With the year 2022 coming to an end, I couldn’t help but reflect on the changes it brought in my life. It was a bitter-sweet year in many ways with many many things to be grateful about and fewer to complaint for. To begin with, unlike 2020 & 2021, it wasn’t too much a rollercoaster which I’m thankful for. Nonetheless, it wasn’t uneventful by any means. For me it was all about meeting new people, finding new achievements and a lot of travel (lot more than I usually do)
It was when I met my team I’ve been working with for past 8-9 months for the first time in person. Following 2 years of lockdown, mere idea of stepping outside was enough to get me excited, but meeting all the people outside the screen in real world was what made all the difference. It’s funny how our perceptions change on meeting someone in real life — From “you’re taller than I thought” to “I didn’t knew you could mimic so well”, I didn’t realise when everyone blended so well it didn’t even seem like we were meeting for the first time. That short 2 days trip packed with team lunches and campus tour was the first window to the life I was going to have and boy was it exciting!
For the entire month, I kept dreaming of going back to Hyderabad, strolling in Microsoft’s beautiful campus around the lake and meeting everyone once again. But it was also the time my dad had to undergo an eye surgery and the sense of responsibility took over the childish aspirations. Things changed quickly and work meetings were replaced by discussion with doctors and standing in hospital queues. Times were tough and a lot of people helped us in whatever way they could to help us sail through. Finally, the surgery was done and I had a flight to catch.
Landing in Hyderabad, before even I could unpack my bags, entire team went to Goa. If only life could be as relaxing as that Goa trip was — wake up, eat. Go to beach, enjoy water sports, eat. Roam around in resort, take a dip in swimming pool, eat. Party, eat. Sleep.
I finally moved to an apartment. Staying 2 months in a hostel to finally getting in a flat is an emotional moment and a milestone by all means. If you feel I’m over-exaggerating, try finding a decent place to stay in Hyderabad while watching the budget. If you’re a bachelor, the difficulty level rises. For a short while, I totally considered getting married just to get a good apartment. Thankfully it didn’t come down to that.
This was also the month when I went on a trip with my hostel roomie to Darjeeling & Gangtok. Yup, with someone I met less than 1month ago. They say June isn’t the best time to visit those places, but what a beauty Darjeeling was! With clouds touching the horizon and pine trees standing to their full glory, it was a place to be and I don’t think any time is a bad time to be there. Gangtok was where we made a lot of friends and would go as a ‘gang’ for site seeing and cafe hopping. It was a long time wish come true.
Mountains or beaches?
Well, September put a break to the dreamy life I’d been living for past few months. My dad’s surgery got some complications and had to undergo another one. On top of it, we were getting a house constructed in my hometown and my family needed another helping hand. So I had to bid adieu to my comfort life with a promise to get back soon. Going from in-person mode to remote is tough. It’s difficult to manage calendar to find screen-time with people you sit right beside to in office. On top of that, no one ever said construction is easy.
Everything that followed after that went in a blur. On a regular day, I’d make multiple visits to our soon-to-be home. Deal with 6–8 contractors, numerous workers, vendors and what not. While there was a dopamine rush to see my first architectural project taking form, it wasn’t an easy feat by any means. Architectural projects can be very taxing and can get on your nerves real quick. Most unexpected of things suddenly turn into big challenge and in running projects, you don’t have luxury of time to think or wind down. You just go with the flow or the flow drags you along.
It is similar to climbing the mountain, struggling to breathe just to catch the glimpse of rising sun. Once you’re there, you almost forget what it took to bring you there in the beauty of the scene.
While my colleagues thought I would be recharged working from home, I was basically exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. Drained of energy, I was literally counting my days back to Hyderabad, till I caught the final flight of 2022.
With the end of year, when I look back, it is almost surreal to witness that people whom I met not so long ago became family, strangers became travel buddies, city I had never been to is now my home and the home I lived in my entire life is now an empty building.
My 2022 wrapped would include a new city, trip to both mountains and beaches, my first architectural project seeing light of day, multiple flights (9 to be precise) and a lots of new people to be thankful to.
Excited for what 2023 brings in.