Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Journey called 2014

Why a journey...well it was one of those years i travelled the most...and trust was worth the experience. Travelling across 14 Cities across the world in a year showed me the variance of life that exists on this blue marble. Each experience was unique, be it educational campuses like IIT Kanpur or IIT Guwahati, or A class cities like Berlin or NYC or Singapore.The flavour of each city reflected on the people of the city and their way of thinking. Even for that instance in India...going from Big cities like Mumbai and Delhi ( which are no more new to me) to small yet renowned cities like Haridwar or Kochi....each had its own spice an aura that made me reflect our existence on this planet.

It all started in January when me and my wifey went to the sea shores of pondicherry...the French architecture of the city and the Indian-Foreigners of  Auroville took us back to the present past. Come february and some bad news struck and we had to fly down to delhi. Delhi is like an independent woman in starch clad saree, she takes her pride in being what she is...but at the same time...has the old relics keeping her humble...while on the way to was the religious out-cry outflowing everywhere...the realities of how religion in todays world has become a medium of survival was evident there...perhaps god was lost out there...i felt god must be laughing from above...I did my bit of self satisfying religious activity by drinking a few drops of ganges ( on the cleaner side)...the river has a charm for sure...dunno about the location. Maybe it did do some magic on me for the rest of the year...depends how we structure our beliefs. Little did i know 12 months in future the movie "PK" would sum up my emotions in a movie.

And then came March...when i sort of fufilled one of my long dreamt wishes...partially atleast...I went to Germany...Initially in a small yet profound city of Hannover. Hannover as a city had all the mixes of a europeon city...buildings...trains...cleanliness...small roads...big buildings...and yeah amazing cars...I remember stepping out of the airport and looking for a less costlier taxi...because all i saw was BMW's and Mercs...ofcourse later realized.."Its Deutschland afterall". At CeBIT in hannover...i witnessed the scale of technology and sort of enjoyed interfacing with the latest. But yes it was tiring for sure :)...Later went on to the capital...Berlin...the train journey was too good...trains at a speed of 260 km/h was an experience ill never forget. Berlins unique spaces, museums and even their hurtful yet historical past takes you down the historic lessons and makes you feel the emotions they mustve gone through. The city is dual in nature...on one side u still see the westernization while the pride of the soviet stands on the other. I feel ill return back to this city for sure.

Just when i came back from Berlin...i was put on the next gen project.,..working on Google Glass. It was tiring and extended work...but by the end of the surely gave its results. I traveled to another city for the glass project...this time it was Morristown...a dry yet faraway city ...although i didnt explore much of this city...the hangars i got to go added to my list of aircrafts i have been to.
The proximity of Morristown to NYC...brought me back to the big apple. I would say...even after roaming around different cities across the world..I still love this one the most.NYC is confident mixture of talent, riches, glam and above all people from all walks of life...

While returning from NYC and Morristown in a few days i went back to Mumbai. Mumbai is new york city of a different kind...the complexity exists both places...and for any mumbaite..stayin in NYC would not be a challenge. Having grown up in Mumbai...I have my biases for the city...but one thing i have seen over the years is that mumbai is becoming better with amenities. But the life remains Fast and furious.

In august I turned 31...thats a number dreaded for a long time...but maybe as i always say age is a number...its what u did with it matters. And i guess i want to make the most of my growing numbers for years to come.. With the same feel i went back to mumbai for ganpati...enjoyed some old family times and also drove down the bandra worli sealink...I can say...its no lesser than NYC in any sense :)

In October i got an opportunity for a quick 1 week trip to Georgetown, Delaware...georgetown is like any old english has the small European town feeling...The houses the bars take u back in time. It was almost time travel for me. Philadelphia on the otherhand looked very different...its a poised city...i would say it lies somewhere in between Washington DC and NYC...the monumental buildings and the historic relevance is amazing. Especially i loved the art museum and the rocky steps...If there was one word i would associate Philly it would be Determined...Benjamin Franklin has surely planned and thought about the city well...the art quotient also shows a good amount tolerance the city has.

Back from US i was delighted to change roles and become an art vendor for my wifeys beautiful artwork at Soul was tiring but worth the experience of knowing what it takes to sell art.

And as the year was converging i owed my patient wife a vacation. Well better late than never...we sought out for a trip to Singapore.This is a city country...or country-city...but with the features of any big city. Its a clean spic space and what stands out is the accessibility of the city. The city has nicely made tourist friendly spaces which you ought to like. My personal favorite was the Gardens by the bay...which clearly showed how serious messages can be communicated experiencially. All you UX designers out there..this is experience design in the real sense. While singapore as a city is very modern but somewhere lacked a cultural identity of its own. But that could be a mere observation from me...

So back from Singapore I was off to another visit to mumbai...and finally this year ended with some fireworks. Won the second consecutive company wide best UX design award for the Google Glass project i worked on earlier this year. I also got to visit IIM Bangalore as a student...for a short course on Luxury management. Although still in Bangalore IIM Bangalore has the qualities of any top level insititute which sort of cuts you away from the city thats outside the campus. Another place i got to visit in a few days was IIT Kanpur...this place was another campus feel but somehow the scale was huge and worth the efforts...met many young minds and learnt a lot from them as i mentored some of them.

To end the year with a cherry on the cake my wife suggested a trip to Kochi Binnale. It was a exposure i longed for a while since the touch with contemporary art is very minimal in india. It also made me contemplate on questions Art only Aesthetics or way beyond that....the deeper meaning of art was worth the time spent at Fort Kochi...A perfect philosophical end to my journeys across 2014...

Life surely is a long journey...and maybe my trips across the year just extended my horizon of thoughts...or maybe they were just a few stories i could collect and tell all my life... after all be it in US or Germany or india...we are all a part of a greater story in the making...

Heres wishing all of you an amazing come....

 Excuse the length of the blog...but that's what happens when u dont blog the whole year :)