Friday, December 30, 2005

End-of-year survey!

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?
Graduated from college; lived in a tropical clime; allowed myself to ask for help; rode on an Indian bus; got vomited on in transit for a job interview; visited Boston; befriended a woman more than three times my age

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I can't remember my New Year's resolutions, so I guess I couldn't have kept them.

Next year?
  • Lose 15 pounds (given, a perpetual resolution that never comes to fruition because my body likes being at this weight, dammit)
  • Be less reactive
  • Learn the general precepts of economics/business
  • Pay more than the minimum amount each month on my college loan
  • Save enough money to visit my parents
  • Be less impetuous

Focus words (because they're a damn good idea):
  • Shanti
  • Openness
  • Grace

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one close to me

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Again, no. It was a remarkable year, I suppose.

5. What countries did you visit?

India (does it count as a visit if I've been here half the year?)

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?

Grown-up furniture; white teeth; clothes that weren't purchased secondhand

7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 18: Graduation (Probably the end of my formal education -- but who knows these days)

June 20: Arrived in India (A huge change. A ridiculous proposition. The start of a new way of thinking)
July 1: Started working at MASCOM (Five months of doubt, regret, truth, and emergence)
November 10: K's hospitalization (Whereupon I realized that I am an adult, that I can take care of others, that five years make all the difference)
November 12: Moving back to Delhi (New job, confidence, and a grand experiment with outsourcing myself)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Shucking off a niggling sense of self pity

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not sharing more of my life with the MASCOM students while I had the chance

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

A bit of Delhi belly, and several bouts of food poisoning

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Plane ticket to India; employment visa; an ashtray in the shape of a foppish Indian civil servant

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

First and foremost, my mother; J and his family; E-lizzle; KTO; and S

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Many sprawling masses of humanity (including but not limited to people who hoot at me on the streets and the Northwestern graduating class of 2005)

14. Where did most of your money go?

Travel; flat set-up; food

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Moving to India (Kerala and Delhi); brother B returning from Iraq; vacationing in New York and Boston

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?

"Breakaway," Kelly Clarkson; "Since U Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson; everything by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Tamil film music; Malayalam folk songs; "Stickwitu," Pussycat Dolls

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? hrm...can't tell. It's a wash
c) richer or poorer? richer (graduation = cha-ching!)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Talking to people; traveling; taking pictures

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Crying into the telephone; feeling sorry for myself; drinking

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With four Americans, a Brit, and a Kashmiri, eating a feast, drinking mulled wine, exchanging gifts, and singing Christmas carols

21. Did you fall in love in 2005?

Hrm...well, I found myself in love, I think would describe it better

22. How many one-night stands?


23. What was your favorite TV program?

"Joan of Arcadia," "Judge Mathis," "Law and Order," "America's Next Top Model"

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?


25. What was the best book you read?

"The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion; "Among the Thugs" by Bill Buford; "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder; "The Discovery of India" by Jawaharlal Nehru

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Yahoo! Radio, which keeps me in American pop

27. What did you want and get?

A job in India; the means to travel; some sense of peace

28. What did you want and not get?

There's really nothing that I'm lacking right now (though I could be materialistic and say "a sofa set")

29. What was your favourite film of this year?

You know, I'm not sure that I've seen any that weren't from last year, etc.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 22. I spent the day teaching, then at night was ushered into the school's canteen and met with excellent food, two birthday cakes, all my students singing, a photo album, and a hideous(ly wonderful) kathakali mask of multiple woods

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Better grades in my last two quarters at NU

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?

Three phases: "Who gives a damn", "visions in cotton", and "I have a corporate job -- what do I do now?"

33. What kept you sane?

Mommy, J, S, kittens, writing

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Britney Spears -- not really fancy so much as was constantly bemused by her quick descent from pop starlet to trashbag ho

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

Development for rural and urban poor

36. Who did you miss?

My mum, the bitchhos, J and his family, S when he traveled

37. Who was the best new person you met?

K Thomas Oommen, the most fascinating person I've ever encountered (and been lucky enough to call a boss)

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005:

Much of this hell is self-imposed

39.Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"What do you do

when you look in the mirror
and staring at you
is why he's not here"
-- KC (I'm sorry, I know...)

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