I have been thinking about the year 2008 quite a bit. This year had its ups and downs for me - I started the year hoping it would become a better year than 2007. Inspite of many downs, I think in a way it did prove to be a better year than 2007. So here are a few events that stood out for me both personally as well as from a global stand point.
Events from around the world that stands out for the way it represented a big change from my view point:
- Pakistan's election following Benazir Bhutto's assasination - A politician whose name was household name after her father's assasination, General Zia-Ul-Haq's fall and her flight from Pakistan - the drama surrounding her successor as PPP's head and her husband finally taking over as the chief.
- General Musharaff's ouster due to and inspite of all the support he gave the US
- Attack on the monks in Tibet and the subsequent cry against holding the Olympics in China - an unimaginable show of power knowing that the world would just stand by and watch. It showed that in this capitalistic world humanitarian causes will take lessor significance against trade and show of sportsmanship
- The Olympics itself -> The opening ceremony, the number of medals won by China -> a great opening ceremony which I missed and tried to get a glimpse of later - an amazing show of effects of training and perseverance by the Chinese atheletes (inspite of all the controversies I still feel that it would not have been possible without the hardwork of all the atheletes)
- Zimbabwe being dragged into unbelievable conditions by a man who stood out in my early years as an example of politicians in Africa
- Riots in Kenya
- Lisbon treaty and its rejection
- Oil prices - the rise and the fall
- The fall of the financial markets and the lack of clear prediction about the fall
- Mumbai attack, the incredulity in the Indians around the world and my fear that the indignation will die down - things will be back to normal again until the next time. Someone asked me about the Mumbai blast - what is the effect? - my first feeling was that a visible target was chosen. There was non-stop coverage in the press in BBC Worldwide and CNN Worldwide - so you know about this. This feeling was strengthened by the news I read today. How did the death of 200 people invite more coverage than the 16,600 farmers who committed suicide this year? What about the growing divide between the different economic strata in India? Strangely, the states which are leading the pack in terms of the suicide are Maharashtra (which has the Indian financial capital), Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh (both leading the IT boom and success stories in India). When can we start focussing on the sector which is going to keep India independent rather than sectors where we are still dependent on external whims and fancies?
Events that were closer home:
- Leap Year - did this year really need that one extra day?
- A colleague came in into my protected project where I had a role which did not belong to me - I moved away and yet resented it. Running away when confronted with a stronger person is not the best way to deal with the situation - so in future chart your own position and course when faced with this situation.
- I missed an opportunity at work by just being completely occupied by work and not looking at the big picture.
- Family is very important - It was a year when less time was spent on the family and more looking deep into myself - later when I learned to look at the family again it brought immense peace and happiness.
- Health is wealth - mental and physical well being is important for being happy yourself - spreading happiness is a sure way to keep yourself happy too - something I forgot quite often.
- Facebook happened
- Got in touch with a lot of forgotten friends - picking up lost threads with a few as if those years of not being in touch so closely did not exist.
- Started following some hobbies again - though it comes in spurts - I am sure it is only an initial starting trouble - once the engine is well oiled and heated it will flow more smoothly.
- Got a couple of jobs - though economic downturn did not help - It showed I could get what I wanted if I set my mind to it and chose carefully. The day when I almost missed one also showed that I could destroy it all if I was not careful.
- Related to the last point in the previous category - I also felt a sense of responsibility to keep my job though tempted to resume a normal household life - a responsibility to earn enough to keep doing something for the others.
Now I tag Wannabe to do the same :).