One of the few blogs that I have followed for more than a decade is Thejesh’s. I started following when he was in our company blogging platform which was such a vibrant community until someone who didn’t know the ethos of blogging disrupted it. Continued to follow him after he left Infosys. He writes Weekly Notes which I look forward to every week. I was thinking of doing the same, hope I can keep it up.
January feels like a long month. There is so much that happened and a week and half is still left.
Chakki had her last school annual day yesterday (last for us too). She sang a song, played keyboard in an instrumental band, accompanied the prayer song and school anthem on keyboard and delivered the last lines in a drama dressed like an IAS officer. It was colorful and all the kids did a great job. So much effort from everyone would have gone in to prepare and I am sure the kids will remember for a long time. I was thinking a week back about Chakki reading the book “Lessons in Chemistry” to know what the world will be like and to be mentally prepared for it, but I think it may not be needed. She chose songs for the band to play, made sure it is what others would want to hear, convinced a kid who was good in western violin that she can do film songs and helped her with the music notes, taught a kid who never played drums and one who was a bully to her earlier, fought with the teacher about wrong choice of tones and stood firm when she was right about some music while he was not and proved him wrong. She can tenaciously fight for what should be fairly hers and won’t allow others to take advantage of her. I hope there won’t be many tears.
When I saw my Spotify Wrapped last year and saw my old favourites still at the top, had decided to explore a bit of new genres and singers. First discovery of this year came through the Spotify algorithm (I am trying to stay away from algorithm recommendations, but in music it is difficult anyway) - Faasle. It is always fascinating to discover a new song that I could listen to in a loop for days. How does it happen? What in it hooked me? When would I discover a new one next? Some months go by without encountering any new music that becomes my new favourite. I hope I find more such favourites this year.
Half of the new year resolutions are so far intact. Started a 100 day steps challenge in HDOR (Hundred Days of Running) on January 1st and so far keeping it up. I did HDOR last year and for the very first time in my life, walked/ran for 100 days continuously. Hope to do two such this year. I realise once I make a commitment like that and there is a tracking, I hate to break that. I might not have done it otherwise. I continue to take the same route every day and do about 3 km per day. It helps me to catchup on podcasts and music as well.
I am learning Spanish using Duolingo. It was in my wishlist for years. I love the way spanish sounds and it is one of the most spoken languages in the world. I finished 50 days streak yesterday, doing a little bit everyday. I had learned French towards end of our engineering from Alliance Francais, sponsored by the company. I had learned German for some time during school, taught by a saayippu (an old ex-military man, reclusive) who was technically our neighbour. I don’t remember much of both languages, but the times that I learned both were beautiful and have so many memories of those days. Spanish learning is getting tougher, but I hope to stick with it this year.
Finished watching two movies over multiple days - 12th Fail (Hindi, Disney/Hotstar), Parking (Tamil, Disney/Hotstar). Both predictable stories, but watchable. I came across Vikrant Massey first time through a short film, Detour, which I loved so much that I followed its director since then.
Took a session on “Developing Business Writing Skills” last week to the team. I had offered to do that on a whim, seeing some bad writing. I had to spend quite some time thinking about what to tell them. It didn’t go as well as I thought, but I hope I could give people some tips to follow. One person pinged afterwards, said he would start writing and share a draft of his first article with me soon. That made it worthwhile, if I could influence atleast one person.
I had started writing a running list of learnings, thoughts and ideas. My hope is that by writing down what I read, listen or experience in my own words, I can absorb the learnings more. Shared that list with the team for the last 3 weeks.
There are some hard problems for which I don’t yet have solutions, but I hope to make progress this year. Started writing to put those on paper and hope to gain clarity in coming days. Shared the draft with the team to get their thoughts on it.