I woke up this morning to realize that it’s been 562 days since I last logged into this site and wrote something. It dawned on me when I was brushing my teeth, swaying half-asleep in front of the bathroom mirror. I don’t know why it did; it was one of those strange, disconnected thoughts one has after waking up from a troubled sleep that lasts less than five hours.
I’d just seen Negan beat the shit out of Glenn and Abraham the previous night (or to be precise, very early this morning), and those images stuck with me as I had tried to sleep. Somewhere in the walker-muddled mini nightmares that kept me tossing and turning, a tiny neuron sparked to life in the dark recesses of my brain and told me that I hadn’t written a blog post in quite a long time. Through my morning alarm and the obligatory emptying of a laden bladder, and halfway through brushing my teeth, my groggy brain managed to do the math and arrive at an accurate number of days since I’d last written something here. Google and a calculator confirmed the math to be accurate.
It’s been an eventful 562 days, to understate it. With most of these days being spent under the dark cloud of my little brother’s death, there were a few moments that made me want to continue running in this veritable rat race. I drew my strength from a lot of quarters – people and places special to me helped me untangle myself from the quagmires of bad memories I frequently wandered into.
My wife, who’s been an absolute rock beside me through all my cathartic misdemeanors, finally found her calling in documenting the world. Her photographs are now being exhibited internationally – a journey that’s taken its toll on her, both mentally and physically. A broken nose and a fractured hand bear witness to her fights with destiny.
My parents have shown remarkable feats of strength to pull themselves out of the despair that only comes with losing a child. The coffers of hope and optimism are slowly being filled again.
With a couple of days to go for this year to end, I wonder what lies in store for us in the new year. If anything, the past 562 days have taught me three things that I’d like to leave you with, in the hope that your 2018 be a bit better than your 2017.
It’s never too late to mend bridges. Go on, pick up that phone and talk to your parents. Your siblings. Your grandparents. That friend you haven’t spoken to in over 562 days. Mend those bridges because you won’t be able to live with yourself when it’s too late.
That thing you’ve been wanting to do forever, but haven’t found the time, money, or the courage to – do it. Do it today. Take that vacation you’ve always wanted to. Tie that bungee cord around your ankles and leap off the bridge. Take that risk you’ve always wanted to. You won’t find a better time to do it than right now.
Believe in your ability to pursue happiness. That’s what we all want, right? Peace of mind and happiness – those little specks of light at the end of the tunnel. It’s why you’re working a 9-5 job. It’s why you’re saving up. It’s why you have a cheat meal every week. Those lights aren’t too far away. Believe in your ability to pursue them.
Here’s hoping that it won’t take me another year-and-a-half to come back here and write something. Oh, and wish you a fantastic year ahead. May your dreams come true and your nightmares stop.
There were quite some sights to behold last night:
1. Mom, who prides on being a teetotaler and frowns when I even think of alcohol, nursing a mug of chilled beer and ‘Cheers’ing everyone in the room!
2. The great-grandmom of the family dancing to Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation”!
3. Uncles and aunties enacting skits and acting like kids!
4. Overflowing beer!
5. Four people trying to force open the cork of a wine bottle, without a cork-opener, and managing to break the cork into tiny pieces that fell into the wine!
6. Turning around in circles with a confused look because I was drunk and I couldn’t find the bottle of scotch!
7. Calling up friends and singing Nickelback songs while standing in the middle of the road!
8. Scrambling for money to fulfill the last-minute orders for booze in the packed wine store!
… and other memorable sweet nothings marked the end of 2008 and brought in the new year with much anticipated revelry, fireworks and a collected sigh of relief. It was something that everyone needed, I guess – a break. It was a fantastic start to the new year when I closed my eyes at 2 in the morning, drunk, expecting a major hangover and with a contented sigh on my lips.
Once upon a time (2 days ago) Apar had asked me for my resolutions and I had deftly deferred (adamantly refused) the issue until the year actually begins. Now that it has, I can avoid it no more. Through my hungover haze, I thought about it and realized that there are quite a few things that I’d want to do this year – resolutions and wishes – and I made a rudimentary list. I began prioritizing them all, and here’s the final result:
I want to smile more this year, irrespective of the situation. I want to be able to convince myself that punching myself in the face while asleep is not worth losing a smile.
I want to make sure that I think seriously about making a resolution to consider the possibility of a faint chance of quitting smoking.
I want to get the two books in the pipeline out this year, come what may.
I wish this year has some surprises in store for me, because all 2008 had to offer was one heartbreak after another.
In the same vein, I hope to find true love, clichéd as it may sound. I’m tired of one-off dates and two-week affairs and one-month ‘girlfriends’. Sigh!
I want to go to France.
I want to succeed in organizing an All India Bloggers’ Meet in Gokarna this year – it started out as a South India Bloggers’ Meet, but I decided that Gokarna is too beautiful a place to make anyone jealous!
I want to feel like God – I want to buy an Avenger!
I wish I can convince myself to start working out again – running for 40 minutes a day isn’t enough. I want to pump iron again!
I wish I could sleep for 16 hours a day and laze around in bed for the other 8.
I’m going to booze more often and get drunk less often.
I wish I could wish for more wishes.
I wish I could make others feel better.
I wish people can live in peace without having to kill for it.
I wish I could make at least one person happy per day.
I wish I can grow a year old and look back at myself with pride for having accomplished at least one of the above.
Have a great year everyone! It’s been one hell of a journey, isn’t it? 😀