Thank you 2015, Welcome 2016

We talk of gratitude and being thankful for all that you have… 2015 actually brought that message home through loss and learning. 

For the KVHV gang, this would be one year that we will never forget … The loss of Taaha is still raw and nothing will ever fill that space for Javed. The best human being amongst us, was handed the harshest lesson by God and all we can do is pray for him to have the strength to live again. A son lost to God and a father’s smile lost to his friends …

About a month after Taaha left, we heard that Sumbe, our host and best man at our re-marriage at Mongolia had died… He was a snow leopard conservationist and it appears that some poachers have held a grudge against him. Another wonderful human being, doing much needed conservation, leaves too soon. He was probably 27 years old. I haven’t managed to write a condolence message even … The shock is yet to wear off. 

Exactly a month back on Dec 1st, Chennai got flooded and hundreds lost their life and nearly 50,000 people employed by the Small and Medium scale industries are jobless. A harrowing experience for many and a man made disaster cripples many lives. The unofficial death toll has crossed a 1000 and the loss is nearly ₹100,000 crore. Just staggering. 

Yes, these are incidents that made us cry and some still do .. But there are many things to still be thankful for. For us, here’s what we are thankful for – 

….. The brave soldiers who stand guard at our ground, sea and air borders so we can live our lives in peace. The first prayers go for your long life ! 

….. Twenty Five years of Krishnan and I being together and having a complete roller coaster ride through life ….the celebrations continue and plans for our 50th anniversary are being drawn up. Thanks for all the blessings and good wishes ! 

….. Thanks for the opportunity to have our mothers with us – there is no substitute for parents because no one wishes you well every second except them, even as they drive you up the wall 🙂

….. Thanks for the good health that helps us serve others.

….. Thanks to all our friends and family for bringing laughter and cheer. Thanks for the special moments, the birthday and anniversary wishes, just the remembering. Thanks also for the frank and candid feedback and advice.

….. Thanks to everyone (nearly 200 people) who sat through our presentation on ShikshaDaan and helped shape it better. The PGPMAX gang – a special call out to you all for the numerous suggestions, many of which we have implemented. Shashaank and Rashi – can’t thank you enough, for all the contacts and again the many helpful suggestions. Special thanks to the advisory council members – Rajeev, Usha, Abhay and Shanthi for guiding us through. Kapil Godani, Amit Hiremath and the Clarion team – the ShikshaDaan website is awesome, all thanks to you guys. Sriram – thanks for the infectious enthusiasm. Venkat – maybe what you thought in April, will happen now … We have to change the car since the Yeti got totalled in the Chennai floods. 

….. Thanks to every one of the ShikshaDaan heroes – 190 of them so far, for the opportunity to help in a small way as you pursue your dreams. Thanks for the privilege of watching you take off. Special mention for Sanjay – admission to IHM Goa is fantastic. Special mention for Devika – you are just a month away from completing your Engineering degree. Special mention for Reji … For teaching us how to persevere with a smile in the face of great adversity. 

….. Thanks to my awesome colleagues at Aon Hewitt. Thanks to my team for the most awesome farewell … My heart still beats for the organization because every time I refer to Aon Hewitt, I still say “our” organization :):). 

….. Thanks to Yoga and pranayama for curing me of the knee pain.

….. Thanks to R. K Laxman, for being the original common man  … To Manorama for entertaining us and being a role model – while you both left the Earth, your work and spirits live on.

….. Thanks for the opportunities to coach and mentor. It’s our privilege to know you all. 

….. Thanks to all the authors whose books we read during the year – life wouldn’t be the same without your books. 

….. Thanks to every challenge and inconvenience that came our way in 2015 – you helped us learn new things and added spice to life. 

….. Thanks to Mongolia and our new friends there for a memorable holiday and the deep silence of your country. Spiritual rejuvenation !

….. Thanks to all the large hearted sponsors of ShikshaDaan – you raised the bar and inspired many others. 

There is so much more to thank in life and I can go on …The pain of loss is a harsh lesson, but when you understand that no one really dies, the lesson is learnt. Krishnan’s father died 15 years back and my dad passed away 7 years back, we miss them, but their presence is felt still. They seem more alive now ! 

Thank you 2015 – a great year, giving way to yet another great year ! Wish everyone a happy new year everyday and count a blessing each day – you will realise you have more to be thankful for than complain about. 

Celebrating life !

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