Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye, 2013. Hello, 2014!

2013 comes to an end, and boy, what an eventful and interesting year it has been!
This year, I witnessed plenty of happy moments, exciting occasions and downright sucky times. Here's a random list of the most important events that occurred this year for me:

1. Partnered with a good friend to set up a food based business that was bound to work.

2. Shut the whole plan down after investing 4 months into it to finally figure out that it wouldn't work at this point of time, not with the finances that we had.

3. Went for the last 'army' holiday with the family to Manali, Kasauli, Shimla and Chandigarh.

4. Won the Subway Global Challenge - was one of the 5 winners from around the world, and seriously, this is the first time that I've ever won anything on such a large scale.

5. Dad retired after serving in the army for 34 years. Got a cake for him that looked repulsive, but he didn't care. He was completely gutted about retiring though, all of us were. Being in the army life made all of us who we were.

6. Lost my hale and hearty grandmother the day she left Bangalore. She was staying at our house for the past year and was the one who was most excited about my win. One of the nicest women I knew, she commanded a lot of respect from everyone in her city and society. The oldest of 9 siblings, she worked 5 jobs (first woman to work from her family) in the 1950s, to feed her entire family and educate all her nephews and nieces. 25 years later, she became the Headmistress of a school that always had a male Headmaster. She eventually became a speaker of women's rights in her town until my grandfather passed away. The past year with her was lovely and my only regret was that I missed out on spending time with her all these years.

7. Went to the U.S. for the very first time for the Subway win and travelled internationally by myself for the first time as well. It was one of my best trips ever. I met a lot of fantastic people, and learnt so much more than I could have ever imagined. The entire experience was very enriching and I was grateful that I was picked as one of the winners.

8. Met a close friend after 7 whole years. It was almost unreal, because she moved to the U.S. and her chances of returning to India were slim. I never knew when I was going to see her again, and I did this time. We spent only 2 days together, but it's like nothing ever changed. We simply picked up where we left off. We were still the same, just that we had a lot more to talk about.

9. Watched one of my best friends get married, and soon realized that marriage was all that my friend circle was discussing lately.

10. One of my best friends had a baby girl, and I became her godmother. Also, here's a fun statistic: 14 of my friends got married this year; 9 are now pregnant.

11. My work as a freelancer was expanding and more clients started to come in.

12. Moved after living in the apartments at MG Road for 13 years. That's more than half my life.

13. Collaborated with a friend who set up his company and handed one part of his business. This allowed me the independence and flexibility in my work, yet get a fixed salary and company protection in case clients don't pay up (as has happened with me before).

14. Wrote a blog about how Shahrukh Khan blatantly plagiarized from an earlier speech by J.K. Rowling. Got attacked, received threats, lost my mind, ended up having a nervous breakdown. Ended up in the news and 'went viral' for all the wrong reasons. Went underground for a while till the chaos passed.

15. Landed my biggest client yet, an international one. Expanded my work, worked endlessly, worked hard. Amazing experience so far.

16. Ended the year today with closing another big client and have clients give me excellent feedback on my work so far, and that they're looking to continue working for the next year as well.

It's been an interesting and a highly eventful year. Here's hoping that 2014 surprises me much more.

That's 3 generations of women in one picture. One of the last photos we took with my grandma.
She's in a better place and watches over us everyday.