Episode 11: New Year Special, 2011 Edition

Note: I originally posted this article on a personal blog I ran when I was in my late teens and early twenties. I discovered in May 2020 that the Internet Archive had preserved the contents of that blog in its entirety, including some of the media. That blog was an important part of my personal history, so I reposted all of that content on this website for archival purposes. While my politics, opinions, and outlook on the world have changed radically since I wrote those posts between 2009 and 2011, it’s good to know that I was as much of an idiot then as I am now.


It’s January 2. Unsolicited new year’s wishes are no longer clogging my inbox. Partygoers have manged to somehow stumble home. Hangovers have been cured by home remedies whose effectiveness cannot satisfactorily be explained by science. People who resolved to be productive this year have already spent over 5 hours looking at allegedly funny pictures of allegedly cute animals. Those who resolved to read more books have finished reading the first three paragraphs of the prologue to a vampire love story they heard about on the telly. Nihilists who were claiming that the holiday season has no meaning and, hence, we should all be ashamed of enjoying ourselves have moved on to claiming that January has no meaning and, hence, we should all be ashamed of January. Existentialists are currently in an introspective stupor. They’ll wish you a happy new year sometime in April. Absurdists are throwing balls of yarn at Existentialists.

I, of course, am trying not to fail yet another semester. Happy new year, indeed.

To counter the feeling of despondency brought on by the variety of digital modulation techniques I’m having to cram into my pretty little head, I have taken some time off to bring you my list of the ups and down of year 2010. Neatly categorized and methodically packaged for mass consumption, just like last year.

Here goes.

The Good

  • Made some progress on Goonj, but Pratul and I ultimately decided to can the project. The failure taught us so much about software development that I’m putting it at the top of the “good” list.
  • Rediscovered Lisp. Land of Lisp is easily the best programming book to ever come out of the great publishing corporations of planet Earth.
  • Rediscovered my love for reading. This year’s highlights include: Stephenson’s Anathem, nearly everything by Haruki Murakami, Asimov’s Foundation and Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. Thanks, /r/books!
  • Rediscovered my love for writing. Didn’t write anything, though. Maybe this year.
  • Internalized a few important (and obvious) life lessons: unbridled curiosity is harmful, focus is important, hard work is the only way to get anywhere in life, the joy of creation is the greatest joy known to man, and the first draft of everything is crap.
  • Traveled alone for the first time in my life. Hope to do more traveling this year.
  • Met nearly everyone from #hackers-india.
  • Became more confident and less self-conscious than ever before. I doubt the people responsible for the change have any idea about how much they helped me.
  • Got my diet under control and started exercising. Lost weight. This was easier than I thought. Thanks, /r/fitness!

The Bad

  • Did not hang out much with Akshay and Apoorv. You guys have no clue how much I want to spend an evening with you.
  • Got carried away by the hype surrounding web frameworks. Wasted too much time wrestling with them. My next project will use minimalist frameworks like Flask or neatly modularized frameworks like Pyramid.
  • Architectural astronautery and NIH. Why do you think Goonj failed?

The Ugly

  • Spent most of the year navel-gazing. Did not accomplish anything meaningful.
  • Learned lessons about love … the hard way. I’m more clueless about the opposite gender than I thought.
  • Despite much prodding from Dipanshu and Pulkit, did not clear the exams I had failed in 2008 and 2009. Failed more exams. The major goal this year is to pass every single exam I previously failed so I can get my degree.
  • Spent too much time thinking about things I would never have thought of before. I think there was a period when I was just not myself. The good news is that this is a pretty normal developmental phase that everyone goes through. It’s over now, and I’m probably better off for it.

So there it is, my life in the year 2010 condensed to a few bullet points. Last year was about life lessons, internal conflict and growth. It was as painful, frustrating and unproductive as it could possibly have been. Whatever. It’s over now. Pratul said 2011 is the year of actualization and I have a feeling he might be right.

Goodbye. Have a great 2011 🙂