4 - 2017 in review

Feels like Feb 2017 was just yesterday.
It’s Jan 3rd 2018.

What have I achieved in the past year?
Very little.
What have I learned in the past year?
A lot.

I’ve always felt that if I focused my mind and effort on something, I’d get it done.
I’m a game changer. Albeit a lazy one.
If I could simply stop procrastinating and get things flowing, I’d make a revolutionary impact.

I played mrdanga during rath yatra last year.
During the end, when everyone was tired, they called me in.
My 30 min spotlight.
This may be no big deal for most. But in big temples with large congregations, and especially during huge festivals, being able to participate in the primary roles during kirtana is a privilege for the talented few.
It was my first time playing mrdanga semi-professionally. I’m no expert. And I learned whatever little I could by the ear. The fact that it matches the tune of the kirtana is sheer luck and Lord Balarama’s mercy.

I got chickenpox after my birthday.
Spent an entire month in bed.
For those who don’t know much about chickenpox, look up the symptoms.
It’s constant itching. You can’t touch the sores or they’d spread, leave bad marks or even worse, turn into some terrible skin infection.
There are no medicines. You have to wait it out until the symptoms disappear on their own.
Afterwards, it leaves dark spots on your skin.
I’d seen a girl get it when I was a kid in 4th grade maybe?
She was absent for a few weeks and came back with dark spots which stayed for a pretty long time.
I call it karma.
Chickenpox is common for kids. But I had to experience it as an adult because that’s how sinful I was.
Terrible.
I’m just lucky it faded away with very few marks left on my skin.
My case wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t covered in sores. They were random few but lasted a long time.

I got sick every few months. I went down with a viral infection once. Took a blood test. Results came back normal. Even my RBC was 14.1(?)% which astonished everyone.
Common colds lasted a few weeks everytime. Blocked nose, phlegm in my throat, which, unfortunately I don’t know how to spit out. I’m not an “argh thu!” kind of person. I wash all the mucus from my nose at the sink. Over-the-counter syrups didn’t help much.
Too many sins, too much sickness.

What do we learn?
Don’t be sinful. I’d killed a bunch of ants in my room before the chickenpox thing. So that could be the karma.
Yesterday I ran over a squirrel in the morning. At 5 p.m. I woke up from a nap with a stomach ache. Lasted through the evening and night. Today I’m fine. Karma? Maybe.

I sang Damodarastakam during the month of Kartika a few times. Played mrdanga.
Then one Sunday 3 weeks later, a bunch of kids took up the intruments and pretty much ruined the entire kirtana.
I was so mad, I quit, and only went to take darshan and offer the lamp.
I haven’t lead Gaura aarti since then. And new kanistha devotees have since taken up the service.

I made a considerable progress on my knowledge and understanding of Linux and FOSS softwares. I tested several Linux distros on my netbook. I rooted my smartphone and tried out a few custom ROMS on it. Steady progress. The most difficult part was venturing into the unknown because I was afraid of bricking my devices.

Yeah. I finally decided to actively become a good person. Am I a good person yet? No. But to discipline myself and aspire to achieve a spotless character isn’t bad for starters.

Summary of 2017 - Bad year.