Today’s newsletter was actually meant to be two separate issues that merged into one as: A) I overwhelmed myself with what I wanted to write and took too long and B) this new year mood will come to pass very soon, and everyone will know that everything is the same old same old.
2021 was a big year for me. Some landmark events happened in life. Here’s me looking back on them, without craning my neck too much—
For starters, I finally started writing online. The first time I ever thought about starting a blog was sometime in 2010. After dilly-dallying for over a decade, I finally started my blog
and this weekly newsletter called Sunday Slant
in 2021. Although I was overambitious and wanted to write every day for all of 2021, I averaged at one post in two days and finally stopped after six months. However, I continue to send this newsletter every week. When I started writing a year ago, I didn’t know if I could write even. I’m happy to have discovered that I can, whether it is any good or not is for the blessed reader to judge. Please… judge me.
I also started posting videos to YouTube, something I had been wanting to do since 2012. Again, it only took me some nine odd years to actually start. I’ve put out 7 cover songs. Although not very impressive, those are seven videos I hadn’t posted in the previous years. A start nonetheless. (Look at me keeping a count. Ewe.)
My father survived a heart-attack
and fully recovered. (Sorry I sprang that on you.) I sat in an ambulance beside his stretcher, watching over him, transfixed, while blood thinners kept his heart and my mind under control. It was the longest two hours of my life. All I was hoping for was that he makes it through the ride. Not only did he make it through the ambulance ride but also made it back onto his cycle and his routine life. I cannot be more grateful.
It often makes me think of this quote:
A healthy person has a thousand wishes, but a sick person has only one. - Anyone but sadhguru.
No one in my family got infected by Covid. We were very lucky. We could completely isolate ourselves during the Delta-wave
. In 2021, this was probably the highest form of privilege in India.
I reunited with my girlfriend after being separated for over a year due to Covid. It was a difficult period for us. India had a very long ban on US tourists and then US banned flights from India. She being an American and me being an Indian, we made an elaborate plan to meet in the only country that would let us both in—Mexico. We felt victorious.
In a strange twist of events, during the end of our stay there, my girlfriend contracted Zika
—a disease that shares every symptom with Covid-19. We ran pillar to post in Mexico city, using gestures to communicate with hospital staff/nurses/path labs—no one spoke any English, we spoke no Spanish—while seeking treatment. We made it through the drama, entered the US safely and my girlfriend fully recovered.
Did I already mention Mexico? And Oaxaca?! It feels like the start of a life-long romance! Zipolite and Mazunte were a fantastic vibe. We stayed there for a month. Also, I snorkeled for the first time
ever in blue pacific water at Huatulco. What a trip. What a trip.
Of the three times I’ve come to the US, this has been my favourite. I feel a lot more comfortable here now. I understand the culture a lot better and have grown fond of the people. People not poking their nose into your business is probably my favourite thing about America. Although as an Indian, some things can feel cold and distant, but I’d take ‘cold and distant’ over “You girlfriend is Christians ah?!… You are unmarried and sleep in same bed?!… How much salary??… Own house or rented? Weeeeee don’t put garlic in saaru.”
I met some of the most warm and welcoming people half-way across the globe; my wife’s friends, her coworkers, her family and other beautiful people in her life. I am aware that I have been in a very protected, open-minded circle. I am yet to visit a dive bar in Middle America and get stared at, like it happens to my wife when we wander “too far” away in suburban Mumbai.
Lastly, I tied the knot, took the plunge, walked down the aisle, got hitched, said “I doth”. I got married
to my lovely girlfriend in a beautiful setting. If everything else wasn’t landmark-y
enough, this alone makes 2021 very special… at least, for now. (Why do I hear older couples sniggering at the back? Hello?… excuse me!)
2021 was very good to me. It will probably be one of the most significant years of my life.