January End Notes…

And just like that the first month of 2022 is at it’s end. This is what I love about time, it passes; it is also what I abhor about time, it passes. But I am glad to see the end of this month; I have some personal aspirations that are targeted to happen in March 2023, and now I am literally counting months and days! Besides January has never been a favorite of mine, but it usually treats me better than February , March and the lot until atleast August. So I am happy it is over and saddened that it is over!

Regardless of my sentiments, the fact remains that on ground, I did have a practical and productive month, despite being sick ( Chemo side effects now kicking in right and proper and expected to last until the end of the year!) where I accomplished plenty of reading and writing and cooking and managed to stay afloat at a work place increasingly going crazy! Thus, I thought it would be a good idea to note some of these things down, to remember the good instead of everything that is mundane or even irritating.

As I had mentioned in one my previous posts, I am not doing any kind of GoodReads Goal set reading, but I did think it was kind of important to track what genre I am writing, what century, language etc. so I started maintaining a simple everyday Excel tracker ( Yes! The Project Managers never die, they just find new use for MS Excel! ) And this is what January reading adventures looks like –

It is so evident that I am reading only English and mostly fiction, that I need to branch out more and soon. Good part is that I have few non-fiction which are all work in progress, including Humankind by Rutger Bergman, Either/Or by Søren Kierkegaard (though I do not think I will finish this soon or at times ever!) and Bullshit Jobs – A Theory by David Graeber. Hopefully February should look a bit more varied! Of all the books I read this month, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy easily my most outstanding reads of January; though I will always love this little known but wonderful novel called Welcome To The Great Mysterious by Lorna Landvik that always makes me cry in a good way! Which Way by Theodora Benson was also a very interesting read, especially considering it was written in 1931 and I should write a review soon. As is obvious, I had very good reading month and that I hope that sets the tone of my reading for rest of the year!

After all the torpedoes I have been dodging the last few years, I am also eternally grateful for my simple, everyday things that give me joy even if they are nothing to write home about. Below I share some of those moments, that gave me great comfort and pleasure, all through this month!

The new JBL Speaker that my Sister bought & on which we have been listening to Hindustani Classical, Jazz and good old Bollywood songs through the day!
This calendar which consists of selection of hand painted pictures by my very talented Cousin, depicting scenes from the places she visited, including our combined trips! This first one is of Nako Village in Spiti, India, in the deep Himalayas, which she, my sister and I spent exploring a few years ago over 2 long glorious weeks!
My best meals this month have all been home cooked and all incredibly delicious and many shared with friends and family making them even more special
The Winter Sun in my part of India is just wonderful – healing and warming! Soaking up the sun while reading some of my favorites has been one of the most memorable moments of this month!

In terms of viewing, I am not much of Netflixing type of an individual. But one Sunday evening, I had great fun binge watching “Kaun Banega Shikharawati” with my sister. A 10 part series exploring the relationship between 4 royal sisters and their father, set in modern day India was funny, sensitive and thoroughly zany! It included some of the best actors of the country with a laugh out loud script and some memorable characters!

That then is how my January looked like; and while work continues to be WORK and health indifferent, some good food, some good books and things like the sun and the music has seen me through it all! So to end, a short poem on the month –

For January I give you vests of skins,

And mighty fires in hall, and torches lit;

Chambers and happy beds with all things fit;

Smooth silken sheets, rough furry counterpanes;

And sweetmeats baked; and one that deftly spins

Warm arras; and Douay cloth, and store of it;

And on this merry manner still to twit

The wind, when most his mastery the wind wins.

Or issuing forth at seasons in the day,

Ye’ll fling soft handfuls of the fair white snow

Among the damsels standing round, in play:

And when you all are tired and all aglow,

Indoors again the court shall hold its sway,

And the free Fellowship continue so.

January by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

16 thoughts on “January End Notes…

  1. I’m in awe of your ability to continue working while undergoing chemo. That must be really tough.
    What part of India are you in? I’ve visited a few times for work but sadly only Mumbai, Pune and of course Taj Mahal

    1. Actually I found that for me sticking to a routine that was as nearly as normal as possible helped! I ofcourse could not work like before but I did 6-7 hours and it was good to talk to other people about stuff outside medicines and doctors, Working from Home helped because I could take a break whenever I needed to. I am based in Delhi 🙂 How did you like Taj? Any other places you visited or liked?

