“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years’.” — Henry Moore
2014 is the first year in ages where I can’t remember being shaped by a significant event – a country move, film assignment or completion of a major project. It was instead a year of gathering courage.
More often than I’d like, I found myself muttering the priceless words of Dorothy Parker: “What fresh hell is this?” I did, however, note a few things that I trust will help in the coming year:
• The more righteous I feel, the more wrong I (usually) am.
• When in doubt, keep looking.
• Alternatively: when in doubt, make a list.
• It’s better to explain to people why I’m upset, instead of getting all passive aggressive.
• When I’m clear, a flight path lights up ahead. When I’m vague (“open to options”), almost nothing does.
• Life may be ticking along nicely but I’ll still find myself, apropos nothing, breaking down and weeping uncontrollably. I don’t yet have a solution for this.
• Despite valiant attempts to speak more Bangla now that I’m living in Bangladesh, there are some terms where the English wording is always preferred: job, baby, loose motion. I haven’t yet figured out why.
• The longer I go without having a boss, the less I ever want to have one again.
• I imagine men like women who are witty, engaging and clever. I fear men like women who just make their lives easy.
• Now I’m reacting to onions, I have become positively (if inadvertently) Jain in my eating habits. Yet another reason why spending time in India is a Good Idea.
• It’s easier to distract the mind than it is to ignore the body.
• The upheaval of travel is entirely justified by getting to spend time with my favourite people who are, typically, scattered around the world. I salute you, Skype, Whatsapp, etc – but there is no substitution for the real thing.
The most read posts of 2014 were:
Thank you to all who read the blog. From the start, I figured I just have to show up and do my bit, even if it’s scary and feels like I’m talking into a megaphone while I’m the only one around for miles.
So it is deeply touching when you reach out. I am profoundly moved by every connection I make both in the virtual and the real world. You are beautiful people! May our friendships grow in the coming year.
I wish each of you peace, love and laughter for 2015.
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” — Muhammad Ali
What I’m looking forward to in 2015:
My dear friend and former boss at Disney, Swati Shetty, has produced a film called Umrika, written and directed by Prashant Nair. It’s been accepted in the competition at the Sundance Film Festival (woo hoo!). The story is about an Indian village boy (Suraj Sharma) who realises his brother, long believed to be in the US, has actually disappeared. Privileged to have seen a rough cut, I am beyond excited to see the final version.
I am dismayed when I think of how simple, non-patentable skin and health solutions are overlooked in favour of diluted/pricey/highly-packaged branded items. Imagine my delight when I learned of my eco-aware cousin Saba Ahmad’s collaboration with the fairtrade craft store, Jatra, to revitalise local customs and lifestyle by using natural, commonly-available products. They’re also developing eco items such as steel straws, alum stone deodorant and linen panty liners. I. Can’t. Wait.
I am a total geek when it comes to understanding a little about a lot. This past year I learnt about the origins of hashtags from 99% Invisible, followed a real-life murder case on Serial, and understood the concept of tracing an illness back to Patient Zero on Radiolab. So I am more than thrilled to hear about a new NPR podcast, launching on 9 January, called Invisibilia. It promises to delve into a range of topics and make us see our own lives differently. Bring it on!