Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011...the year gone by

As the evening lit up to celebrating sparkles, people across the globe in their respective time zones, donning their best outfits strode out to join friends & gatherings to dance & rejoice, hugging each other in exuberant bonhomie, waving off 2011 & welcoming 2012......
Sipping a cup of brewing coffee, I sit down to reflect the year that went by......in so many ways, an extremely challenging year.....emotionally, physically, professionally & maybe even spiritually......it has been a roller coaster of events, mostly devastating I guess....one more difficult than the other....am I sounding gloomy & out of tune, on a day, when everyone seems to be in a festive mood???........mind totters into a winding pathway of thoughts....it truly is a struggle to gather words & pen them down.....

The Mid East, especially the Islamic countries, saw numerous political uprisings....January saw protesters demonstrating at Tahrir Square in Cairo leading to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigning from his three decade old tyranny......The Tunisian Govt fell after a month long & violent protests, as the President fled to Saudi Arabia after 23 years of regime....Bahrain witnessed revolts, as the King declared emergency to quell civil unrest....Libyan uprising was bloody & violent spread over months which eventually saw the brutal death of their dictator Muammar Gaddafi & his son.....Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Israel, too experienced uprising of common man against Govt....it was all very violent & bloody....as if some deep rooted rebellion was gushing out.......leaving behind a trail of death & devastation. The most sought after & chased terrorist over a decade, Osama Bin Laden, was finally located & killed by US troops in a small hamlet in Pakistan, bringing to surface, the country's close association with terrorism & its deathly impact. 
Nature too was devastating round the year, as earthquakes scaling 9.1 & subsequent tsunami swept east of Japan........floods hit Brazil, ............volcanoes erupted in Chile,........ Thailand, Cambodia & Philippines were inundated by floods,.... quakes in Turkey,....all resulting in numerous losses of human lives & infrastructure.....
The global economy has looked bleak, as Europe & Americas have been struggling for growth....with sensex tanking across. Jobs have been scarce & increments minimal.....the picture has been mostly dismal. 

It was also a year of so many farewells.......so many celebrities, who had contributed towards the welfare of the world today, left us....forever : Elizabeth Taylor, the violet eyed hollywood diva; Dev Anand, India's evergreen romantic hero; Shammi Kapur, the Elvis Presley of India; Amy Winehouse, famed singer succumbing to drug abuse; Jagjit Singh, the ghazal maestro with a golden voice; Bhupen Hazarika, the famous singer writer from Assam; Pandit Bhimsen Joshi,  classical singer, Bharat Ratna recipient; Sultan Khan, sarangi player; MF Hussain, the controversial painter; Joe Frazier, World Boxing Champion; S Ballesteros, former World No1 golfer; Socrates, Brazilian footballer; MAK Pataudi, better known as Tiger Pataudi of Indian Cricket; Kim Jong, North Korean dictator; Hargobind Khorana, the Nobel Prize winner in medicine; PC Alexander, ex Governor of Maharashtra; Mario Miranda, famous cartoonist; Satya Sai Baba, the spiritual guru from Puttaparthi; Dorjee Khandu, the promising Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, who died in a helicopter crash; & not to forget Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Inc........& so many more. Each one of them, having contributed so meaningfully to our lives..... It has indeed been a year of losses.....heavy losses...
As a Wall Street sign read " 10 years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope & Johnny Cash. Now we have no Jobs, no Hope &  no Cash!!" ......a true reflection of the year that has been ......

Back in India, the common man rose in unison against Corruption, under the clean shoulders of Anna Hazare, demanding a strong Lokpal Bill......the drama, however continues into the new year, as the Central Govt continues to shamelessly try & thwart the initiatives. The Govt & the opposition are relentless in their own pursuit of political brownie points, as the common man languishes under the burden of inflation, price rise, & false promises. 
Mamata Banerjee became the first woman & 11th Chief Minister of West Bengal, ending almost four decades of Left rule......time will tell, if she brings in refreshing & developmental changes, as we look forward in anticipation. 
In July, Mumbai again witnessed serial bomb blasts, raising questions on security issues & terrorism. In December, severe negligence of authorities led to fire at AMRI hospital in Kolkata, leading to almost 100 tragic deaths. Nature vent its fury on Sikkim, as quakes left many dead & large scale destruction. 

There were few reasons to rejoice as well, as India won the World Cup Cricket in Mumbai after 28 long years of wait, under Dhoni's captaincy, beating Sri Lanka in the finals. India also won the World Kabaddi Championship, as expected. Noida hosted the first ever Formula 1 race in India, won by Sebastian Vettel, which had celebrities from all over the world coming over, in a racing extravaganza...vroooooommmmmm. In Dec, Sehwag flayed the Windies attack to score 219 runs, the highest ever by an individual in an ODI, as Sachin's 100th century eluded him this year.
Also was the song - Kolaveri Di by Dhanush, Rajnikanth's son in law, which had the country & beyond going foot tapping crazy all over....something that I could not fathom....musically its a stupid song, lyrically even stupider.....don't know what caught the fancy & imagination of the youth !!!! Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar was slapped hard by a Sikh youth.....what took anyone so long ????..could anyone repeat the performance plss ?

Phew, the coffee has turned cold & bitter, as it looks like a year gone by, full of challenging circumstances, bitter memories, & I am not even listing down personal experiences of the year....they have been bizarre, even if politely put !!!..... does 2012 bring in better tidings ?? ....only time will tell.
The mind, as for now feels tired & fatigued.....parties just don't excite, & silence beckons ... .almost eerie on impact. Waiting for God ????....Love ????......Peace ???? or just plain simple laughter over a cup of coffee, with someone you love!!!!

On our part, we will optimistically look forward, pray for well being, strive for success & dream.....
Hopefully the coffee will brew & taste better......

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