In so many ways, an year like none before. We'd breezed through the 1971 war, Emergency, the assassination of two Prime Ministers, terrorism, communal riots, communism-socialism, liberalisation, technology disruption, even getting a hang of these mobile phones and their seemingly insidious ways, but nothing prepared us for the COVID 19 pandemic. It was a crazy experience to be locked down and live under war like situations, thanking ourselves for the comforts we have while so many struggled in the uncertainty, many more died of loneliness, grief, boredom. We lost a few, gained a few.
|Ending 2020 on a high|
But come the end of the year 2020, and I look back and wonder at what I have done. And I realise that I did what I could and it turned out okay. So here's the snapshot.
The numbers first!
A fear of death for a few months
Books Read (62)
62 books, some superb ones like the Story of Philosophy, Bruce Lee's biography, I am That, Born to Run, Johnny Got his Gun, The Outsider, The Malevolent Republic, Change Anything, The Power of Full Engagement, The Four Agreements, The Untethered Soul, All the Light We Cannot See etc.
Movies Watched (201)
201 movies, and this is one list I am so proud of as I knocked off the classics one by one, Ray, Mrinal Sen, Shyam Bengal, Saaed Mirza, Bimal Roy, Godard, Kubrick, Chaplin, Yasujiro Ozu and so many more. Amazing experience and such a diverse view of the world.
Books - Nil
Got novel 'Osmania 1990' in some shape though not as happy with how the first draft turned out. But it's still work done and I am glad I could get 75000 words in. Now to polish it some more and make it readable.
Got novella 'Water Works' to some shape.
Got 12 cricket short stories into some shape.)
Book review of 'Breath of Gold'published in The Punch
Online Fantasy Sports - Quint
46 Canteen Fundas columns for the New Indian express
7 Life's Like That columns for The HANS India, sad that they had to stop it after two years, I miss the humour column
600 plus blogs which is the most I posted - thanks to the pandemic. I wrote a few new series like 'Lessons Others Taught Me', 'My Cricketing Insights' (Parag, Jaideep,
Salil Datar, Ramnarayan, Prashant Manjrekar, Eashwar, Mony), 'My Shelf' (on book collections by Sridhar, Satish, Raja, Anjali, Amar, Vinod), Guest Blogs, Interviews of Vijay Lokapally who retired this year from The Hindu..
Lit Events Attended (4)
- 'I'm Possible' by Hari Prasad where Hari made me read out a part
- 'Symphony of Drabbles' by Ruchi Ranjan, Ishika Ranjan about which I spoke at the launch
- Book event of Ranjani Rao and Jayanthi Sankar
- Times Lit Fest, Bengaluru
Panel Discussions/Moderated (2)
- Hyderabad Literary Festival where I got to meet Gideon Haigh and Stephen Alomes in a panel discussion that I moderated
- Vedam Jaishankar's book 'Courage, Conviction and Controversy' which we discussed in an online event
Events Attended (2)
- Annual Day function for Matrusri High School as Chief Guest
- Nrityam Dance Academy's Annual day, Suchismita's academy, where I met the wonderful Erica
- Dance program at Gudi Sambaralu, Shamshabad
- Spoke at events such as the ZPHS, Yellareddy, which was one of the best events ever in my life interacting with hundreds of boys
- 'Leadership in COVID Times' for Construction Specialities, an online event
- 'Leadership and Team Work' at MCRHRD, a lecture
- 'Leadership' at CISF, the first physical lecture after COVID
- 'On Writing' at Daksha School, an online event that was quite nice
- 'On Writing' at Amruthavarshini school, an online event that went well
- On 'Sports and Management' at VJIM, an online event and went well
- 'What's on Your Shelf?' at 41ers, a completely offbeat talk where I met young Taher Ali Baig
Taught Arts Management course online at the Department of Dance, University of Hyderabad. Disappointed that I could not teach them in the physical class
1 Six Month Coaching Stint that ended well
Went well- a cricketer who cracked it to next level.
Lost 10 Kilos - Got health into focus - one of my three OKRs and reduced 10 kilos (and put on some again) thanks to a 5 km walk everyday that slowly moved into a slow jog, and some serious intermittent fasting. Now I feel fitter and intend to continue the same.
450 kms jogged in the last 90 days at 5 kms a day starting from September 28, 2020
Experienced the fear of COVID, the grief of losing someone, care giving in COVID times. Lost my favorite cousin VV, my good friend Alagiri, my mother in law Nalini Nargundkar.
Got a routine going - early morning wake up at 5 am, meditation, journal work, writing work for 3-4 hours.
6 months of not seeing friends and family.
Visits to Beauty Green to play table tennis, jog etc
Visit Amar's Pensieve to see the stars at night
Drive to Pune
Visit to Mumbai
Visit to Simhagad
Visit to Magarpatta township.
People I Met
Gideon Haigh, Stephen Alomes, Vedam Jaishanker
Vijay Lokapally, V Ramnarayan, Parag Paigankar, Jaideep Pal, Salil Datar, Mony, KP Eashwar, Prashanth Manjrekar, Sridhar N, Amar Chegu, Satish Nargundkar, Raja Nargundkar, Anjali, Vinod Ekbote
Got Interviewed (3)
By Niveditha and Vanathi, Pavan Parimi, Medha.
A laptop by Vasu, a Cross pen by Radhakrishna, Books and Pens by Ranjani, Extender by Ramaraju, an executive chair by Ramaraju, shirt by Milind, T shirts by Ranjan, Books by Abhinay, Pallavi, Smitha...there's more
Signing off from Pune.