Goodbye 2014! Thanks for all the awesomeness :)

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” Muhammad Ali

Oh, what an eventful year it was! It turned out truly amazing. Even more amazing than I had thought it would be. Lots of memories, emotions, events experienced throughout the year. I have to confess that 2014 changed me and for lots of good reasons. I am so glad that it did 🙂 Every month has offered me something to remember. Moving on, I’d like to share a retrospective view of the year.

There aren’t just one or two things that can sum up 2014 because there are lots of! I’ll start with reading. In January, I read ‘Kitchen Confidential’ by Anthony Bourdain. After that I didn’t read any other book / novel for a couple of months. But, then somewhere in July or August, the reader inside me woke up and pushed me to read and read more. I just couldn’t stop and I didn’t want to. Well, how can I when it was such a pleasant activity? To my surprise, I read 8 novels just in a few months! Which novels did I read? Here’s the list:

  • Cards on the table – Agatha Christie
  • Murder on the orient express – Agatha Christie
  • If tomorrow comes – Sidney Sheldon
  • Tell me your dreams – Sidney Sheldon
  • Not a penny more, not a penny less – Jeffrey Archer
  • Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer
  • The Racketeer – John Grisham
  • The Firm – John Grisham

If reading wasn’t enough to offer me an escape from reality, I’d occupy myself writing something. I started blogging in April 2014 and so far I’ve written 30+ blog posts in different categories. It’s an achievement for me as a newbie blogger and writer. I never thought I’d write fiction and poetry. But, the experience has been truly enriching. I have realized that I like spending time with words and my relationship with words has evolved 🙂

The time I spent with words has benefitted me in various ways. I was approached by a marketer to write sponsored posts. Apart from that, I wrote a couple of blog posts for campaigns of various companies (as a part of a contest) and for those posts I was rewarded with Flipkart gift vouchers! I was overjoyed to know that one of my poems was featured on BlogAdda’s Spicy Saturday picks! All these rewards were like a cake and the cherry on top of the cake was “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” that I received from a fellow blogger 🙂

I’ve spent time with words, not only writing blog posts, but by participating in public speaking. At Xento Systems, I was part of XELP Club, which focuses on improving public speaking and communication skills. I was an active member of the club and I have been a speaker, a host of a debate competition, a mentor and I have played other roles too. It has certainly benefited me personally and professionally. I have gained a confidence to speak in front of a large audience and to my credit I have bagged 3 certificates 🙂

Speaking out loud ;)

Speaking out loud 😉

It feels good when efforts are recognized :)

It feels good when efforts are recognized 🙂

Now, as I am talking about words, the next thing I’d like to mention is a few artists I have come across this year. I have truly enjoyed their songs and their music. It’s just great when you come across good music, you imbibe yourself in the lyrics and you feel like you’re in a different world, isn’t it? It’s unfair if you don’t share this kind of good stuff. Here’s the good stuff I found in 2014:

  • Iron and Wine
  • Kings of convenience
  • Bon Iver
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Bastille
  • One Direction

So, I’ve covered reading, writing, public speaking and music. Is that all I did in 2014? Hell, no! The best part of 2014 was travelling! As much as I enjoyed & got rewarded by other activities, I’ve found the most joy in traveling. In March 2014, I explored Hyderabad with one of my best friends and I found myself bitten by the traveling bug in monsoon. I live in Pune and the city happens to be surrounded by awesome weekend getaways and I’ve been to a few places to satisfy my wanderlust. Here’s a short re-cap of my travels.

Explored Hyderabad.

Explored Hyderabad with one of my best buddies.

Enjoyed a weekend at Dapoli beach.

Enjoyed a weekend with team mates at Dapoli beach.

Trekked to Kothaligad with Mumbai Travellers.

Trekked to Kothaligad with Mumbai Travellers.

Got a chance to visit Fort Jadhavgadh and meet awesome people during All India Pagalguy Meet.

Got a chance to visit Fort Jadhavgadh and meet awesome people during All India Pagalguy Meet.

Spent a beautiful evening at Sinhagad Fort.

Spent a beautiful evening at Sinhagad Fort.

Checked out Pune's highest point - Parvati Hill.

Checked out Pune’s highest point – Parvati Hill.

Visited Fort Jadhavgadh again with team mates :)

Visited Fort Jadhavgadh again with team mates 🙂

Enjoyed a monsoon drive and bathed in the waterfall at the beautiful Tamhini Ghat.

Enjoyed a monsoon drive and bathed in the waterfall at the beautiful Tamhini Ghat.

Trekked to Fort Lohagad.

Trekked to Fort Lohagad.

Felt so much alive at   Dudhsafar Waterfalls.

Felt so much alive at Dudhsafar Waterfalls.

Paid visit to war soliders buired at Kirkee War Cemetery.

Paid a visit to war soldiers buried at the Kirkee War Cemetery.

Checked out Buddhist caves near Lonavla.

Checked out Buddhist caves near Lonavla.

Went on a road trip to Kaas plateau – Maharashtra’s valley of flowers.

Conquered Kalavantin Durg \m/

Conquered Kalavantin Durg \m/

Drove around Tamhini Ghat again. This time with Bull Riders - Xento's Bikers Gang.

Drove around Tamhini Ghat again. This time with Bull Riders – Xento’s Bikers Gang.

I just loved traveling to these places and 3 of my trips were sponsored! Traveling has been a good teacher and I didn’t mind attending the lectures 😉 Each and every journey was memorable and I’ve had good experiences. I am grateful to all my buddies who joined me on any of these travels. Consider a big shout out, guys 🙂

Like I said, it has been an eventful year and I’ve been through almost all of them. There’s more? Well, there are two other major events that happened:

Love at first ride :) Got myself a Pulsar!

Love at first ride 🙂 Got myself a Pulsar!

I became a part of Ubisoft.

I became a part of Ubisoft.

So far, so good, eh? Yes indeed, but it’s not that I have encountered only good things and had fun in 2014. I have made certain mistakes and some of them did hurt me and probably someone else too. I can’t take them back, but I can certainly admit them and hope for forgiveness. To quote James Joyce “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” I’ve discovered some things through my mistakes and I’ve learned some lessons. I am grateful for those lessons.

Well, that pretty much sums it up. Hope you too had a wonderful year. Thanks for reading my post. Feel free to share your stories of 2014. Wish you a rocking year ahead 🙂

Happy New Year!

 

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