Though there is nothing special in the beginning of a new year, except a point in time where we tend to look back at the year gone by and try to wish ourselves and those around us a better coming year. At the turn of this new year the mood is subdued, a feeling of disgust and helplessness is there as a wave across the country, making it look absolutely futile to celebrate the coming of the new year while in our hearts we really wish that coming years are better for everyone. As a ritual, I look back at 2012 as it was for me, a year of many firsts for me, in all my chosen fields: Innovation, Travel and Books.
I got to travel to 5 new countries: Malaysia where I spoke at the International Travel Bloggers conference on content entrepreneurship, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary where I participated in a study tour. In India I traveled to Chhattisgarh for the first time and did the Chola Temple trail that I had wanted to do for quite some time. I also went to Varanasi after 30+ years and it was a trip that worked at multiple levels for me. Besides this there were many short trips in and around Hyderabad.
What stood out this year though was the publishing part of travel. My travel Story ‘An Ode to Indian Bazaars’ got published in the anthology Celebrating India published by Nivasini Publishers. My paper on ‘In City Travel’ was published in Earth, a journal of tourism and hospitality published by NITHM, Hyderabad. Various travel articles were published in newspapers The Hindu, The Statesman, Sunday DNA and Hans India, magazines WOW and the International Indian, apart from being quoted in various travel related articles. I conducted an open workshop on Travel Writing & Spoke on Travel Writing at events like Writer’s Carnival and Youth Diaries’ My Story event.
In the beginning of 2012 I separated by book reviews into a separate blog and for the first time got active on Facebook and Twitter. This gave me an opportunity to connect strongly with publishers and authors. With 280 books reviewed, this may be one of the largest repositories of books reviewed by a single person in the country. I would like to invite ideas on what can potentially be done with this database.
I had the pleasure of talking to trainee ICS officers on book reviews and judging their book review presentations at MCR AP Institute, Hyderabad. I really cherish my interaction with the bright and young officers who play a significant role in the society.
Co-authored the India Innovates report for CII that was released at a CII event in Delhi this October. Working on these case studies was the most rewarding time of the year as I got to interact with the innovators and was able to help them a little by telling their stories to the larger audience.
Deccan Chronicle and Websites Blogadda, We Are Hyd and Local Pegion carried a feature on me that included my work in all three areas. I studied Kabir this year in an organized manned as part of a study group and this remains the most cherished part of 2012.
What I am happy about is that in all three areas that I am passionate about – Innovation, Travel & Books, I made a little progress. I know these are all very small beginnings. I hope some of these will prove to be the stepping-stone for bigger things.
Wish you all a very peaceful and soulful 2013.