Looking Back at 2006

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A ree at sunset - Happy New year
Beginning of January is that part of the year when I look back and see what I wanted to do and what I actually ended up doing in the year gone by. Like every year and like most people I also started 2006 with lot of hope and list of goals to achieve. It turned out to be a mixed bag, some things did not happen as I wanted them to, for some things that I always wanted to do but did not know how to do, some doors started opening up.
Let me begin with my travel plans, I had set myself a goal to see a new country every year, which I could not achieve this year. I did live in Houston, Texas for about 25% of the year and explored Texas quite a bit. Houston is a hot and humid place, but I managed to do quite a few things like going to writer’s forums at Barnes & Noble, going for country dancing, watching baseball game, driving around, watching around 40 movies, and finally my San Antonio sojourn that opened a whole new world for me. I had never liked US as a country to live in, always thought that country is too mechanical to live, I still feel the same, but living in Houston did change my opinion about living in US. Yes, there were good and bad points, but overall living there was not as bad.
In India, I managed to go to Chandigarh after a gap of almost 8 years and found that the place have hardly changed both in its landscape and thought process. I had a nostalgic trip going back to my own campus, talking to the faculty and students there, followed by a visit to my school and meeting the old teachers. This trip gave me an opportunity to meet some childhood friends, relatives, neighbors and family friends and chat with them and listen to them. I felt an immense urge to do something for that place, wanted to shake up the people there and wake them up from their sleep. Tell them, there is world beyond government jobs and the boundaries of that city. They seem to be refusing to see beyond the boundaries of the city. Bhubaneswar, Konark and Puri are the other set of places that I had been wanting to go for a long time, and I finally managed to have a quick visit towards the end of the year. It was a nice experience, specially the Konark, where you can almost hear stones talking to you. Apart from this I made 5 trips to Mumbai, 3 trips to Hyderabad and 2 to Chennai, did not make any explicit trips to Delhi.
Read only about 14 books, which is half of what I read last year, and this was primarily because of two reasons. First, while I was in Houston, my whole focus was on watching movies and it was a good introduction for me into world cinema. Apart from English and Hindi, I watched Turkish, Iranian, Afghani and French cinema. Second was that I went through an extremely low phase for a long time during this year and during this time it was impossible for me to concentrate and read a book. Even now when I think of that phase, I am not sure how I managed to get out of it. I want to thank all those friends who stood by me and held me together. I wonder what I would be without the support you give me.
Blogging also took a back seat this year, my average postings went down to a single post in few months. I did hit a writer’s block a lot of times. The high point was when one of the Sify channels featured my post on ‘Bookstores in Bangalore’ on its main page and I had all time high hits on my blog.
Professionally, this was an absolutely uneventful year, nothing much happened, its almost status quo for me, apart from the huge appreciation that came from a customer, which even I find difficult to believe. But the end of year opened up some doors for my dreams, hope they take off in this year. This was also a year where I realized and reconciled that I would not be a part of the rat race and would do only those things that I enjoy, even if it means taking a hit financially and otherwise.
Looking back at 2006, the highest point of this year was discovering the new concepts in traveling like Couchsurfing and am enjoying meeting fellow explorers. Wish to continue this 2007 !

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