanky young spectacled man walks into our classroom. We were like – aha another substitute, another free period, we are gonna have some free fun time. But then how Mr. Sivakumar got us hooked on for the next half hour is beyond comprehension. He started off by asking us to close the curtains in the classroom in the first place. After which he goes on to tell us one of the most genuinely scary stories of all times. The atmosphere created by him was absolutely electric. There was the chill in the air, there was the simplistic manner in which he actually transported us to the location – it was just pure magic. That was it, the next time Mr. Sivakumar came to our class, he was teaching us math, and from time to time, the brilliant scary stories. I have told that story now to an entire battalion of cousins over various trips to a number of places around the Middle East and back home in India, and even so do too to this day. His popularity was so immense that he was even invited over for birthday parties, where again he weaved his magical story telling ability. From being a substitute, to being a part time math teacher, to a full time favourite – you sir, are indeed an inspiration to this day. (Mr. Sivakumar went on to teach French to my other friends over the next few years).

But then it is not like other teachers didn't exist. There were others without whom we could not have made it through those young years, and I betcha my classmates who are reading this will remember, and hopefully one day all us kids and teachers can meet so that we can tell you from the bottom of our hearts, a big thank you!

We shall now take a small interval, since after the fifth grade, I too left ISWK for a couple of years, moving back to India. But that as we all know, folks, is for another post, another day and another time.

(Yes, I have restarted my shameless to-be-continued series of posts)
(But pliss be the kind and bear with me J)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From Then to Now




Three years to this day, I walked out of Terminal 1D with a large red and a small green bag, heading to the Puducherry house in Chanakyapuri. Who would have known it would be so long, so far, so good. From the green of the army cantonment to the dust and keechad of Batla House to the French window Malluland to the nomadish life to the settling in with the Christian family – it has been quite the search for the perfect home. From corresponding via ‘I just donno whaay’ to almost getting killed on Diwali to the crazy French parties to the stolen kisses in the corridors to the innumerable recording and shootings to the setting sun’s golden paint falling on the day to the travails of a writer across the country to the intense moments in foreign Indian locales – the friends and the lovers and the frenemies and the loathed and the everyone in between – the experience has been nothing short of unforgettable.

Year four. It won’t be long. Time for Frank Sinatra to take over:
“I can't stop lovin' you
So I've made up my mind
To live in memory
Of old lonesome times
I can't stop wantin' you
It's useless to say
So I'll just live my life
In dreams of yesterday
Those happy hours
That we once knew
Though long ago
Yeah they make me feel blue
They say that time
Heals a broken heart
But time has stood still
Since we've been apart
I can't stop lovin' you
Yes so I've made up my mind
To live in memory
Of old lonesome times
I can't stop wantin' you
It's so useless to say
So I'll just live my life
Live my life in dreams
Of yesterday.”

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Triangle Angled


It wasn’t just another day at school. She came up to me and told me that she wanted to be together with my best friend. I obliged and decided to pass on the message to my friend. But I was stopped midway by another gang of girls. They told me that one of their friends also liked my best friend. Now that is one big triangle.

An emergency meeting was called upon. I sat down with two other girls and decided on what should be the next course of action. The girls gave their defence – our friend has been in love with him since forever, but has not been able to tell him,  so I think it is fair by all means, that our friend gets to ask him out. But my friend is also in love with him, although not since forever. What do I go and tell her? The two girls had this view that my friend was just looking to pass time and not be serious about a relationship. I contemplated. I decided.

My best friend had by known that two girls have been waiting to ask him out. He wanted me to just get done with the suspense and tell him already. But I was being asked to delay the inevitable by the gang of girls.

The class got over. I asked my best friend to wait at the back bench. After what seemed like an eternity, she came and sat opposite him. Both very visibly shy.  (We watched all this through the grills of the window of our classroom from a distance). My best friend was waiting for her to say something, and she did. Hurriedly. And then she came running towards her gang of girls. I go in to assess the situation. My best friend tells me – I did not understand a word of what she said. I go out, get her back in and ask her to relax and have a conversation the other will be able to understand. She did. And then there were smiles all around.

Another couple, another happy beginning.

But here I had to break the bad news to somebody. So I went to my friend, and told her – But he is in love with somebody else.

While it was not true then, it is now.
And everyone has found who they were looking for.
Almost.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Joker Behind the Veil


(If not for Bianca, I'd not have got back to sketching.Thank you lady. And if not for Ledger, the Joker would not have been made immortal. Thank you Ledger.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Marine Drive Emergency



I had asked her out not once, not twice, but three times. All rejections. Reasons were as diverse as it will be weird at work, you are such a good friend, what we have is forever and even I don’t want to spoil what we already have.

