Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review – WordPress style

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for Almost Hijau. A BIG thank you goes out to my awesome and amazing blog-friend, Ms. Bianchi of athingirl.com who is also the one who never fails to leave a comment every time I write something.

What a year 2012 has been. To all those responsible for the 1,900 views – stay in tune for more adventures in 2013!

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 1,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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2012 – A year of adventure and personal triumphs

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2 days before Christmas and one week before the turn of another year. 2012 has been especially generous and kind to me and I wanted to take this time to reflect back on what this year meant and all the achievements accomplished.

1. The Italian Job

Back when we were 12, my best friend, Z and I made a promise when we turned 24 we will go to Cape Town, South Africa as one of those trips you make to celebrate a milestone in your friendship. At 24 we figured we did not have the means nor the resources to go so the trip was postponed for a few years. Finally at the end of 2011, when we decided that it’s finally time the venue was changed to Italy.

For months we planned, and in March we flew into Rome and thus began our 10 days Italian trip termed as “The Italian Job”. It was our first trip together and we covered Rome, Naples, Sorrento, Capri & Florence in that 10 days. We ate loads, walked loads, and had our unforgettable “Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie” moment which involved getting stuck in a 3-pointer turn close to the Prada outlet, pushing a car manually, and waving frantically from the side of the road to flag down for help – all because we didn’t know to get into reverse mode on a manual car on a European car, you’d have to pull the knob up before pulling it back to reverse.

Endless trips of gelatos

Blue sky in Sorrento

THE best meal of my entire life, and just the way to celebrate turning 27

Ah, joy

17 years and going strong – my awesomepossum BFF

2. Vikasa Yoga, Teacher’s Training Course

The trip that altered everything internally and within me. They say to build or break a habit, keep doing something for 21 days. The 1 month spent on the beautiful island of Koh Samui fulfilling a schedule of 6 days a week of yoga, philosophy and self inquiry gave me the amazing gift of a new habit. My morning practice is invaluable to me as it provides me with the time and space to center my thoughts and get in touch with what really matters before I face the crazy rat race each day.

I discovered my love of teaching, that I could combine it with my obsession of healthy food, healthy living and geeky thirst of wanting to know every muscle and every bone in the body. I experienced an unexplainable sensation of joy, incomparable to any kind of happiness I have ever felt that moved me to tears. And most importantly I learned forgiveness is without a doubt, very very possible.

Setting our intentions out into Koh Samui’s skyline

When you are so alike, it’s not hard to bond over a very short period of time

3. The most beautiful, intimate, and amazing wedding to date

When Nan and Indar got engaged late last year, I knew deep down this was a union that will last for a long time to come. Their wedding this year solidified that belief as I became part of their beautiful wedding and watched happiness oozing out of every action, every event, every gesture and word that they uttered. Although I could not attend all of their events, I was especially honored to be able to walk with her into the temple as part of her family entourage. At her reception, I gave my first wedding speech ever and was ultimately relieved and proud that it went down as planned where the audience laughed when I wanted them to – perhaps this could be the moment that began my career as a stand up comedian? Haha ok maybe not..

Still, I had a lot of fun and their marriage re instilled my beliefs that weddings CAN be a fun and a joyful affair.

If happiness can be encapsulated to just one couple, this would be it. Congratulations Nan & Indar!

 

Of course there are other achievements I’ve reached this year in my career which remind me that I can indeed achieve anything that I put my mind to, and perseverance will eventually pay.

Looking back into the past 12 months, these 3 events stood out amongst all the rest precisely for the impact it has on me. It reminded me that God is generous in all His beautiful and mighty ways. Subhanallah

Closing the year off, I will be in Jakarta to visit a dear friend from Vikasa. Indeed this has been a year of travel, a year of adventure, a year filled with self inquiry and revelations of who I am and a year filled with challenges yet a one that is brimful with rewards too.

May 2013 continue in momentum of these positive growth and may it be filled with abundance, joy and love. Happy New Year!

“..and stand together, but not too close together, for the pillars of the temple stands apart”

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Yes, I am still very much alive despite the weeks of hiatus. In the 3 odd weeks that has passed, I had been taken away by the chaos that is life. I spent one weekend teaching yoga classes in a rented community hall just at the lobby of my apartment and saw the biggest turn out in my teaching career so far – 14 people in one session. That, to me was by far the most fun I had teaching yoga so far.

Another weekend was spent running around town, picking up my tailored sarees just in time for the wedding of two dear friends whom I hold close to my heart. It was my first Indian wedding, and possibly the first wedding that I had been genuinely excited to attend and be part of. I got to be part of the family and walk the bride down the ‘aisle’ at her temple wedding and watch the priest that married off her parents, did the same to her and the groom. Way earlier before the whole procession started, I got to shop for my first saree, and had it tailor made to fit. When I realised I had more than one occasion to attend, I made another. I love these two piece of clothing with such novelty, that if I could frame them and hang it for all to see, I would.

I sat in the car with Nan, the bride, minutes before she will walk out of the bridal car, into the temple and officially tie the knot in a Ceylonese tradition. And I can tell you, she is the most chilled-out, relaxed, unfazed and unperturbed bride I have ever seen. Not that I have seen many in my lifetime, but I think there are not many out there who will be able to sing along to Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” out loud and still make jokes just before she goes down the aisle.

During their reception, one of her favourite aunt described her as “chillax”, a word that Nan had coined and now has become very much part of her vocabulary.

I got to put my Olympus micro lens to good use as well, and was extremely happy with the result I got. Putting humility aside for a little while, I think I did about as good as a job as their hired photographer 🙂 Nan thinks I should pursue this photography thing seriously, and Z told me “fuck consulting, just go take photographs and teach yoga”.

Earlier in the year, while the both of them were down in town to kick start the wedding planning they had asked if I would give a speech at their reception. To which of course I said, yes! Can I read out loud a poem too? That was in March. On December 1, and 14 days before the reception, I decided that it’s about time I sit down and write out what I plan to say and maybe work on memorizing it too. And memorized it I did, reading it over out loud while alone in my apartment, and over and over again while driving in the car. Practice, in this case, makes perfect sense indeed. After the 5 minute speech, I had random guests coming up to me telling me I did a great job with the speech (phew!) and I especially recalled an old man that I saw from the temple wedding who came up to me and said

“What a wonderful speech you gave tonight. I can tell you, I have been to many many weddings, and your speech takes the prize”

Wow. I have no doubt that he has been to many, many, many weddings before. From this experience I learned, writing a speech straight from the heart is always the best way to go about it because when you eventually say those things out loud, the emotions that go behind each word is effortless and genuine.

I took an excerpt from one of my favorite poets, Kahlil Gibran from a poem he wrote as part of his written work called The Prophet. I decided to do this without having to Google ‘wedding poems’ despite it being (as I had found out much later) a very popular poem to be read at weddings. This was the portion which I read out loud for the beautiful bride and groom –

“…let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you (…)

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”
-Kahlil Gibran On Marriage