2022 : Chaos amidst new beginning

The year 2022 was a year quite different from the last two years. 2020 was the year of Covid. Most people were experiencing a global pandemic for the first time. The primary damage was caused by the suddenness of the event. The effect of 2020 trickled into 2021, and the main damage was caused not by the suddenness but by the carelessness of the mass. So 2022 was supposed to bring with it hope. A silver lining after two years of suffering. But within the first quarter, the new beginning started moving towards chaos. The Russia-Ukraine war escalated to a new dimension, disrupting the established global order and pushing humanity towards a new era. A post-covid era.

As every coin has two sides, 2022 also saw some great achievements. New discoveries kept the science community excited throughout the year. 2022 also saw humanity achieve new heights in the field of space exploration. And finally, the year ended with Messi and his Argentine team winning the International Football World Cup. A trophy which everyone wanted Messi to win. This makes me wonder does the universe really conspire to make our dreams come true, or is it our actions or karma that decides our fate. We are all children of stardust, and all of us have our unique experience of the surrounding Universe. These experiences are what make us living beings, and that is what makes our life worth living for. This annual blog is an attempt to pen down some of my experiences.

Messi and co. win the International Football World Cup Image Source: Business Today

Social Life

From a career perspective, the year 2022 was also really productive for me. With eRay, we finally managed to convince the authorities that our project is important for the fight against climate change. The Darmstadt city authorities funded the testing of our water level monitoring system at Woog. With Harit Vikas also, things moved a bit forward. The journey had been slow but steady. We inducted two really talented interns into our team. Hopefully, with their support, we will be able to take Harit Vikas to newer heights. Thanks to Maloncho dida (my distant grandmother), we now have our own office in Kolkata as well.

Learning Spanish -Many years ago, I started learning Spanish on Duolingo. But I didn’t continue after a few weeks. Right at the start of the year, the urge to learn Spanish came back as I made friends with a few Spanish-speaking people. So I started learning Spanish on Duolingo again. I managed to practice Spanish for 300 days. This skill came in handy during my Venice visit. Although Spanish is not Italian, both languages have lots in common. I could place an order in Spanish. For the time being, I am not focusing on Spanish any more, but I would like to do a Spanish course in the near future.

Interpersonal relationships – In last year’s annual blog, I wrote that Covid gave us the opportunity to connect with our near and dear ones. I wanted the relationships to be less superficial and more meaningful. I think in this era of social media, deeper connections are somehow fading. And the constant urge to keep scrolling takes away hours of your time. I realized that you can be close to friends even without Facebook. So I decided to do an experiment on myself, an attempt to resist the urge to use Facebook. It has been a few months since I stopped using Facebook. Although it has just been a few months, it will be interesting to see if I can do it for a long.

Harit-Vikas office opening event in Jagatpur, Kolkata

Personal Life

2022 began with a surge in the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Most people who were Omicron infected showed little or no symptoms. That meant the pandemic was coming to an end, and that meant covid restrictions were also reduced, which meant travelling was getting normal. The experimental 9-Euro ticket launched by the German government also helped push tourism a lot. Ankita and I made sure that every month we travelled to some nearby or far place.
In February, we travelled to Wolnzach. A village in Bavaria without proper public transport. We also travelled to Blackforest to see the frozen Mumelsee. In March, we travelled to Venice to celebrate my 30th birthday. Venice is a city, unlike any other city in the world. Transportation is completely dependent on boats, and people are really warm and welcoming.
In 2021, we won Galileo masters, but because of covid, there was no celebration. So in April 2022, our team was invited to the Space Masters in Munich. This event was really special, especially because we made some really nice friends.

Celebrating the winning of Galileo and Copernicus Masters 2021

In May, we travelled to Istanbul. This historic city at the junction of two continents is indeed spectacular. The food, the hammams, the palace, the oceanic view, the architectural marvels, etc., everything makes the city a great place for tourists.
In June, I travelled to Stuttgart for a Messe. It also gave me the opportunity to visit the famous Mercedes-Benz museum. I was also glad to see the picture of the former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, in one of the exhibits. In July, we went to the Netherlands again. On this visit, we went to Marken, an island in the north of the Netherlands in Markersee. This used to be a salt lake, but the Netherlands, through extreme engineering, converted it into a sweet water lake.

In September, we went to Hamburg. This was the first time we were travelling to North Germany. What I found was Hamburg is quite different from other German cities such as Frankfurt or Munich. The buildings and architecture were very similar to that of the Netherlands. October involved a lot of travelling. There was Durga Pujo celebration after two years. We went to the Netherlands to spend the Pujo with family. In one of the Bengali associations, there was also a concert by Anjan Dutta, Neel Dutta and Amyt Dutta. This was my first time listening to Ajnan Dutta, and it was full of entertainment. At another weekend, we went to Blackforest to see the fall colours. No matter how many times you see these changing seasons, it never stops mesmerizing you.

Celebrating Durga Pujo in the Netherlands, October 2022

In November, I attended a conference called Intergeo which was organised in Essen. Essen used to be a coal mining town on the bank of Ruhr river. As a part of the trip, I got to visit a non-operational coal mine which has been turned into a museum. In November, I also travelled to India to spend the rest of the year in my home country. This time I planned to visit central India. I planned to visit my friend Sujit in Shahdol. Interestingly, Shahdol is also famous for its collieries. From there, we went to Bandhavgarh Forest and did a jeep Safari. We managed to see a tiger in the wild. This was my first experience of seeing a big cat in the wild. We also visited Amarkantak, the origin of two Important rivers of India, Narmada and Son. After Madhaya Pradesh, I travelled to Bihar to attend the wedding of a former roommate of mine. This gave me an opportunity to catch up with my old roommates and also travel Bihar for the first time. In Bihar, I travelled to Rajgir and Bodhgaya. Both Rajgir and Gaya are pilgrimage places for Buddhists and Hindus. And finally concluded the year with a short trip to Taki with my family, For the Christmas.

Wedding of Adarsh, Dec 2022

Books – Reading diverse books is something that I enjoy. It all started in K.V. I.O.C Noonmati. The school’s librarian also encouraged us to make the best use of libraries. After finishing my first Bengali book in 2021, in 2022, I wanted to read more Bengali books. Alas, I could manage only one. My other target with reading was to read six books a year. I am glad that I could manage it. 1971, Plassey Diary, Dare Dreamers: A Startup of Superheroes, 12 rules for Life, Sea of Troubles, What we owe to our future, Who is a Yogi. When the Ukraine-Russia war started, I thought I would start reading War and Peace. This Russian epic has been decorating my bookshelf for more than 5 years now. But I could manage only 20 pages. This is another thing that I would love to finish in recent future. The librarian mentioned above also made us write book reviews. I didn’t like writing reviews, but over time I realized it not only helps improve our writing skills, but it also helps us ponder about the book we read and form an opinion. Maybe I’ll start writing book reviews in the near future.

The Coda

Six years ago, I started writing this annual blog. The idea was simply to keep alive the writing habit. It also helps me compile everything I did in the past year and introspect where I can improve. Every year when I write this annual post, there is a thought in the back of my mind, “Wow! I did so many things in the past 1 year”, but the truth is when we are living the year, it doesn’t feel so. I also realised that instead of trying to set new goals or make resolutions to develop a new habit, it’s always better to improve on past resolutions. It’s the small progress which compounds and shapes our overall personality. So with the memories and learnings from the past year and hopes for an exciting and memorable year ahead, I would like to welcome 2023.


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