I was head over heels for her. She kept disturbing my dreams. I barely slept. Once I awoke from what seemed like a nightmare – she was with somebody else. I told somebody about the dreams. But the only I response I got from that person – forget it, it ain’t gonna happen. But I didn’t.

It is true maybe that when a person isn’t in front of you is the time when you miss them the most.

Is it just plain stupid to keep wanting somebody, although they clearly do not want to pursue the relationship? I do not think so.

I landed in Mumbai. I gave her a call. She didn’t pick up. I got a message a while later from her. She was at Marine Drive. Alone. I was staying at my friends place at Marine Lines, which runs parallel to Marine Drive.

The level three heritage building creaked under my heavy steps. I was running. I got a shout out from my friend on the second floor – Best of luck. Did I need it? Majorly.

Chira Bazaar was still abuzz. I made it through the bustle of trucks being loaded and unloaded, as the winding roads took me towards the Marine Lines bridge. It barely had a footpath. But I ran towards where the Arabian Sea was beating the artificial rocks along the bay walk.

There she was sitting opposite to one of those Gymkhana grounds. I could notice her from this far across. She looked beautiful in her sweatshirt, track pants and sporty shoes, just looking at the setting sun. But she was sad. I ran.

I walked the last few steps. I didn’t say a word and sat next to her. She was surprised. But she smiled. Dusk had almost settled in. We didn’t say a word.

I let my fingers slide into hers. And she put her head on my shoulders.

The Arabian Sea splashed waves. The setting sun bought in darkness. But we sat together. Comfortable. We didn’t say a word.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sudoku




It was five in the evening. She hadn’t come to work that day. But I wanted to see her. I got down at the bus stop closest to her home. The long path was worth the walk. Carrying a box of cookies and the day’s newspaper supplementary, I made it towards H-42 in Highland Hills. I had to call to make sure she was there. She was. A lot of thoughts ran through my mind. Would I be able to tell her finally or would I again muster?

I climbed the flight of stairs to her home. A ring of the bell and there she stood in sporting shorts and a white tee. With a paintbrush in hand, she welcomed me in. She was painting. The canvas lay on the floor. She sat back on the cushion and asked me to get comfortable. I just sat there looking longingly at her. 

She painted layer by layer, while striking a conversation with me. The usual questions did the rounds – what happened at work, how is work and so on and so forth. I tell her I have something for her, and give her the cookie box. She is overjoyed. She loves my mom’s cookies. She stops painting and has a cookie immediately. I smile.

She notices the supplementary in my hand. She enquires as to why I am carrying it. I tell her that it is my new obsession to complete the Sudoku in the supplement on my way home in the metro. She thinks that’s nice. She has the widest of smiles. I look at her, hoping she doesn’t notice that I am secretly admiring her.

I go closer to inspect the artwork. But I know I am closer to her. She always smells good. I make some suggestions, which she thinks are good. We talk a bit more. She always has this fruity fragrance around her. I do not get too close to comfort. She might not like it. I keep my distance.

After a while, I decide to head out. I wanted to stay. But I tell her that I am leaving. She even asks me to stay back. But I falter. She herself gave me the excuse that my mom was home, and I should be getting back. I said yes to that. I must really be a fool.

She came to the door, but didn’t close it. She stood by the stair, and watched me walk out through the gate. Pleasantries were exchanged and promises made of meeting tomorrow. I wanted to tell her. But I kept walking.

I walked on the street, my hands free, my heart heavy. I knew I had missed my chance. I should have told her, while I had the chance. I could have walked back. But I didn’t. I realised something. I messaged her: I think I left something back at your place. She called me back to tell me that she could come and give me my Sudoku puzzle.

But who said it was the Sudoku?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Defy, Submit


(This is something i wrote in the blog of Akanksha's new venture Art on the Wall. Do check their site out, if you want a dash of colour to your room)

I lay in the middle of my room. Four walls. All looking at me blankly. Isn’t it this wall that is shielding me away from all the eyes outside? Isn’t it this wall, that lends you a feel of homeliness? But why blank? Why not my expression? Why not my movement? Why not my love? Why not anything that will liven up the gray of life. Sometimes we are just too involved in a lot of things that we forget that there can be a lot done with the most minimalistic of things.

