Tuesday, January 02, 2018

2017, in a nutshell

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Bought a large important thing. Does that make me sound unbearably adult and pretentious? I think it does, and that makes me sad. But I did. I (we, actually) bought a large important thing, and now I am a large, important thing owner. 

This was also the year I mastered PROPER swimming -- as opposed to nervous thrashing about that I was doing last year. The long summer was spent swimming endless laps of the local pool. I think I have finally found my favourite sport in the world.

Also, took a trip to Goa with friends. After planning for, like, 20,000 years. (No, seriously...people had been talking about "doing Goa" for at least a decade.) The wait was totally worth it, though. Goa was all sorts of magical fun and narcotics-fuelled days bleeding into one another  -- just like I had pictured it as a teenager.

I also started wearing lipstick regularly for the first time in my adult life. Does that count? 

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Partly. Yes.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! So many babies this year! 2017 was truly the year of procreation.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

It was a pretty tame year, travel-wise. Largely because all our money had already gone towards large important thing. 

Within India, I went to Barot and Gushaini in Himachal, Goa, Bangalore, Benares, Lansdowne, and Calcutta. Maybe next year will be better? (Fingers crossed, knock on wood, spit in fire, etc.) 

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

Discipline. Contentment. Job satisfaction.

7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory?

Weirdly enough, no single date comes to mind. This was one long slog of a year, punctuated by brief moments of calm joy.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  • Buying the big important thing
  • Working 13 hour days for months at a stretch, and not giving up
  • Sticking to my commitment of regular yoga practice

9. What was your biggest failure?

  • A spectacularly botched up work transition in the middle of the year. If not for the Goa trip, I wouldn't have survived summer this year without a nervous breakdown
  • Money

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major (thank God) except for persistent, bone-deep weariness.

11. What was the best thing you bought?


12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Mine. Without a shadow of doubt.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Everyone else'.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Travel. Food. Big Important Thing.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Goa trip! Finally buying important thing I keep writing about. 

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2017?
"Udd gaye" by Rivtiz from Bacardi House Party Sessions; Makeba by Jain; "You'll be back" from Hamilton

17.Compared to this time last year, are you:
1. Happier or sadder? Happier, I think.
2. Thinner or fatter? Fatter.
3. Richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Work. Which is ridiculous, since I worked a LOT. This does tell you about the current unhealthy relationship I have with my work, though. (Also, do you see the difference between last year's answers and this year's? Last year I was all angsty and revolting at being made to work so much. This year I'm wishing I had worked even more. My conversion to a slave of capitalism has been completed. Brainwash successful. Ting ting ti ting!)

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Procrastination. Complaining. 2018 is going to be my year of sucking it up and dealing with it. I'm tired of being bitchy about circumstances, which is how I spent most of last year. Working or bitching -- I must have been a delight to be around.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Christmas was spent with long-lost family, old friends, mulled wine, and beef biriyani from ZamZam. Life was good. :) 

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

The Americans from work. (Google Hangouts to the rescue.)

22. Did you fall in love in 2017?

Does falling in love with Lin Manuel Miranda count?

23. How many one night stands in this last year?


24. What was your favourite TV programme?

  • Big Little Lies
  • This Is Us
  • Game of Thrones
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Shetland
  • Off-script With AIB
(Dammit, I watched a lot of TV this year.)

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


26. What was the best book(s) you read?

Oooh. This is my favourite question. Let's see -- this was my year of the detective novels, and I read a number of good ones. After exhausting all of Tana French, Anne Cleeves was my favourite whodunit discovery. My favourite Cleeves this year was "Telling Tales". Among non-detective stories, I loved Liu Cixin's "Three Body Problem" and Kamila Shamsie's "Home Fire". Another absolute stunner was Margaret Atwood's "Alias Grace". It was the kind of book that changes lives.

I also completed the Goodreads Challenge I had set myself, and managed to read 35 books this year. All in all, reading was the one thing that kept me sane.  

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Fleetwood Mac. Lin Manuel Miranda (AGAIN!) 

28. What did you want and get?

The big important thing

29. What did you want and not get?

More money. A less stressful job.

30. What were your favourite films of this year?

Hidden Figures. Haraamkhor. A Death In The Gunj. The Big Sick. 

This wasn't a year for movie watching. This was the year of binge watching Netflix shows. 

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29. There was a big blowout lunch the weekend before, and a quiet day on the day of the birthday. I took the day off work, watched two whole movies, and had a lovely dinner with friends at Big Chill where I stuffed my face with as much cheesecake as possible. 

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More money. Better time management.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

Finally adulting.

34. What kept you sane?

Cats and books and yoga. 

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Lin Manuel Miranda. Ranveer Singh. Neil Gaiman. David Tennant. Hasan Minhaj. Riz Ahmed. (My list doesn't change much, does it?  I am loyal towards my celebrity crushes.)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Aadhaar. Right to privacy act. Gujarat elections. Fucking Padmavati not being released. The sexual harrassment purge in USA.

 2017 was a shitty SHITTY year for my politics. 

37. Who did you miss?


38. Who was the best new person you met?

No one

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

There's nothing that hard work won't fix. Kindness is MUCH more important than any other virtue.  

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

We hold these truths to be self-evident
That all men are created equal,
And when I meet Thomas Jefferson
I'm 'a compel him to include women in the sequel