Given my superior long term memory (for which i’ve paid a huge price in terms of an extremely bad short-term memory), I keep running this “this day that year” iteration in my head. On a certain day, I try and figure out what I did on the same day a few years back. Some memories stick, others don’t. For some “significant” dates (such as my birthday) lots of events stick. For others, nothing would’ve happened. However, I have a feeling that I accurately remember most “significant events”.
On the occasion of this new year’s eve, I thought it would be good to go down the years and see what I did. I’ll go in chronological order. As you might expect, the earlier entries won’t have much. In fact, most years will be omitted. It’ll mostly be because nothing significant happened on that day. Of course, one big problem with having a superior long-term memory is that no one else remembers the stuff. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.
31 Dec 1992: This was when it started becoming “cool” to do something for new year’s. Before that, this being a “foreign celebration” nothing much was done at home. On this occasion, we had gone out for dinner. And I guess New Year’s was yet to become that cool. So we could easily find seats at the restaurant. The next day, I went to school and my parents went to work. That year, my father’s company had printed hundreds of new year’s greeting cards in his name. To exhaust a few of them, I’d given them to teachers at school.
1993: The new year fever was catching on. It wasn’t that easy to find seats at restaurants. I remember this year we had gone shopping to Commercial Street. And then returned to Jayanagar 4th block for dinner and eaten in the self service section of Pavithra. I had taken my idli with sambar. And the guy had refused to give me chutney in an extra cup.
1994: Our first new year after we got cable television. We tried going out again. Long queue in most restaurants. We returned home and had dinner at home. Saw some programs on Zee TV. And counted down to new year alogn with the hosts at Zee TV.
1996: My mom’s cousin had gotten married the previous day, so there were loads of guests at my grandparents’ place, where we were also staying. The usual go-out-watch-TV routine, except that I had an awful cold.
1997: My tenth board exams were two months away. My father wasn’t at home – he had been transferred to Shaktinagar – an obscure township in north Karnataka, bordering Andhra. My mom didn’t know what to do. I just sat at home and studied. Yes. And slept early. The next morning, Chetan had invited us home for lunch. Half our class turned up. And we had a great time. It was the first time in my life I danced. And the girls of my class were quite sporting. And that was about the time when I was suddenly turned extrovert.
1998: Dad was still in Shaktinagar. I was in NPS, and everyone I knew was doing something. Partying had become cool. And I was doing nothing. Didn’t feel too good. Went out for a crowded and not-so-nice dinner with mom.
1999: My JEE screening test was two days away. I had been high all week, having been declared as the “objective types topper” in BASE (my JEE coaching factory) on Christmas Day. However, the last two tests hadn’t gone too well. I wrote a practice test that morning and revised inorganic chemistry in the afternoon. Evening I just took a short walk around Jayanagar 4th Block and ate some fast food and returned. I don’t really know how I spent Jan 1st.
2000 and 2001: Non-descript. The even semester at IIT started on Jan 2nd, so was home for these two New Years. Did nothing. Knew by then that roads would be clogged. Stayed home and watched TV. And called up my cousin at midnight. Jan 1st was mostly spent packing for the new term, and finally going to the station and boarding the train.
2002: Wasn’t too different from the preceding two years except that I was down with a fever, having just returned from a family vacation to Coorg. On the morning of the 1st, upon my mom’s bidding, I called up this long-lost-friend and talked to her for half an hour – the first long conversation I would have with her. And both of us forgot to wish the other a pahhy new year. I later blamed my fever. She had no excuse. And of course, I boarded a train on the 1st night.
2003: Same as 2000 and 2001. Minor difference was that I was writing the XAT (XLRI admission test) in Bangalore on the fourth, so I bunked the first few days of the term and stayed home. These bunks were to later prove costly.
2004: IIMB is a secular institution. They don’t care for celebrations and holidays and the show must go on. I remember writing a test on Diwali and on Holi. Another test scheduled for Christmas got postponed at the last minute. I wrote an end term on Ganapati pooja. And I’m sure I wrote exams on Id and Guru Poornima also, just that I didn’t keep track of these festivals.
Anyways, on the 1st of Jan 2005, we had our marketing end term exam. I had performed miserably during the term, majorly messing up my term project (I blame my randomly-assigned team for it; but this is another big story and too painful to write about); doing badly in the tests. I remember calling up my parents on New Year’s Eve and crying on the phone telling them that I’d get a C in marketing, and they shouldn’t scold me later for it (I finally did get a C – and my parents were obviously upset).
There was a party at IIMB. since most people were mugging, the venue was shifted from the normal L^2 to “EB woods”. I spent the evening with
drawing out the nominations for various ignobel awards to be given out that night. I was declared the “cheap guy of the year”. For this. And Twisted Shout had also gotten an award, I remember.
2005: I spent the morning at home. Afternoon at some shady cafe in BSK 2nd stage catching up with Shilpa. Evening meeting up with Anuroop and Karthik Ashwin at the Forum. Dosa and chaat in fourth block. Dinner at IIMB mess. A long round of AoE. And a blog post in the middle of the game.
Reached L^2 just in time for the stupid count down. Didn’t drink. Spent the night hugging the pillar below the basketball hoop – I would continue doing this for the next few L^2s. Returned home on 1st morning to “show my mom” that I hadn’t boozed. Went with Kodhi and the two commies for tea at infinitea. Back to campus…
2006: I was home alone, having earlier gone for a long lonely walk in Chamrajpet. Enjoying the newly-installed broadband connection. Listening to music on Pandora (it was still available in India then). With a hundred chat windows open. Mainly chatting with a couple of old crushes. A strange good feeling. Wished everyone a happy new year over IM. And I published my second short story. On this blog of course.
On the 1st Evening, I met up with Paddy and Vyshnavi and Karthik Ashwin at the coffee day in Jayanagar 7th block. I now associate that place with failed love stories. In the middle of 2006, I had met paddy there and told him a sad story. And today, paddy had to hear similar stuff.
2007: I’m sitting on my couch at home, with laptop on lap, writing this. Will have dinner soon. I’m supposed to go to IIMB to meet
, monkesh and a few others. Currently I’ve entered a comfort zone. Will take a lot to take me out of this. And to go out and catch a bus and go to IIMB. Likely that I’ll put NED. Nothing can be ruled out as yet.