Happy New Year !

Happy New Year to you all ! 

As the new year begins, I look back at the last year and can't help but be amazed at how much was squeezed in that one year. What a year it was . 2011. So many things happened on a global scale that things happening to your life seemed to be quite dwarfed. A quick recall...

Personal Front

On the personal front, not much to report. Life going on as usual. Working in McAfee and working on tailoring solutions to various partners on the mobile front. I guess I am a household name in people interacting with the partner world in McAfee :D

One place though I was able to tick off from my list of places to go to - Amritsar's Golden Temple.

Golden Temple


Biking

Not a good year for my biking. Hardly any rides worth mentioning. We had the BN annual meet at Goa. This year we don't want to have it in the places we already had the meets on.

Breakfast ride near Gurgaon


The Highs

A couple of memorable events stood out this year.

India won the World Cup! Yeah ! I am not a big cricket buff, but then, you dont need to be a buff - its a religion. Now I hope Sachin can get his 100th 100 this year.

The biggest wedding on the planet - of British royalty - happened. About 2 billion people ( one out of every 3 people ) watched the live event.

Gaming
Big year for gaming. Lots of good titles. However, I don't play everything available, and also I am limited to the PC so, heres a short list.

World of Warcraft raid. 

World of Warcraft continued to hold its sway in the online gaming world. I had started a guild in the end of 2010, which finally disbanded in early 2011 due to efforts of an individual called Easha R. Swamy. Apparently, I am not a good guild master, so he forced me to give the guild master over to him, after which he just squandered away all good will and killed of the guild. Next effort was around the year end but this time i wisely stayed away from any role of responsibility in the guild - which was as well as office work takes up a huge chunk of my time. Finally a guild was formed on the Horde side on a server, and then the guild moved to the Alliance side on another server ( You can join the facebook group if you are interested). I think the downfall of all the Indian endeavors is the politics and favoritism that plague us in any sector.

Skyrim was launched, which became an amazing experience with its open worlds and fighting dragons. However, mid-way across i lost interest as it is just too vast and my time is quite limited.

Diablo 3 : I don't know when the game will be launched. But , somehow I got into the beta, and had a blast playing up to level 13 ( which is the level cap in beta). As the game is getting ready for launch, the characters keep getting reset and you need to keep start playing from 0. I just cant wait for this game to be released.

Star Wars : The old republic : This is a new MMO from Bioware and Lucas arts set in the world of Star Craft about a few millenia before the movies. I got lucky, and my secret santa clause gifted me a 90 day subscription. I find myself playing more of this game now than WoW cause its new and the story telling is really epic. Right now i am playin as a Jedi Sentiniel - who can wield 2 light sabers at the same time :)

I tried a few other games also like DeadSpace, Crysis 2 etc, but FPS is not my cup of tea specially when all the action happens in closed spaces. Crysis 2 was specially a big let down. Apart from the opening cinematics, the game was quite stupid. You are asked to meet someone at a location, and when you get there after being the death incarnate, you get to know that person has moved somewhere else and has asked to meet there. And this kept looping, till i lost interest.

Celebrities & Death

So many celebrities died that its not even funny. A list can be found on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deaths_in_2011

Steve Jobs, an icon for many - either of adoration or hate, passed on. I think this effect will be felt through the world. The last decade had apple featuring prominently in pushing the boundaries of usable gadgets, lead by the iPod. I don't think that today's generation will ever know the pains of using tape-recorders, which is not a big loss to be frank.

Osama Bin Laden was killed in an American mission on foreign soil. I think the one thing I found quite interesting was the stealth copter that crashed into the compound.

Kim Jong of North Korea died. The supreme leader was not as supreme as he thought.

India had its share of prominent people passing off:
Dev Anand died at the ripe age of 88. He was still going strong in his late years, and I think he had a great life.

Shammi Kapoor , another iconic actor breathed his last. Tareef karoun kya uski - indeed ! I think I will miss the antics of Shammi Kapoor more than Dev Anand.

Jagjit Singh the ghazal maestro passed away. I get nostalgic, remembering playing the tapes of his and Chitras and humming along with the music while studying ( any analytical task i do, it helps me to have some music in the background). Oh, the random player just switched to a track by Jagjit - Hoshwaalon Ko Khabar Kya.

Mario Miranda, another great person, a cartoonist also passed away. He had his own distinct style, which cannot be copied.

Nawab of Pataudi breathed his last this year. The one eyed Tiger of Indian cricket will always be remembered by Cricket fans - of which there are plenty in India.

Disasters

These can be man made of natural. Man made disasters are the slowdown in economy, and the fall in rupee. Man, is the Indian government incompetent or what ?

The disaster that hogged the most deadlines is of course the earthquake in Japan ( and that country does not get a break - there was another one this morning). That lead to widespread Tsunamis and the meltdown of the nuclear plant. On the bright side ( if you are a sci-fi buff), there is now more probability of having a real Godzilla.

Damn ! That was a happening year. Now, lets see what 2012 will have in store for us ! Which are the 2011 events that you remember most clearly ?

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