Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year Wishes and Thoughts 2010


The end of a year, particularly the end of a decade, is a time for
reflection as well as anticipation. The last year brought much
excitement and much joy to my family, friends and me, but not without
moments of gloom and despondency. Considering that every year is a
blessing, particularly after a certain age, we have much to be
grateful about the year that has just vanished into history.

We had our share of losses of dear and near ones in 2009. The most
painful of them was the unexpected and untimely passing away of Kala
Kaarthikeyan, who had a special place in our lives. The thought that
she and the others, who passed away, will not be there in the New Year
and in the years to come, detracts from the joy of anticipation. May
peace prevail on them.

The biggest event of the year for us was the wedding of Sreekanth,
Mishu, as we call him, to Sharu towards the end of the year on a
lovely beach in Goa. As they celebrate their honeymoon in Alexandria
at the dawn of the New Year, we wish them well. The excitement of
their short courtship, engagement and the splendid wedding dominated
the year. We also welcomed to our family fold Naimish and Gauri
Choksi, Sharu’s marvelous parents, who are ushering in the New Year in
Cambodia. The best thing about the wedding was that the entire family,
except two of Shree’s cousins, came to Goa and Trivandrum to
participate in the festivities. Many of our friends in different
countries came all the way to add luster to our delight. Others
showered felicitations and gifts on us from far and near. Thank you
all for your thoughts and prayers. We should also offer an
unconditional apology to some of you, who did not receive invitations
to the wedding.

The wedding, in a way, was linked to the other excitement of the year,
the election of Shashi Tharoor from Trivandrum. All of us were part of
his campaign and it was when Shree was engaged in door to door
campaign for Shashi, when he met Sharu, who had come to Trivandrum to
cover the campaign for Headlines Today. Shashi characterized their
wedding as an outstanding outcome of his political campaign. The
election results were good for India as it ensured continuity of the
Manmohan Singh Government, which has done much good for the country.
We are disappointed that the promise of Shashi Tharoor as a Minister
has diminished on account of his belief that he needs to communicate
his views directly to the people through a social network even as a
Minister. Hope he will have better luck in the New Year. Modern means
of communications should not undermine established traditions of

I have been taking on additional responsibilities in 2009, making
“retired life” busier than the days in the Foreign Service. The
membership of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), which
entails frequent travel to Delhi and more reading and writing, the
work of the Kerala International Centre (KIC), which has become an
active body of foreign affairs enthusiasts, my weekly programme on
Asianet and endless invitations to speak and write and my
responsibilities in Vayalarji’s Ministry have made life extremely
interesting and hectic. Towards the end of the year, I also assumed
some of the responsibilities that Shashi Tharoor had in the Dubai
based company, AFRAS. I also managed to spend two months as a Visiting
Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, doing some work on
a book on nuclear matters, which should see the light of day next
year. Even under the constant threat of being destroyed by the Kerala
Government, the Trivandrum Golf Club offered the much needed
distraction from work.

Lekha remained focused on her charity work even in the midst of the
wedding excitement and her dancing and painting bouts. She won two
awards during the year for her work with Karuna, which is now a
multinational charity establishment.

The social life in Trivandrum is not too hectic, but we must have
attended a hundred weddings in the year, ranging from simple affairs
to legendary lavish bashes. Government sponsored and other
celebrations and cultural festivals appear endless. The waste of power
on illuminations at the drop of a hat and thoughtless destruction of
trees and plants are distressing, not to speak of the crisis in the
administration on account of squabbles within and outside the ruling
coalition. Kerala deserves a break from all this in the New Year.

I know mailboxes are clogged with messages and no one has the time or
patience to read long New Year messages. On behalf of all the
Sreenivasans, Lekha, Sreenath, Roopa, Sreekanth, Sharu, Durga and
Krishna, let me reciprocate the sentiments in the hundreds of
messages, cards and phone calls we have received for 2010. Hope all
your dreams will come true in the years to come, if not in the New
Year itself. We are grateful for your continued friendship, affection
and consideration, which will illumine our lives in the years to come.


January 1, 2010


Penny Wise said...

Have been a regular reader of your blogs.Find them insightful.But beg to differ on your statement about Shashi Tharoor in your latest blog.Why can't we accept transparency?Ithink all the ruckus was generated by some jealous elements.There are ministers who have committed heinous crimes and nobody points a finger at them.

ചാരുദത്തന്‍‌ said...

Dear Sreeniyettan,

Wishing you all a Happy New Year. Nice to hear that you still go
livewire with your activities. have been watching your programs in Asianet. We met a couple of times at Abu Dhabi.My name is Suresh Nellikode, a former Gen. Secretary of ISC. I'll be a regular reader of your blog, henceforth.
- Suresh Nellikode