2009 by far has been the best year of my life so far (http://cheguevaraontheroad.blogspot.com/2010/03/2009on-road-and-off-it.html) and 2013 for sure comes a close second! It started with a high & quite literally too…we did a SkyDive together in Dubai in February and ended the year with another high…of waiting for our baby to arrive! Even though these 2 highs can’t be compared in the literal sense but surely the levels of excitement were almost equal! And through the entire year we had so many memorable experiences that the excitement and enjoyment levels never went down! Thanks to God, Bandita and my job here in Kuwait we managed to finish another fantastic year and hope 2014 takes the same route if not a better one! It has already started brilliantly with arrival of our son – Abhay into this world! Talk about auspicious & memorable starts!
I made some new friends, watched so many movies (an insane number for some), read loads of books, travelled to 3 new countries, visited India thrice, ran the first competitive race of my life (so what it was just 10 kms long?), explored & sampled many new cuisines and made some amazing new recipes!
Here are some of the moments from 2013…
We went to Dubai in February 2013 for a 7 days trip and the most critical agenda item was the Sky Diving Adventure and it was one helluva ride! By far the most exhilarating adventure I have ever indulged in…yes I had my fair share of “fear” moments but somehow I escaped them and finally managed to take that momentous dive! One which would always remain etched in our memories forever…Wrote a BlogPost about the same too….
In 2013 I made 4 International Trips for Campus Hiring events across various Institutes! Amazing learning experiences, meeting new people, exploring new cities and recruiting the best talent for my organization!
- The First one was in March 2013 when I went to IIM Calcutta to hire Finance & IT Candidates for my organization! And it was a real special one indeed…my first trip to any IIM and that too for recruiting! Recruited 2 awesome candidates who are now very good friends too! Met my College & MBA Senior Abhijit Paul after 11 years! Also met 2 of my closest friends from my MBA Batch – my roomie Aditya Shah and my Bengali Dada – Soumik Roy Choudhury after many years! Met their families as well and had a whale of time with them reminiscing the good old days of Goa! And it wasn’t over like this! Met my school friend Ruchika Katyal after 15 long years! I hadn’t met her after we passed out from school in 1998 and it was so amazing meeting her after all these years! The Kolkata Trip was a grand success for so many reasons….hope I can make a similar trip again!
- In March 2013 itself went for the CA Campus Event in Delhi and then again in September 2013 for another such event…recruited 7 fresh Chartered Accountants from these 2 events! And also had a great time with friends and family during these 2 Delhi/Gurgaon Trips! Full utilization of time and money you see!
- And then the Lebanon Trip to hire Finance Graduates from American University of Beirut! Which was another awesome trip in itself and for so many different reasons…it is a beautiful country with lip smacking food and yeah gorgeous ladies too! The only sad part was that it was just a 3 days trip; would love to make a longer trip with Bandita and Abhay before we leave Kuwait for good in the future…
Wrote a BlogPost about the same too…. http://www.cheontheroad.com/2013/07/the-beirut-bonanza/
We got one of the most amazing news of our lives back in May 2013 that we were expecting our first child! It was such an awesome feeling and one for which I had been waiting for a very long time! Even though I wanted a Baby Girl and had finalized Ananya as her name but then all dreams don’t come true or do they? We had a wonderful time all throughout Bandita’s pregnancy – researching, reading, shopping and making all those Hospital Trips! Abhay finally arrived on Saturday 11th January 2014 into this world! And our lives have become even more beautiful now!
Here is the BlogPost I wrote when Abhay reached his first milestone!
This year’s CS was simply amazing and much better than the 2012 season! I closely followed all the episodes and downloaded all the music too! The season kicked off with the ever-so-magical AR Rahman and kept getting better with the episodes featuring Ram Sampath, Clinton Cerejo, Salim-Sulaiman, Papon, Amit Trivedi, Hitesh Sonik and ending with a multi-Producer episode (which was by far the weakest amongst all episodes from this season).
The season was filled with amazing songs laced with fantastic lyrics and was so tough picking the favourites! But still my Top 5 (in no particular order):
Pir Jalani – Clinton Cerejo & Mangey ‘Manga’ Khan (Barmer Boys)
Bismillah – Salim Sulaiman, Kailesh Kher & Munawar Masoom
Jhumoor – Papon, Dulal Manki & Simanta Shekhar
Rabba – Amit Trivedi, Tochi Raina & Jaggi
Ghar – Piyush Mishra
The Cyprus Trip
This was definitely one of the best highlight of 2013! Our 8-days long Cyprus Trip…had a wonderful time in this amazing country…everything about Cyprus was brilliant – the people, food, terrain, roads, infrastructure and the weather! Wrote a BlogPost about our trip as well…here it goes…
This was another first of my life! Participating in a race and that too 10 kms long! The occasion was the Annual Q8 Run which is scheduled every year in November/December and is hugely popular here! I somehow Ran/Jogged/Walked/Panted/Huffed/Puffed those long 10 kms in some 83 minutes and felt really happy and relieved when I crossed the finishing line! And thanks to the race & the preparations before I lost some weight & also built some much-needed stamina too! All in all it was fun event and very well organized too…I would love to participate again in 2014!
Food is one of the most important parts of my life and this year I added some more masala to it by experimenting with cooking and trying lots of new recipes! All thanks to the inspiration from the FB Food Pages I am a part of – Chef at Large & Sikandalous Cuisine being the 2 most important amongst them! As always Bandita was my partner-in-rhyme in all these rendezvous while assisting me in the kitchen and sampling those risky-first time recipes the first! Once I became a bit more comfortable I started inviting friends to my place too for meals to let them enjoy my cooking extravaganzas!
My favourite Recipes of 2013 and their BlogPosts:
Yeah we watched 340 movies together! I am sure many of you would call us mad and yes we are mad indeed! What’s life without madness! Both of us love this crazy life indeed!
Favourite Hindi Movie : Fukrey
Favourite English Movie : Django Unchained
Favourite Non-English/Hindi Movie : The Past
Captain Phillips ||| My Review: http://www.cheontheroad.com/2013/11/captain-phillips-my-review/
World Cinema Moviethon – July 2013:
Lootera…My Review: http://www.cheontheroad.com/2013/07/lootera-my-review/
My 2013 Oscar Selections: http://www.cheontheroad.com/2013/02/my-2013-oscar-selections/
Django Unchained ||| My Review: http://www.cheontheroad.com/2013/01/django-unchained-my-review/
No Bike Ride
Last but not the least, the only dampener from this otherwise brilliant year! I wasn’t able to go on a single Bike Ride this year and this was the saddest part of my 2013 experience…all those India trips were very short and I could not manage anytime to plan a bike ride for myself! Hopefully this doesn’t repeat in 2014 and I can go on atleast one Bike Ride…
With that hope I end this note and as always am hopeful that 2014 is going to be another kick-ass year for me! And this would be a very different one for me! I won’t be watching so many movies; I won’t be reading so many books and sadly won’t be able to travel to so many new places…due to various reasons & most important of them being Abhay! But be rest assured that I am gonna have a blast throughout and enjoy each day as it comes!
Thanks to God, my family – Mummy, Papa, Bhai, Bhabhi and my 2 lifelines – Nandini & Samyukta, Bandita, all my friends and Kuwait for making 2013 one of the best years of my life! who says “thirteen” is an unlucky number!
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…