Looking back at 2012

One of the most important lessons that I learnt this year – never put your health at stake no matter what. No, don’t do it even if you are absolutely sure that you will emerge unscathed. I did exactly that at the beginning of this year and now I am wondering if I will ever recover from that. Yeah, I had a lofty sense of righteousness about standing up for something good, blissfully blind to failure and its consequences – the known and unknown. I messed it up pretty bad shattering my health and mind to pieces. After having that near-death experience even without knowing it was one, my daily life was filled with problems hitherto unknown. While my body was recovering from a sudden and serious ailment at its own pace, my mind totally lost it. I was so scared of death and even more of life. I wondered everyday if there will be a tomorrow that I will wake up to. I lost interest in life, for it just seemed an inevitable procession to death. All the emotions – love, hate, affection, anger, happiness no longer made any sense to me. That my body was giving me a different problem every other day or once every few days didn’t help either. I felt really disturbed at having lost all the sense of ignorance and suddenly I was groping thin air trying to find out the purpose of life when it was this futile and meaningless. The people around me were rambling on and on just about what they wanted and there weren’t any comforting shoulders or enlightened minds whose help I could use. Suddenly, it became next to impossible to get interested or involve myself in anything. Even the things that I loved seemed to be nothing more than a vague memory from a distant past. I always had a morbid fear that something was horribly wrong with my body and doctors always seemed to miss finding that out and helping me. I had frequent panic attacks as a result. Hearing about violence, death of even unknown people still affects me very badly and gives me nightmares.

So how did I get out of such a messy state? What makes you think that I got out of it? I have learnt to accept and live with these things. That has eliminated most of the panic. Whatever is remnant, keeps me honest and helps me live life to the fullest. Yeah, health improving a bit has helped reduce the paranoia as well. There have been people who have done their bit to help me and I’m indebted to them.

My father came and lived with me while my health was recovering. He helped me to be very disciplined with my life style as that was of utmost importance at that time. Once my father went back, I learnt to cook on my own and managed to cook for about 6 months, though not for every time in a day. In the initial days, I did try to cook all the time, though gradually it reduced and went through barren periods in between. Starting from just following the procedure to prepare food, I tried out new things and learnt a fair bit about cooking which should keep me in good stead in the future.

Organizing an online treasure hunt contest at office by designing the event, website and conducting it successfully after an initial faux pas helped me get a lot of my confidence back. Visits to my alma mater for server and network administration work and for FStival made me feel as normal and happy as possible. Gradually towards the end of the year, I was back to near normalcy learning about a lot of new stuff and fiddling with them. One regret I have though is that I haven’t been able to contribute anything in terms of writing code or contributing to free software projects. I intend to change that in 2013.

Ever since my beloved Nokia N79 phone slipped out of my hands and fell into the toilet of a running train, I wanted to buy a good smartphone. With the Android boom happening these days, it was just an impulsive buy away. Though I bought my parents a Samsung Galaxy Y last year, I didn’t feel satisfied with a such phone. My mind always craved for a high-end latest smartphone. While Samsung Galaxy S3 captured my imagination and I was always on the verge of buying it, my mind kept reminding me that it wasn’t worth its steep price. The next best phone, Google Galaxy Nexus was at least 10K cheaper, though Samsung decided not to release the phone in India to push S3 as its leading phone. I bought my Galaxy Nexus from eBay India in the last week of August. Galaxy Nexus was a flagship Android phone and provided the pure Android experience straight from the hands of Google, which meant that it will always get updates directly from Google, far ahead of better phones. In the worst case, the phone manufacturer might arbitrarily decide to stop providing software updates to a phone after it is reasonably old, in order to push the newer models. I got my phone within 2 days of ordering and my initial experience was very hesitant, partly because I had never used such a big and powerful phone. I already had a bad history with expensive phones losing them soon after buying them. This phone cost twice as much as my most expensive phone till date. I kept using it only at home, too scared to take it outside. Since I don’t own a vehicle and travel by public transport, I was scared of losing the phone. But with time, I got used to handling it and have been taking it with me wherever I go. But the sad part is, when it rains, I am more worried about my phone getting wet than about me getting drenched. 🙂

After spending a very long time in deliberation, I got myself a server on the internet. It hosts my website and Keirthana’s and an owncloud instance – just for me to try out. I am sharing this server with Bala anna, who named it ‘Knuth’ 🙂 and would be hosting his site on it as well.

My parents opted for voluntary retirement from the service in Indian Railways some time in the middle of the year and have moved in with me at Bangalore last month. That has helped me greatly to lead a better and comfortable life. My gratitude to them as always.

I managed to attend a couple of Bangpypers’ meetings and also PyCon India 2012 which happened in Bangalore. As always, Bala anna participated with me.

Right now I’m at Trichy for the year-end vacation, penning down this post in bits and pieces whenever I have been blessed with electricity supply at home. If I have to blurt out truth plainly, I would have to say that 2012 is by far the worst year of my life, but as always there is a silver lining. I’ve had some really happy moments scattered in between the tough ones during the course of this life-changing year. And all I keep saying to myself is “This will pass. Tough times do not last, tough people do”.  Hoping for a great life ahead and wishing everyone the same.

Health in a free fall!

Searing pain at the sides of the nose where the eyebrows and the nose meet, inability to sit in front of the computer for reasonable periods without headaches, sugar level that is everywhere except under control and more things have clearly ensured that my health is really really poor and is going down.
Being a diabetic, I am supposed to very restrictive and careful with my health, but my health condition rarely ever lets me do so. Though I want to sit in front of the computer and work/learn/waste time, my present health condition doesn’t let me. I feel frustrated with it and increased frustration isn’t going to help anything. With the exams approaching, I have loads to memorize and make up for my poor performance at memorizing and writing loads of pages in the test, also known as preparing and doing well in the exam! I can’t take it anymore and I quit!