As we step into the new year, here’s a quick personal recap of the highlights in the decades gone by…
1985 – Graced the Rathi household on July 23rd; made this planet a better place.
1987 – Joined the Abhinava fraternity as an entrant in Mini kg. (Can’t remember much about this phase, but my report cards and pictures look adorable, so I was obviously a wonder child.)
1991 – Enrolled in the first standard at Abhinava Primary School in June. Started the Academic Excellence award-winning series, and went on to stand first (or next to first) in class every year until Std 7. Did not win the scholarships in std 4 and 7 though, and felt quite depressed, but did become Head Prefect in std 7 to close primary school years with a bang. Fairly morose times now and then, but overall a pleasant phase.
1998 – High school years, quite merry. Started discovering myself. Learnt a little German, and started cycling to school.
2000 – My first trip abroad ever, courtesy Abba-Ammi. Visited Africa and enjoyed the safari.
2001 – Passed 10th. Missed the merit list, and majorly hated myself. Little comfort drawn from the fact that nobody from my batch made it to the wall of fame. Planned to tread a different path, and not join the herd of engineering-and-medicine-smitten flock. Arts beckoned, and Fergi welcomed me with open arms. I was right at the top of the first list that was released for admission! Whoever heard of intelligent people pursuing Arts? Setting new trends was always my style… Got a lot of flack from friends and family, but no regrets then and none at all now… Met Deepti, Lally, and some other cool folks, fun times!!
2002-2003 – Stepped into the world of modelling!! A shocker to everyone who knew me, but my face and body was plastered full frontal on the cover page of Pune Times. Enjoyed decking up and flaunting myself and the offerings of various boutiques for newspapers and magazines, did some shows and shoots, had a gala time and then bowed out. Just wanted to check out this glamorous and notorious field, did not intend to stay for long anyway!! Did some other marketing promotions and earned decent pocket money all through junior college. Financial independence rocks!!
2003 – Passed HSC (12th) and surprise surprise, stood 11th in the merit list! Such is life… When I put in 200% effort and dearly desired to come out tops, I was deprived (SSC – 10th), and this time with barely any sweat, I had managed to become famous! Thoroughly enjoyed the attention, though!
2004 – Took up Bachelor in Arts from FC and simultaneously completed a diploma in travel and tourism management from Tradewings, Pune. Started my first job in May at a software solutions company called Optimos. Terrific experience, unforgettable days. Nitin Moody, Roopa Karayi, Sumant Jena, Samir Karandikar, Mr. Sanjay Puri, Gurpreet Singh… shall never forget them… Quit Oct 2005 to focus on final year in college.
2006 – Graduated with top honours in Psychology from Fergusson College. Joined Masters in the same subject at the University of Pune. Working had become a craze, so took up a Language Instructor post at inlingua. Good money, great learning for 2 years. Meenakshi Iyer – the person who refined my language skills and introduced me to the world of blogging. Salut! Learnt how to swim, and freelanced with Chrysalis and Speakeasy. Prepared for SNAP (MBA entrance to Symbiosis institutes) and met dashing Mr. Param at the TIME institute. Got shortlisted for SIBM and SIMC but gave it a pass. Decided to take up MA Psychology instead.
2008 – Topped the Psychology department at the MA level, and started working with Alchemy, a private consultancy that gave me a bird’s eye view of the HR and OD training domain. Experiential training enamoured me, and I knew there was no looking back… Attended the basic lab at ISABS, Goa and met Bhanu, Snigdha and a whole lot of other beautiful people.
2009 – Yellowbox Consulting beckoned. Handled the training department on my own. Did not learn much, but made a friend for life – Ameya Gupte. Tried to snatch an MBA seat outside India, but destiny had other plans. Fell flat on my face despite scoring excellent marks in GMAT (700/800) and TOEFL (118/120), both without any coaching. Gave up plans to study abroad.
2010 – Fantastic year. Paid a visit to my dream destination, Pondicherry in Feb – the same month that my darling nephew Bhoomik was born. Then, in May, IBM happened (lucky month to join, I guess, ditto Optimos). Met some wonderful people, and learned something new everyday. One of the best things that happened to me, both personally and professionally… Anuradha Umalker, Natashya Phillips, Rakshith Shetty, Pushpal Machra, Shrivatsa Murthy, and so many more…
2011 – Here we are… Bad year. Made horrible by a failed lasik eye surgery and unpredictable, exploitative people. Did enjoy a few marvellous vacations though – Binsar and Ladakh, and a Mahabaleshwar escapade. Joined Spanish classes at SIFIL.
26 years gone by… and I can say with pride that I’m a far better person than most others I’ve known or met.
Happy New year 2012 fellas… Wish you many incredible decades to come!!