Monday, January 6, 2014

The firsts of 2013 and the possible firsts of 2014

Last Saturday's issue of Mint Lounge is luscious. It lists a whole lot of things that an urban Indian can do for the first time. These were outlandish one like walking across Outer Mongolia or sipping coffee with the pygmies of Amazon (do they even exist), most of them were real things that could be done if one had the spine or the will to do so. The more I read the issue over the weekend, the more I felt that I had done a lot of firsts in 2013. So here is my list of firsts:

1. MOOCs - I discovered Coursera and online education for the first time. And in one burst over 6 months attempted 8 courses ranging from Gamification to Design Thinking. I managed to get certified in 6 and dropped out of 2. Not bad for someone who struggled through college. It was an amazing experience to find time to schedule 3 hours daily to watch lectures, take notes, prepare essays and submissions and give a test every week. If I had any doubts about my ability to discipline my unruly ways, this was it. And found many many enlightened educators and people who I would have missed out completely if I had not attempted my first education after getting educated. And even if they think that MOOCs are a big mistake, I think that this is foundation for education for everyone. 

2. A wedding in November made me go out of my comfort zone and got me to not act my age for the first time this year. I dressed up as Quick Gun Murugan - the sambhar sipping cowboy from South India. Between the time that I said ok to the idea and actually doing it, my friends bet 10000 bucks - (#@$$#@$s). I had to go to a smelly costume shop in Lokhandwala, brave the looks of Estonian long legged girls who dance in Hindi movies and a reality show participant to select the awesome costume that Nawaz put together for me. Yes it was worth it. Yes it made people in Versova's Kino's Cottage stand up and stare at me and yes I confess. I completely enjoyed it!

3. I hate fish! Even when it is scaled, gutted and deodorized, I cannot stand the sight. When the family goes to Gajalee - the famous for fish restaurant for their monthly quota of Bombay Duck and Tisrya - that's clams for the illiterates, I sulk. Last year I got over my hatred for fish and cooked with it, just to make my daughter happy. She insisted after seeing Jamie Oliver cook fish on a food show that I cook for her the exact replica. And that meant that whatever I cooked, I had to eat, else the little lady would sulk. This year I have to find a decent octupus and a very tame squid - all in the name of being a good father. 

4. I rode a donkey! No pictures exist of this spectacular adventure. My partner in crime - my daughter asked if she could ride a donkey - these donkeys were part of a caravan of nomads on the way to Chikmagalur. She would not ride unless I did - so we did. The donkeys were friendly guys, smelly but timid, docile creatures. After around a kilometer of riding them I promised never to call anyone a donkey ever. Respect!

5. Picked, sorted, roasted and ground my own mix of Chikmagalur coffee. It is something I recommend every coffee addict must do atleast once in their lifetime. And immediately brew the coffee fresh out of the grinder. The liquor sings, you hear notes that you never knew existed. I found hints of orange, cranberry and pepper - all from the plantation where the coffee beans grew. The terroir of the place gets embedded into the flavour of the coffee. You have to close your eyes to listen.

6. Worked on an area that I do not understand - Gaming and helped build a amazing portfolio of cross platform solutions for the next quantum leap in Gaming in India. You will hear more about it in 2014.

And now for the list of possible firsts of 2014:

1. Run a marathon by December - maybe a quarter marathon but do something about running
2. Grow atleast 1 week's worth of vegetables in my balcony garden every month. We currently have mint, spinach, carrots, chillies, red peppers, karela, pumpkin and beans growing.
3. Learn to dance (shudder!!)
4. Write my first full length novel ( I have been lugging it in my head for over 10 years now)
5. Stand for elections of the local Mohalla Commitee and show those guys who is boss. It is my AAP moment.
6. Learn to make cheesecake at home. 

Not bad eh?

1 comment:

Aathira Nair said...

Wow... Quick Gun Murugan eh?