      1. yes I can understand the feeling to have some degree of normality in your life and not feel completely consumed by health issues. I loved the Taj, luckily we were there at a quiet time. Bt my most memorable visit was to a rural school just outside Pune where i got to talk to the teachers who did an amazing job with few resources

  2. First off, what a lovely artistic cousin you have – very talented. And I am happy you are surrounded by such lovely family and that January was a good reading month. I hope things continue to improve in February!

  3. my, you’re one tough gal!! not many i’ve heard of who could take on all of that! I know i couldn’t… i like the Rossetti a lot: great choice!

    1. Thank You! But I think when we do not have an option, we just have to do it! About Rossetti, I agree. I have mostly read Christina but must explore Dante more

  4. You have made me very curious about March 2023 ……. 🤔

    Yuck! You’re still getting side effects? I know that one doesn’t feel “normal” for even a couple of years but I didn’t realize that you’d still have those effects. I truly feel for you. Take care of yourself!

    Wow, your cousin is sooo talented! I’ve always wished I could draw well but sadly, I can’t. Please pass on my compliments to her.

    Any time you’d like to share a recipe, please feel free. Those meals looks scrumptious!

    I hope February is even better for you!!

    1. Hahahaa…..nothing big Cleo…no buying a house or getting married…some small personal targets! Yes…I am still getting side effects and significantly worse than I was in Chemo. My Docs tell me it is the nature of Chemo and surgery and I will take a year to be as “normal” as it gets. It is what it is and as long as I am better on a bigger scale aka Cancer, I am ok managing these bad days! Yes my cousin is supremely talented and I hope to see her great many things. I am there with you, cannot do any drawing/painting whatsoever! I for sure will share the compliments! Will share some recipe for sure….some of these foods are delicious and extremely healthy and make a nice change in daily menu! Wishing you the best of everything in February!

  5. I love these glimpses into your daily life and routines, and as always, I am in awe of your persistence and positivity in the face of bad days and chemo aftereffects.

    The winter sun on Narnia is a beautiful image, even if I am viewing it on a steamy, sticky summer’s day in Sydney!!
    And I’m with Cleo, some recipes please!

    You would get on well with Mr Books – he has a spreadsheet for everything too 😀

    1. Thank You so much for your kindness as always! Like I keep saying, we gotta do what we gotta do and really when you have no option, you just gave to get on with it! 😀 . I do hear you about the steamy, sticky day, summer incoming alert here as well; April onwards, its the same till October. Heat Fest! Ugh! Recipes for sure coming up soon; like I told Cleo, most of the home cooked food I am having is very traditional fare, and cooked fresh and highly nutritious and delicious and I am sure would make a nice change from everyday menu. I am so happy to know another spreadsheet aficionado; Mr. Books I am sure understands how much easier and simpler and organized life is in spreadsheets! lol!

  6. So sorry to hear chemo side effects are getting to you. I hope they quickly fade.

    What a lovely gift from your sister. And you cousin is very talented! What a treasure the art in her calendar is.

  7. “The Project Managers never die, they just find new use for MS Excel!” Love this 😆

    I have so much admiration and respect for you, working during your treatment, and reading, and cooking!! In spite of everything, I sure hope these coming months prove better for you than they have in the past, and pray for your healing/recovery from cancer and the chemo.

    Also, I have finally got a better RSS reader (I think) so hopefully I should be getting your blog updates now. 🙂

    Either/Or is a massive tome! I haven’t started it yet, though I do like Kirkegaard. One of my YouTube friends has an ongoing series called “Bite-Sized Kierkegaard” where he’s going over his works, currently in that very book: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHLHLSGzlDjyk9koY91bxyZWXl08zOFbY

    1. Hahahah….you know us PMs and Excels! lol! I find that it is easier to get through the treatment if I stick to routine and also in practice live my life as much as possible! Thank You for your prayers and the You Tube link! Yes, Either/Or is massive and obtuse so, you need time and patience to get through it! I will look into the You Tube link for guidance and reference!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s