Jan 1, 2013

2012 - The Year That Was

Year 2012 turned out to be quite an eventful one. 

Began the year with helping my parents move to the same apartment complex where I stay. April brought with it a trip to parts of North India - Jim Corbet National Park, Haridwar and Agra. 

Spent close to two weeks in June in the USA crewing for Race Across America (RAAM) team - The Beefeaters. Though I wanted to blog in detail about the experience, the fact that I was awake for over 22 hours each day of the 7 day race and I did not bother to take brief notes during the period, I did not remember enough at the end of the race to write about it. All that I had were the pictures and memories of the time spent with the new friends. 

August saw me traveling to London for a couple of weeks. This was my second trip and traveling alone this time let me enjoy the city more than I had on the previous trip with 3 colleagues. Arrived on a Saturday night just a day before the closing of London Olympics 2012. Was fortunate to stay at the Tower Hotel right next to the Tower Bridge which allowed me to catch some of the Olympics spirit by seeing the Marathon runners in person. 

Attended the Startup Weekend in September - while I had no spectacular idea, just being part of the event helped kindle the entrepreneurial spirit. September brought more cheer and rejuvenation as I got my large public speaking opportunity when I spoke at Google DevFest. The talk was very well received and made me think 'I need to do more of this'. 

October to December has been a whirlwind of tech conferences - Mobile Developers Conference, SpringOne, DroidCon & AWS Summit. Participated in quite a few Cloudspokes challenges - won few :-) Also developing a registration and checking software for Oxfam Trailwalker event. 

On the family front, wife (Shobha) started focusing on her one passion - art and has been making wonderful progress. Check out some of the work here. Elder daughter (Sanjana) started blogging - amazed at some of the wonderful pictures she has taken and the quality of her writing. Check out some of her work here.The surprise package has been the younger one (Ananya). While being the wild one and with the least attention span, she continues to amaze us with some very thoughtful gestures, her learning ability when she wants to and her shy creative side - she made this awesome iPad video reviewing one of the Geronimo Stilton's book which we were all amazed to see. Parents are happy to be living close to us and that makes us happy as well. 

A great year meeting friends from school, college and ex colleagues. Few which come to mind: Two days spent with Ashu in New Jersey when he would go to work and I would stay back at home and go out shopping in his car - Harsha quipped 'not much has changed - you were using his bike in college, now his car :-)', meeting Harsha's family in New Jersey and a teeny-weeny Aditi greeting me with 'Hello Shashi', road trip to Mysore with Varma and Deepak and meeting Charlie, Varuna, Shashidhar T.S. and Meena, running into Maiya and family at Pascucci on a Friday evening, meeting my school friend Meenakshi for lunch on a Friday afternoon in Bangalore - literally after 23-25 years, catching up with Sanjay and Himanshu for drinks in Ghaziabad, catching up with Alka and family at Gurgaon on the way to Delhi airport, few hours spent with Ashu's family at Charlie's place, meeting Madhu, Charlie and Deepak for lunch (and not being able to meet Madhu again before he left for US), lunch with Sharwari on a rainy Bangalore Friday afternoon at a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant. 

Highlights: RAAM crewing, email from my Wipro colleague (Indu) saying how I was a positive influence on her and she had spoken about me in one of the management trainings she had attended. 

Regrets: Weight gain as I did very less cycling - only around 1100 Km as compared to 5000+ & 7000+ Km during the previous two years. Quite a forgettable year at office - both on relationships and work front. 

Some wishes for 2013

Wish you all a very Happy New Year - 2013. May the year bring with it your share of joy, happiness, opportunities, challenges and the strength & resolve to deal with them. Be different, be adventurous and above all have fun. 

Now this should leave you with a smile. Was fooling around with daughters' earrings and turns out both my ear piercings from childhood are still open - check out the pic below.