Tuesday, 20 December 2011


THIS IS WHAT MY BROTHER WROTE TO ME AND OTHERS (posted with his permission of course!)
I started the year reading Robin Sharma’s 7 fundas that promised that  the new year will be an unforgettable year if they were faithfully followed . I was so impressed and convinced that  I went to the extent of making a photo copy of this masterpiece and sticking it onto the first page of my diary. The 2nd of January 2011 was the last time I actually saw this piece of paper till today when I sat down to write this yearly Christmas letter ! If I think of what happened this far I know  I started off with the thought that I want to do something that matters and be a positive contribution to the world and this basic motivating thought still remains highly motivating at the year end! I do not want to delve on what went wrong this year though this in a conventional world is meant to help improve oneself. Yet a few or at one mention is well deserved.  A full 17 months at ‘Shutter Island’ does not do you much good, trust me, specially when you are isolated from the rest of the world in a sordid camp called ‘CCA site offices at Yas island, Abu Dhabi  .The alarm going off at 5 am, the long drive to and fro through crazy traffic, the exhaustion that takes you early to bed,  no two day weekend.... And then ‘Oh at least you have job’ thought tortures you even more specially when your employers make it obvious to keep your tongue harnessed!. Hopefully , 2012 will bring us back to the urban jungle of Dubai. My 2 other colleagues and I  long for the moment when we shall  triumphantly announce  that we survived the shutter island of Yas !  Actually started on Joseph Heller’s best selling classic- Catch 22 and was inspired to write my version of ‘Yas-22’ .Never got beyond the first chapter...of reading,  not writing!
This year I made it to 9 new countries, revisited 2 for the second time and the last planned trip Im headed home for Christmas. All this was completed in 4 different trips, one for each season, bringing me closer to the goal of WILTS ! ( The world in a lifetime series instituted by  cousin Melwyn and me in 1999 .) It was  Malta and Sicily in Spring ; UK, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Estonia in summer ; Austria, Hungary, Slovakia in Autumn and home sweet home Goa in winter. (32 degrees max is hardly winter yet the familiar carol ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’ keeps ringing in my ear....  ‘ from Dixie to Pensicola, there’s no better place to spend Christmas than home sweet home...” Sandi patti belts this out every morning as I drive to work  in her shrill soprano voice and I feel contented with my difficult decision.
Traveling thousands of  miles a year takes its toll,-  as in wishing you had done more !  But I remained in relatively good health for most of the year waiting expectantly for the next trip as the first one ended !!. All told, it was a great year for travel, and I'm grateful for all the adventures. I am thankful to my travel bug infected cousin Melwyn and his wife Valerie for inviting me yet again to join them on the trips to Malta and the enjoyable cruise to Scandinavia and Russia aboard the ‘Radiance of the Seas’ .And to my good friend Deven too. He was my companion exploring the gorgeous cities of Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava. One of the best travel experiences was the fall season in Europe, the air is cool(Got to use our winter clothes...winter clothes do look smart, yeh?) , the trees shades of gold, the aroma of chestnuts roasting by the street corners  and stalls being set up in anticipation of the festive season... This year my mother’s dream of a pilgrimage to Lourdes was fulfilled, thanks to my brother Felix who organised and flew with her  and all the ground work done by brother Cosme.  My uncle Joaquim passed away to the better world. My uncle was a great inspiration to me and our family being my mum’s elder brother. We spent all our formative  years in his wonderful house under his watchful eye. We learnt a lot of things from him other than learning discipline (difficult with 4 unruly boys under one roof !)– right from how to tie a tie to how to use a camera. Another ‘bigger than life’ personality who left this earth is  Lloyd’s father Archibald who in some way or the other contributed to our lives by just being there . Creativity flourished though I wish I could have done much more .....My first book called ‘Krafty kids’ was released in February .Thanks to Joseph and Cosme . And then Joseph finally got his first novel ‘Dona Paula’ published by Author House. My nephew/Godson Leander made his debut in the school production of ‘Almost Alice’ and ‘the phantom of the opera’. Very professional show indeed and he proved that he is born to shine on the stage with a great voice and an awesome stage presence. Watch out world! Leander and niece Luella did well at their Xth standard exams as well and did their families proud.  This sums up a lot of what happened this year and what I am feeling during the final days of 2011,feeling good at times, low at times but holding up well, motivated to continue with help from above, wanting to make sure I am doing the right things which is my biggest concern. And I am thankful... - there was always food on the table, an abundance of it , a variety of it.-Was in excellent health , my near and dear ones were kept safe ,healthy and happy too.-Safe on the roads specially driving  the treacherous  240 kms per day on Shk Zayed road.-For the company of friends who with their warm presence and thoughtful words led me on during low moments I wanna wake up feeling excited about what lies ahead, unsure as I am.....When I end my day and go to bed each day I want to look back and remember the contribution I have made to the day, my day................So help me God.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a peaceful new year 2012.
'May Love prevail'

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