Now that the year is coming to an end, I have been thinking about how it had gone. In most ways it has been a great year for me and my family. My yardstick for how something has gone is normally the quality of experience associated with it and, in many ways, this year has had a good share of experiences in the aspects of life which matter to us.
To begin with my work as a Management consultant was quite good this year. I completed my ongoing assignment on IT Strategy formulation for a large Aircraft leasing company in Kuwait in February. For a time, I was completely caught up with my daughter’s B school admissions, before starting another assignment with an IT services company in Hyderabad. They were looking for some management bandwidth in the sales area and the overall success for the assignment in terms of new processes as well as sales numbers have been very encouraging. I am in a discussion with them for a longer term engagement and that will probably get finalized this week. My overall goal of working on one meaningful assignment with other workshops around it can be tried out well in the next year. I am also engaged about half my time which is also a good thing as it lets me follow a lot of my other interests a regular job would not have.
As far as the education of my children go, 2016 was a great year too. Rinki did quite well in CAT getting 98.48 percentile and even better in XAT where she scored 99.856 percentile. After a long set of interviews she secured admission to the BM program at XLRI. She had also got selected for IIM Kozhilode and missed out narrowly in IIM Bangalore. However, we were quite happy with her selection of XLRI. There was a sense of deja vu too, remembering my long and memorable schooling years in St Xavier’s Durgapur. Rinki is doing quite well at XLRI and has got a summer internship at GE. She was also the topper in her Engineering Branch ENI, from BITS Pilani, Hyderabad campus. My son Ronju is currently in the 3rd year of his 5 year dual course – Msc Maths + BE Computer Science. Like all typical college going boys of his age, he is not very sure of what he wants to do in the future but I am quite sure things will work out in the end. So in a family of 4 we are 3 post graduates, 3 Engineers and 2 MBA so far which is quite an achievement I suppose. Also Rinki is a third generation Engineer after my father and me.
Travel has been my foremost passion and this year has been excellent for it. Even though Kuwait was mostly work, I managed to visit a few nearby places and went for a drive to the border of Saudi Arabia. In February we went to the Rann of Kutch as part of the Kutch festival. It was an absolutely amazing experience, unique in terms of the landscape and also in terms of the great arrangements, the highlights being our tented accommodation and the lovely vegetarian food that was on offer. In end February we went down to Bangalore for Rinki’s B school interviews. It was a great drive to Bangalore, though there were far too many toll booths punctuating it and there were too few eating joints on the way. Lipi went off for a rendezvous with her erstwhile colleagues to Kerala for about a week in March end. Our next trip was to Matheran, again a place where we had wanted to go for a long time. The uniqueness of the views as well as the peace and solitude that can only be there in a place without motor vehicles was quite special. In June we went on a longish trip – first to Jamshedpur for Rinki’s admission at XLRI, then to Durgapur to visit my parents and finally to Delhi, where Ronju was doing an internship, to celebrate his birthday. September saw us in Goa for our yearly vacation there – it was good food and beaches as usual and spending some time with Ronju was a welcome bonus. Finally, in November we went on a trip to MP, a state which we have not seen much of. The visits to Sanchi and Bhimbetka were really awe inspiring for different reasons. Bhopal was a good place to be too and we traveled onward to Kanha and Jabalpur. The jungles of Kanha were rather mysterious and we managed to catch glimpses of two tigers. Finally, Jabalpur was good to be in for the Marble Rocks and Dhuadar waterfalls – unique again.
At the stage of life we are in, with a nuclear family and children away in college, Lipi and I look forward to meeting family and friends whenever feasible. In 2016 we were fortunate in this respect – notable were meeting Lipi’s cousins in Bangalore after ages, celebrating Ronju’s birthday with a host of relatives in Delhi, meeting my parents in Durgapur and meeting up with a school friend of mine in Bhopal. However, the best was definitely our visit to Jabalpur where we met my two cousins and their families after a really long time. I had last seen my cousins 25 years back and Lipi had never seen them. Even in these days of virtual communication, there is really no substitute for actually meeting and spending time with your near and dear ones. Now that the year is coming to an end Lipi’s mother and Ronju are with us and we are waiting for Rinki to finish her exams and join us. It will be a fabulous end to the year.
As far as my other interests go, the blog has done quite well in terms of readership. Even though I say so, it is probably the only one of it’s kind !! Reading has always been a passion and it was helped greatly by Rinki gifting me a Kindle Reader with her internship earning. We went to several movies and other events – Pankaj Udhas and Talat Mahmood concert and the Qadir Ali Baig Theatre festival were the best along with the Bengali Film festival which is the high point of Hyderabad’s culture nowadays.
In terms of my financial planning etc, much was in the auto mode. All of the above resulted in an expensive year but I am rather happy about the richness and quality of the experiences. On the whole a year very well spent and looking forward to the next one being as eventful.