2014 has come and gone and 2015 rushes in to greet us. Looking back over my shoulder 2014 was dominated by illnesses; Deepa’s being the most critical and my tryst with hernia being the lesser. Poison can be changed into medicine says the Soka Gakkai and so it came to pass. I will remember 2014 for many more reasons than illnesses.
Hernia was a disappointing development. Wanting to be back on the saddle as quickly as possible I rushed into a surgical procedure at the Max Hospital Saket. The experience at the hospital was outstanding. The credit for this must surely go to Dr Pradeep Choubhey, a Padma Shri awardee and a pioneer in minimal invasion surgery.
After a carefully crafted rehabilitation I was back on the cycle and cheerful that the hernia had not pushed me into a life of leisure. The tell tale signs of a recurrence after an aggressive cycle ride nearly broke my spirit. I cancelled two sessions with my personal trainer and then called him over to say that we had to start again from the very beginning. It looked like I would need to slow down the training sessions and also the cycling. It looked like I was heading for the placid exercising of the senior citizens. The use of a hernia belt and a graded scaling up worked for me. Today I am a lot more fit than at the start of the year and cycle with greater speed and endurance. Unfortunatel6y I could not test myself at the Desert 500 event as this was cancelled for the year and scheduled to return in 2015. I would be near 67 years then but I do look forward to the current aggressive training and cycling to continue till 70 and even beyond.
Setbacks have a way of putting the brakes on one’s plans and only determined effort to stay on course works. The year 2014 was one of setbacks but not of defeats. Deepa’s prolonged illness that kept her in the hospital for a month with about ten days in the ICU was the most serious setback we faced in the year. It was while at the hospital and in the midst of a respiratory crisis that I had the sinking feeling that all was over for her. With the grace of God she was revived and rushed to the ICU and put back on the road to recovery.
It could only have been the working of the shoten zenjin that the attack took place on a Thursday when her doctor does not hold OPD and picked up the phone and responded at once to the crisis. It was also providential that all the designated staff responded to the Code Blue alert that was sounded over the public address system and she was revived through ventilator support just in the nick of time. She had fallen into a state when she was not responding to voice commands before she was revived.
Careful treatment and judicious selection of drugs that suited her helped bring about a slow and gradual recovery. The need to put her back on myasthenia medication including the dreaded steroids threatened to spiral her into the painful psychotic condition of her myasthenia days. We deliberately cut back on the steroids against her doctor’s advice. Thankfully she pulled through although she is still weak and needs to rest frequently during the day. Her illness put me out of action in so far as cycling and training was concerned for almost two months. It took a while to get back into the core fitness levels but again I was able to get back to levels of fitness that I felt happy with by the end of the year.
Deepa’s illness however had a rather bright silver lining. It made me regular with my Buddhist prayers and also got me to reconnect with the BSG leaders. I had been contemplating a return to the BSG fold for a long time after my retirement from the hectic corporate life that I was leading. Inertia and the lack of ichinen just kept these thoughts adrift. Now I am strongly set to return to a new innings in BSG. What will be my role and the level of activities only time will tell. In doing so I would have succeeded in turning the poison of Deepa’s illness into a medicine for the well being of my family and myself.
A wonderful development during the year was our long overdue stay at our flat in B’lore. We stayed for over a month during April/May and we are back to avoid the peak winter of Delhi. During our last stay we organized the gas and the TV connections and together with the fridge and most of the essential crockery in place we have made it a pleasant place to stay. This is something that gave me no end of satisfaction. Our longish stays at B’lore also enabled us to reconnect with the larger family; we also managed a wonderful weekend break in Coorg.
My book Building Winning Partnerships was published and over a thousand copies distributed. Most of the copies went to the OSA Partners who were featured in the book and to organizations where ex Xerox colleagues supported my efforts. The book didn’t create any interest outside of the Xerox community. I was guilty of harbouring the belief that the book would be of interest to a wider audience. However this was not to be. The joy of putting it together was somewhat tempered by the luke warm response in the market place. Undaunted I plan to write a book on the migration of Anglo=Indians from Royapuram. While I plan to do a thoroughly professional job of researching, writing and publishing this book, I will be doing it for the joy and the opportunity to re-connect with my youth and not for commercial gain. I hope to publish the book before I turn 70.
Most of the resolutions I set up at the start of the year were acted upon with reading, writing and the Coursera study meeting expectations. Chess and photo editing got off to a late start but I did manage to cover some ground in December and I have set up a good platform to continue the study of these fields which are close to my heart in 2015.
The study of Internet Marketing and the Consultancy business never took off at all. I don’t have very much of interest in these areas and do not plan to pursue them in the New Year. I don’t intend to make any effort to carry out consultancy assignments in future and may only take up Executive Coaching should it come my way. It may come to pass that the focus of coaching my shift to activities in the Buddhist fold. I am making a conscious decision to turn away from the corporate world and instead occupy myself with activities of the cultural and spiritual world of the Soka Gakkai.
As I ready myself for the New Year, I will have a smaller bouquet of resolutions but all of them will be close to my heart and things that will give me both satisfaction and joy as I pursue them. I may add the learning of a skill I have not used before but will thread cautiously.
2015 here I come.