I have to admit that the title is an unabashed copy of Somerset Maugham’s autobiography with the year as a suffix and hence my own in a way. Not that I should be ashamed of copying that great now-dead author Mr. Maugham. I absolutely adore him and his writing skills. As always I felt the need to sum up the year though I am sure no one gives a rat’s shit (kids please pardon my cussing) what that is since I don’t give myself. But then there are people who do slither across my blog looking for some banality and blemished banter and of course some intended pun along with bitter humor. So let’s begin at the very beginning (where else can one begin from?)…
As I pen these words, I can hear the rushing waves of the Pacific on the west coast of the US of A on the last day of 2012 / first day of 2013 through the darkness and to imagine that exactly at these hours and day precisely a year ago I was fighting ticks and other abominable wild life deep into the Agumbe Rainforest of Southern India, which is often called the Amazon of the East. From there to here (where I currently am) it is an approximate distance of 14,600 km (give or take 100) and a difference of 365 days; so sandwiched between these two times and space lay the bones of another year that would never be and was quite a one.
On my quest to find distant lands and my own true soul, I crossed the Atlantic several times and found myself many times above the clouds in the Himalaya. Chronologically, from the forests down the southern part of India I went to one of the coldest locations on Earth right up north in the Himalaya leading a small band of crazy people, walking on frozen rivers and climbing high through such blizzards that almost ripped off our noses and nerves in that order. From there a chance invitation got me to the Amazons and Brazil and then on to Uruguay (which became the 146th nation I visited in my life). There I learned much about life, love and caipirinha and other finer caprices of life. And then another invitation landed me into the swirling and flame licking heat of Dubai, where I almost died each time I stepped out and remained out for more than four minutes in the sun.
After such great sacrifices Gods smiled down upon me and I was off for a heart rendering and nerve pulling expedition into the real high Himalaya with a bunch of insane friends and plenty of food where we wanted to scale a wall of rock and ice that hadn’t been scaled yet; somehow we believed we could do it, or at least could at least get off the ground. We did get off the ground and then stayed grounded plastered upon the dizzying walls, while being bruised by some of the most horrific weather I have ever experienced anywhere in my life yet. This was followed by several shorter sojourns into the mighty mountains of my life. And then I hopped into our national carrier and headed once again across the Atlantic and then across USA to the Pacific Coast.
Some may say I travel to work or I work to travel, while I would say that I have fun traveling and I travel for fun. You may name my ‘fun’ as work and so be it. The year 2013 is here and as you and I both know that we are still very much alive enough to be reading / writing this and the world is still on its orbit around the sun so let us now stop proceeding on this any further and go out to meet the day / night the way they should be, which is, with lots of wonder and impulses, with much joy and happiness and love for all and with a prayer that this year we would destroy the earth less, we would love more and we would smile even when there’s no reason or season to.
Let’s not plan much and see where this year takes us, you and I, to which distant mountain tops do we find ourselves breathing hard and taking in the world around with the same sense of wonder that we had began our climb.
As always I wish all of you to strive for the top since I will always see you on top. Amen!