Happy new year, everyone! That officially makes me the last person to blog the wish, I guess. But hey, it is January still and you are never late for good things right?
I have been away. For oh-so-long. So much has transpired in the past few months that I couldn’t muster enough courage to open this blog. For I don’t know where to start. Or keep track of everything that I need to share here. Much travel and reading has happened. Life’s path has changed even. While I had seen this coming and had desperately wished for all of this, I hadn’t realized the work and the planning that these changes would demand. Throw some family weddings and social gatherings here and there all at random, mind you! Exciting wonly.
I am not complaining that K and I did some awesome trips to Vietnam, Thailand, Bhutan, Indonesia, Australia and India. If you ask me what I liked best about 2014, I would, within the blink of an eye, say travel. We travelled with friends and we travelled as a couple, I travelled solo and loved every moment of each of it. From someone who couldn’t eat pani puri by the roadside without ending up sick, I have come a long way in the immunity department. Now, K worries about how to get me off the street food. We took many a great photos, shared many a thoughts, laughed like kids, spoke nonsense non-stop, had umpteen dinners by the sea and along the mountain, hung onto dear life when we had to drive through narrow roads on the mountains in Bhutan with heavy fog and practically zero visibility and just the driver’s experience to our rescue(okay, that was just me coz’ K kept saying stuff like “so exciting” and I was so super annoyed), shared nimki, samosas and chai with the Indian army, got stamps done with our pictures in Bhutan (real ones, each is worth 20 rupees and can be actually be posted, how cool is that?), stared endlessly into nothingness, spent days in silence, slept when we felt sleepy and ate when we felt hungry, followed no time-table, met some amazing people, lived with some locals, enjoyed traditional meals, got lost pretending to be experts, found our way thanks to little native boys only after parting with Mars bars because all they wanted was chakalaate …..
Australia was a solo trip for me, part-work and part-pleasure. I LOVED it! While I did miss K, to be honest, I had a wonderful time by myself. I love travelling alone at times. It gives me inner peace and happiness. I love wearing a backpack and setting off with nothing to worry about. I stayed with an awesome senior M, from university. She has two beautiful kids and a wonderful husband. We went to Gurudwara a couple of nights, I made bisibelebath for them and we just shopped like crazy. On the day I was to return on a late evening flight, I left my luggage at the railway station at 6 in the morning and just roamed the streets of Melbourne. It was so liberating hopping off trams and visiting museums and libraries and cafes. If I were to pick my favourite day from the trip, this would be it.
So, you get the drift, right?
2014 rocked not just in the travel section but also, in the dreams-coming-true department. Today, I officially matriculated as a PhD student with fellowship. I will start school from 26th Jan. And I am doing all I can to not tear the roof with all the bouncing on the bed. My parents and brother are here with me on this big day. We have been going around and spending some time together. In a couple of weeks, I will be moving to an on-campus accommodation. I have always wanted to live in a university campus. There is a charm, a sort of magic there. I look forward to exciting times and a great deal of learning and travelling. I met some brilliant and amazing people, a Noble laureate even and their humility and warmth moves me tremendously. I feel touched. I feel like a speck in the universe. And yet, I feel strong and purposeful. I am in awe of all the possibilities and also scared. -goosebumps-
But I know that this is a beginning. A good beginning. I have no idea how it will all turn out to be, but am determined to enjoy the journey and make the most out of it. Because, that’s all that matters.