Posts Tagged ‘The year that was’

Looking back at 2010, I feel like giving myself a pat on my back saying “Well done!” It has been a LONG and rather difficult year.

There have been many warm memories and some shocking revelations too. I met many lovely people and a couple of them I wish I hadn’t. More than anything else, this year has helped me understand myself better. I am now aware of the many shades to me and that there is a lot to be done before I can start loving myself again.

The year started with a LOT of learning. In a foreign land in a totally different culture and lifestyle (and being VERY reluctant to move here), I spent the first quarter just soaking in everything I saw and heard as if my soul was a sponge…The conservative inside me started to look like a fool with each passing day. All things I said I would NEVER do, started to happen one by one. Giving up on my Indian clothes and embracing the “western” culture was the first drastic change. Looking back it looks petty to me too but to be able to make that shift was really NOT.

Then came the phase where I started to meet and interact with people (Something I shied from all my life). Fathers in India perhaps HATE their daughters to approach strangers and mine has been no different. He is the kind who would not let me look at a stranger in the eye- let alone smiling and making a conversation with them! This was a happy change for me 🙂

Melbourne ALWAYS has something happening…there is no routine life here. Rather, a “new something everyday” is the routine here. I learnt this from TWITTER. Don’t look at me with those suspicious eyes- Twitter is NOT what you think it is. In fact, its what you make out of it. If you look down on it- its because YOU are responsible for creating something to look down upon. I LOVE twitter. 

From the very first few days in March 2010 when I met a few people at a twitter event (They are still the best I have seen here) to the recent “the whole twitter world is here” events- I have met, shared and smiled with people and their stories. They say we are all humans, the same race and all the same kind but I cant agree at all- In my point of view, humans in this part of the world are far more welcoming and warm than us Indians.  Far more approachable, honest, independent and brave. I am becoming more like them and less like us…Strangely, its STILL them and US. I’m hoping that will change soon too.

By mid year, I had met an equal share of US and THEM here and I felt a sort of “skin shedding”. I am indeed a new person today. Do you remember the PROUD and unapproachable Poonam who would never bend? I don’t remember her anymore! ( For those who don’t know, my name changed to Bhakti after a got married in 2009) I have taken a good beating on my pride and bent so much that I could break…Life has been harsh- for a good reason. Washing the bathroom is no longer “low class” and doing your own dirty linen is nothing to be ashamed of. If you want something- you got to work for it, else you just have to learn to live without it. This includes the first cup of coffee in the morning! Yes mom, I know I used to tell you that the worst poverty ever is when you have to make our own cup of first coffee for the day 🙂

By this time of the year I also noticed a “rage” here- sustainability. There was (and still is) a huge cry about “saving the world and environment”. All practises that we followed since childhood in India are the new “slow-living” mantras here :). Ethical fashion was one such thing. But by this time in Winter, when I set out to find my favourite Como-no Boots or anything like them here- I was lost. This encouraged me to start SO ETHIC. So Ethic is ME, I am So Ethic. It took over my life. I wanted to bring all things that I have loved to this country that has loved me so much. 

I knew I would never ever work for money in my life (Pop, you can take credit for this) Hence, So Ethic had to be for the greater good. That gave way for Australia’s first ever not-for-profit Ethical fashion hub. The response to this love of mine was overwhelming. Everyone loved it, wrote about it and raved about it. (But how many of them made it a part of their lives is another story- if you ask me what its future looks like, the answer is unknown to me but I do know that this part of the world will have to go through a sea change in their lifestyles to be able to start living the “sustainable” future. Lets start with turning of air conditioners and heaters and learning to live in the temperatures that are not-so-extreme here. Also, turn off the shops lights when they are shut, if you will)

Anyway, coming back to the point now 😉 

After the high of So Ethic, came the low tide of my visit to India. I learnt how it feels to have your feet in two boats. You have to make up your mind to bring them into one place…I am still unsure. Hopefully, 2011 will end this dilemna for me. My trip to India left me broken-hearted. Everyone had moved on (and why wouldn’t they?) and I felt out of place. This was my first time with the new family I was now a part of. Spending time at home but AWAY from the family I was born to (especially away from my bro Vishal) was a painful journey. I missed HOME while at home. It was surely the end of a chapter that I had LIVED and loved. I’m hoping time will fill the void that this has left in my life.

I returned to this place that I am still trying to call home. I needed time off to deal with the change but So Ethic was too new to allow any of that. To make matters worse, I saw the myself in ill-health.  A “minor stroke” at the age of 30 is surely a WAKE-UP call- “Now, stop think and ACT”

I have starting looking after myself more than anyone/thing else in the last quarter of the year and the plan for 2011 is much the same. Eat, pray, love and work on this body that is called the temple of the holy spirit. Also, I must start reading more than just the twitter timeline!

Bhakti is everything Poonam was not. Mostly an unhappy person, Bhakti is unhappy for all the wrong reasons… I have so much to thank God for and I never seem to be doing it. The most important part of my existence is my husband, Mohak (I know you have not heard me say this before, but that’s the truth-I need to understand and appreciate him more). He came into my life like a saviour when I was living it as if my life was something I OWE to the world. I had not realised what I need, what I like or what I can be- it was always what I can do for others. The same others who didn’t think twice before “moving on”.

Mohak has given me so much love and shown so much faith in me that I can never thank him enough. If I can work towards returning it even partially- we have a lovely lifetime ahead of us. So, I look forward to 2011 with a promise to LOVE like I have never loved before!

Bhakti’s 2010

Best trip: Apollo Bay Sept 2010

Best movie: Toystory3/The Social Network

Best gift: iPhone4 October 2010

Best app: Instagram/ Skype update: Video calling on the Iphone

Best word: Ace! (courtesy Lou Pardi)

Milestone: So Ethic

People who made 2010 special- Sameer, Vineet, Lou, Lara, Roger and Sam. Thank you and much love to you.

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