Monday, 7 January 2013

The best and the worst of 2012

It is natural to reflect on the time that has just passed by, when we get to the end of a year and the beginning of another. While one always hopes that there would be more positives then the negatives in ones life, nevertheless everything is relative and some things are less pleasant than others. Of course I would prefer to dwell on the good things that happened in 2012 and hope for the best in 2013.

The economic situation of many countries in Europe and specially of Spain worsened considerably in 2012, and its heart wrenching to see so many young people without any prospects after the completion of their studies in Universities and colleges. Many of the best minds of the country are likely to emigrate, which is a depressing thought specially when one considers what resources have gone into the preparation of those minds. On a daily level too its very obvious, with lots of businesses closing or reducing their operation, and it makes for a more glum environment than say two years ago when we arrived here. The coverage in the media, of stories of corruption and the experience of many with the banking scandals such as the preferent shares adds further to the woes of the Spaniards.

Our own situation remains unaffected, thank god, since we depend partly on the British economy which is in rather better shape so far. One hopes that the politicians know what they are doing, which is a risky strategy at the best of times. My rule of thumb usually involves not depending on either the politicians or religious orders for any projects! So far so good.

On the plus side the arrival of our second grandson Nicolas (or Nico for short) has been a great blessing and we look forward to many years of enjoying their growing up. The Bhatias network continues to thrive on the Internet and long may it last and it is interesting to keep in touch with all their projects and experiences. More  plans are underway for this year and we hope to enjoy some of these in due course.

As in other years 2012 was also full of art projects which matured with great satisfaction and we will recall all these experiences fondly for the years ahead. There was the usual round of travels and socialising which makes for a feeling of general wellbeing and that somehow we had done somethings worthwhile. In particular Dubai and Bangkok were interesting experiences. The towering skyscraper skyline of Dubai is spectacular, with its tallest building in the world the Khalifa Tower, almost 1 kilometer high! Amazingly the oldest part of Dubai is only about 60 years old, or so it seems. Nowe that the construction of all those skyscrapers has nearly finished , everything looks great, except for one thing...its unbearably hot and noone wants to walk in the heat out in the streets.

In this the heat, Dubai has something in common with Bangkok. However the old palaces and temples in Thailand are in stark contrast to the buildings of Dubai. Earlier blogs deal with our experiences during the travel, including the discovery of the missing endorsements from visas to was really disappointing not going to India after all the arrangements had been made. Nevermind, we will return in March 2013.

And right at the end of the year there was the incident with the young lady who died in Delhi after a horrific ordeal. That put a glum luster on the end of year celebrations.

Still a positive year when health, wealth and happiness were all in black (using a banking analogy, though I am not sure its safe to rely on anything that smells of bank). Once again our best wishes for friends and family around the world. In the words of one recent email with a message, you all are our Golf Balls (apologies to those who have not yet seen the glass filling message!!) 

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