Walls can be an expression of defiance; it can also be an expression of submission. The most striking wall that comes into our mind is that of the Berlin wall – it defied as well as submitted in the times of requirement and not. The Great Wall of China rises above marvels that pop out of the oil rich Middle East, to be one of the very few man made architecture that can be seen from space. Thus the wall defied again. Defy, submit, make a statement.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Of The Year That Passed


In the beginning of 2011, I was in a totally new place, among the tranquility of monks, the awkwardness of being a vegetarian and the acceptance (and later the getting back) of a story that wouldn’t work out. I know I am talking in codes and utter bullshit. But that was how 2011 started for me – in complete mystery. But from that mystery arose a year, that shall forever remain etched in my mind.

One of my major achievements that I conquered in the previous year was coming to terms to being in love with Delhi. My post graduation here the past two years, couldn’t make me love Delhi, than the time I left for other places. I came running back as soon as I realized it.

It is in 2011, that I became a post graduate, along with some of the most awesomest friends I will ever make. And the greatest thing to happen to your 20-odd classmates, is see them all be in really good positions across the country. I am proud to say that the batch I was with is wickedly talented and I hope to see them achieve more than what they ever dreamed to.

Also in 2011, was when I got my first, second and third job. Well technically speaking, my third job is my first job. I was first offered a job in Bangalore (my loathing for Bengaluru is quite out there in the open), with a clause that came into view only when I was in Mumbai. I didn’t take that up, after which they did one of the most childish thing that a real firm would never do – go complain to our institution director that I didn’t take up the job. Hilarious. Then I was home, rummaging through media websites and what not, sending resumes in the bulk to media and production houses alike. I got a call from a few, but in the end decided to go for one in Chennai – the Deccan Chronicle. And it was not good. The only big city I was not able to cope with till now is Chennai. I headed there, with hopes of being closer to home and easier adjustments than in Delhi, but it was just the opposite. The one week I worked for Chennai Chronicle, the tabloid piece that goes alongwith the main newspapers, made me realize, this was not what I was cut out to do. I left the job within a week. I missed my Delhi. I reached Delhi, to find that my old roommate was still there, but I had to move out of his place (read here). But in the two weeks he put up with me I was back to doing what I had done back at home in Calicut – send resumes by the dozen. But who would have known that it would be the social networking site of Twitter that would finally save my life. My friend Manoj re-tweeted Venkat Ananth’s tweet about an opening in Sports Illustrated India. When I contacted Venkat, he gave me a mail id where I could send a resume to. But the mail bounced back. But I didn’t back down. I searched the net, found the correct email id and the rest as they say is history. I got in, after a grilling session by the most awesomest boss I have had till now – Kadambari ma’am. But it was not just Kadambari ma’am, the entire team at SI, is absolutely fantastic. Each and every person is a character in themselves and the past five months has been a revelation for me. Hope this doesn’t end soon. This to me is a dream team to work with.

In 2011, I travelled. A lot. Starting off with Bylakuppe in the new year, I actually came back to the place during the end of the year. In between I was all around the place – Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Mysore, Kochi, Kannur, Mahe, Calicut and so many more. It has just made me realize that this is the love that I’ve been looking for. Traveling makes me happy. It brings to me the variety of culture and stories, that I would never get sitting on a chair staring in front of the computer. I hope 2012 has more to offer.

In 2011, I understood the true love actually triumphs. It started off with the wedding of my brother and bhabhi. I still am to know their love story, because it obviously has to be a love story. Maybe in 2012, I will get to know. Then there was the surprise package of Faris and Lanisa, college sweethearts, who tied the knot in a ceremony that was attended by the most number of our friends. Another love story of 8 years, came to fulfilment at the end of the year, making me understand that perseverance is the key to achievement. Congos to Nahla and Wasseem for that. Even after years of defiance and rejection, they held on to each other, and finally the two families agreed. And then there is Fathima Ali, one of my bestest buddies (who incidentally didn’t come to see off at the station) got married this year to the most awesomest guy she could ever find (no Basri, I ain’t gay). And to those who have best friends who are about to get married – never piss the bride and groom off on their first night.  But I hope 2012 brings more love stories to life, and I wish this would be the year I could begin telling my kids 20 years down the line, about ‘How I met their mother’ ;)

In 2011, I have realized that failures only makes one tougher. I’ve had my share of failures. But each failure has taught me something new, and a person who has never failed, has literally learned nothing at all.

I guess to sum up 2011, would be a difficult deal, but it was beautiful while it lasted. Here’s to wishing 2012 be much more than what 2011 ever was. Cheers and always keep smiling people!