Like game changing politics, balance of power and the theory of games, a year is a time in the life of a country, society or individual where things changes swiftly. 2013 'was' one such year where I faced flak, disappointment, defeat, unexpected twists, small victories, financial crunch and what's not. The year that soon going to be history was an eventful one where I had struggled to find a feet for my own self, stayed at home more-six months-than I worked. There were the ups and downs. Every dark cloud has its silver linings as I am focusing on the bad, good and degree of awesomeness. It's just that it was a year where things fell out of place, every initiative that I took fell flat on my face and failed miserably. But, the ups was that I made so many wonderful friends on the blogging space, connecting with so many on social networking platforms, reviewed a book for a friend, wrote column for a Yemen based newspaper on India's Republic Day, participated as a guest blogger, was introduced to the amazing writing platform called writetribe.com and, as the year is ending, I have written a piece on Nirbhaya for the women special issue for the Indian magazine in Dubai, The Indian Trumpet. So, I guess the year is ending on the right note. Nevertheless, I must admit that I was deprived of a hat trick in 2013 after two wonderful and super awesome years, 2011 and 2012. I was deprived of my holidays, was out of work and disappointment loomed large as I made a pale figure. 2013 was certainly not for me as I fell short of expectations. I shall focus on the high and lows of the year 2013. I so wanna the year to get over.
1. Crashing of dream
It was the biggest blow I was dealt with as my boss informed on the phone that the company decided to close our newspaper. My world crashed and I felt that a dream spanning over almost three years came to an end. It was not just a job for me but a dream and unwavering faith in a good product as there was the feeling that we owned the product. It was our product and not just a job. Some dreams were not meant to be but there was a sense of satisfaction since the editorial team, journalists and our chief editor did a fab job. It's just that some people at the top didn't realize the management failure. I was shifted to another department but choose to live on basis of principles and the fact that I will not grow as a professional.
2. Financial woes
Job hai toh honey hai! It sounds true and one thing led to the other as the financial woes came back to haunt my very existence. I have a pending loan, Easy Money Installment on a super expensive handset and Ipad as well as a mounting credit card that I wasn't able to settle. I was hounded by the debtors with the constant nagging on phone and, at some point, mom stepped in to help me to a certain extent. Thankfully, I got a temporary job in October which I am doing to sort out the financial mess and some of the debts are still on my trail. But, I am on my way.
3. Fighting against the self
The six months I stayed at home was the most difficult and trying times of my life in 2013 where absolutely nothing was going right. I was fighting with myself where every endeavor met with failure. I felt that I was a failure and the world was no longer was my oyster. There have been instances in the past where I was out of job for a period of three months but I held my might where nothing affected me. But, not this time. I crumbled and my moral was sapped. I was no longer this strong guy who would surmount all possible obstacles that came on my way. I didn't know which door to knock and, if it hadn't been for my close friends, mom and online friends on blog and Facebook whom I never met, I would have suffered a break down. I love you my online friends.
As a journalist, I love doing interviews and the feature interviews of Asseem Chauhan vice chancellor of Amity University and Indie Pop Singer Shibani Kashyap ensured that I was on a roll. Certainly, both interviews ensured that I was on a roll and rocked like a King. I called myself, 'The King of Interviews' and my work made me proud of who I am. I worked hard for that.
2. Writing is thy world
Blogging has never been that fulfilling for me and Corinne Rodrigues 'Write Tribe' made sure that I got a platform as a writer where my skills and blog got so much praise. I also reached out to several blogs as part of the writing festivals and prompts which I enjoyed reading. I connected with so many bloggers acr0ss the world and learned so much. My blogs gained recognition and the shouts on my wordpress is testimony to that. It's such an 'ahaa' feeling.
Through the blog and Facebook, I made so many great and super awesome friends, so many of you whom I never met are on my FB and Google chat, we chat regularly and today, we are the best of friends. We not only connected with each other but strengthened our bond of friendships. Today, I vouch that I value my online friends more than the people I know personally and blood relations, for that matter. You guys are my support system and I am happy we met. You gals and guyz made the sweet moments in 2013 truly memorable.
4. Blog Awards
I got so many blog awards from you guys and Soumya nominated me first, Tazein gave me quite a bunch of awards, Megha joined the list and so many of you guys. I rocked on the blogging space and there are some awards that I am yet to accept. It's been great so far.
5. Recognition as a writer
As a writer and journalist, a friend and chief editor of Yemen Times, Fakhri Al Arashi whom I met in the IORARC now IORA conference in Gurgaon asked me to do a guest column for India's Republic Day. It set the pace for many more things as I did a review of the wonderful book of my very dear friend, Soumya Vilekar and Shaheen Dhanji 'Suroor of the Soul' which is an amazing book of poems. The review can be found here on http://suroorofthesoul.weebly.com/book-review.html. I also did a guest blog for http://thewhitescape.wordpress.com. Finally, my dear friend Garima Srivastav Nag who runs sweet sharing requested me to pen something on 'Is Bollywood Corrupting Young Minds?' and my take can be found here, http://www.sweetsharing.com/passing-buck-movies-answer.
6. Freelancing and blowing the trumpet louder and louder
Finally, I am a freelance for the Indian based magazine in Dubai, theindiantrumpet.com which is all about India. I am very proud to be part of the mag and proud to announce that my piece on the Nirbhaya rape case has gone live today. It's the best moment of the year on December 29 and not bad, na, to end the year on a high note, isn't it?! It is a matter of pride to be tooting happily and blowing the trumpet.
Life is made of ups and downs. If, on one hand, I suffered unexpected setback both professionally and personally, on the other hand, 2013 had much offer in terms of friendship and life as a blogger. Yeah, the blog now has a Facebook page. There has been plenty of awards, recognition and I can look forward to an exciting 2014 where I am looking to explore new horizons and discover my self as a person.
Wishing all of you a very belated Merry X-Mas and Happy New Year 2014. I wish to take our relations to a new high, cement our bond and plenty of happiness, health and wealth.