Traditions are something I am proud of and something I personally enjoy putting in an effort to keep them alive and kicking. I think I have inherited this trait from my mother. She loves keeping traditions alive and puts in a lot of effort to ensure we do things as they were done by our grandparents years ago. The birthday (prelude) post has become a tradition of some sorts in the few years since I started the blog, and I enjoy reflecting on my year whilst writing the customary post! Although the birthday is still two weeks away, its amazing how quickly another year has almost passed by and with it brought so many wonderful memories and some not so wonderful experiences as well. I would like to believe that I am becoming wiser but I highly doubt it! The only wisdom I think I have attained this year, is the wisdom tooth tucked away in the right corner of my mouth. A slight throb in my lower jaw, constantly reminding me that wisdom is a painful experience no matter what!
Its amazing how quickly time seems to be flying! I know that my best friends will be upset when they read the blog..and say your not old Riddhika! But I will say it anyway…The second half of the 20’s is a scary ride to be on.Its like the drop whilst on a roller coaster..you know it will eventually come along, but one is so anxious to face it!
The highlight of the last year would undoubtedly be, having my brother back home with us. I think I may have learnt how to live with him finally. We have become friends now, and we have at last cross the phase of competing; for attention, for love and over our egos! Its quite a nice feeling. My mom, Dad, Raghav and I spent some happy times in Dubai this year! Our cousins from America visited us and we spent some good time together! Our annual trip to Kullu to my grandmothers house was as always filled with a whole lot of fun, good food, long walks and lots of card sessions! We are now looking forward to being with our Dad’s side of the family in Goa later this month! Should be madness!
Apart from that, the two best friends are finally engaged, which has been very exciting. I think my feet still hurt from all the dancing at their engagement parties! I don’t know how I will survive their weddings later this year. Seeing two of your closest friends finally find their partners is such an overwhelming experience! Its really nice when their partners in turn become part of the circle and part of all the fun! Family and friend circle growing larger indeed.
Personally, I think I have done half of what I had set out to do, but I think any progress is good progress. Slightly more confident in speaking my mind and allowing people to not walk all over me this year. Experiences teache you to value yourself more. I enrolled myself in a hot yoga challenge and completed 14 consecutive days of Bikram Yoga in November. I think that was a true test of my willpower! I wanted to give up so many times, but I stuck it out and I am very glad I did. It helped me calm down immensely in my practice. My happiest moment is perhaps having completed both the Dubai Holding women’s 5 km run and the Standard Chartered 10 km run in the last one year! I have never felt happier than I did crossing the line on those two particular days. I’ve set my mind to training for the half marathon for the next season!
Thanks to a few very special individuals, I realized that my blogs reached far more people than I had ever imagined they would. I was encouraged to write often, and I appreciate the constant support and encouragement I get for my writing. You know who you all are, and I can never thank you enough for just being a part of my life. Its extremely kind for you all to take time out of your day and spare a few minutes to dive into my world. All of it makes me believe that there must have been a greater purpose for me to have started this blog in the first place. It truly is my sanctuary in the midst of all the chaos.
I think the wisdom tooth brought in some wise thoughts into my mind..I decided that I needed to do lots more classes, learn so much more from what life had to offer , and in general engage my mind far more than I did. I was introduced to a program by a former colleague from Barclays called The Rhythm of Life. A 12 day program which incorporated a few breathing exercises , meditation and a few talks on how to effectively set a faulty system back into place. Lack of time, commitment to a program as long, and general lack of will power contributed to my excuse for delaying something of this nature. With Ramadan on in Dubai, I decided that there was no better opportunity to invest into myself then the holy month. So I set out to attend the introductory session on a friday evening… That in itself is hardcore for me! To put in the effort to go somewhere on a holiday..takes effort! 😀 So you can just about imagine my josh! So impressed was I , that within the first 10 minutes of the session, I had mentally decided that this was it, I had to do this program, and gain some perspective.
Led by Guruji; Sanjeev Krishnan, Rhythm Yoga Centre is a wonderful learning space, for anyone who would like to get back into the Rhythm of Life as the name rightly suggests! Over a course of 12 days, we learnt some wonderful breathing techniques, yogic postures to relieve some common ailments, and were reminded of life’s most basic and simple ideas yet the most important ones. Its almost hard to explain the whole program to you in a nutshell, but all I would say is that if you have lost your zeal for life somewhere or you need some fresh perspective and take on things, ROL is a wonderful program to help you get that back!
While our sessions were held for two hours each evening during the week, on one of the days during the weekend, we were expected to be at the centre at 5:30 am, and hit the beach by 6 am. It felt bizarre to be doing something like that, but I am so glad I did. The weather didn’t dull our spirits for a second! We played a few games on the beach to break the ice amongst fellow students and in the process completely let go of any inhibitions that we may have had. This was followed by a wonderful breakfast at the centre itself and then a session on learning how to meditate.
I’m sure many of you think that meditating is so simple and hardly something that you need to learn, however, I do think its a very important concept that needs to be introduced to people in the correct manner. The person teaching you how to meditate has to do so in an informed manner; with the ability to tackle countless questions, and be open to it.
Guruji, was kind, and patient and went through the whole process extremely well; leaving very happy students behind.
You may ask what changed for me in the physical during the 12 days of the program, the answer to that would be nothing! Issues remain just as they were! However, my perspective on them changed. Mentally and emotionally its made me more aware, and more conscious about the thoughts that would plague my mind, and the emotions and reactions I felt when situations were out of my control. As we were taught, I was expecting someone else to die, whilst drinking poison myself. During the program I decided to to just accept my realities just as they were and let it go, finally feeling lighter in the midst of a lot of turmoil within.
Its such a strange thing, that halfway through the program, most of us had started to feel bad that our time together was ending. We had almost grown into a family sitting together each evening sharing our concerns and our dreams to rise above murky waters as the lotus does.
I have been lucky to have made some wonderful friends during the duration of this course and I cannot thank them enough, for being a part of my journey. Perhaps, there would not have been so much learning if it were any other way. I feel very blessed!
Thank you to everyone who has blessed me in the last year, none of it would have been possible without your support. Its all the love and blessings that help you sail through the tough times!
I think i can finally say this with confidence; I am ready for you 26 !
With infinite gratitude and love,