2008 was definitely one of the most eventful year. The year started with a rapid economic growth in the first half and simultaneously with global economic melt down led by US , Indian economy was also affected. Though the lay offs have not been massive as in the US, everyone is feeling the pinch. This was a year of stock market crash, investment bubble burst and the recession. In sports, Indian sports person excelled for the first time in the history. India received gold in an individual event. Indian boxers also received medals for the first time. By sending an unmanned mission to moon, India announced its arrival to the world. This was also the year of a big change in a country across seven seas with Barrack Obama being elected as President of the United States and Bush leaving the White House.. not before Bush got his farewell kiss from the Iraqi Muntadhar-Al-Zaiydi with all his ‘sole’. The year was full of terrorist attacks all over India and ending with the attack on Mumbai. As usual, we the ever forgiving and ever forgetting Indians simply shrugged off the memory of the attacks and were later busy in New Year Eve revelry. Pakistan on the other hand stationed it’s troops on Indian borders and asked for proof from the roof top!! The non state actors from across the border and our own state actors make a sad comedy!! The year also saw a new form of Hindu fundamentalism with an army colonel and a VHP activist being apprehended for terrorist activities.
On the state front, the stage too changed for the state actors. The green cap got replaced with the maroon one. BJP formed the govt. on it’s own strength. Nothing much changed for the common man. In Shimla, the water still came every third day. The roads are still in the same old condition. Earlier a visit to my village made me poorer with 1500. rupees, 500/ for the petrol and 1000/ for the repairs of the car. This figure went up by 30% in 2008. Thanks to the inflation and even worse driving condition on the dusty track called road! The year saw 150 people getting killed at Naina Devi temple where the govt. simply forgot to make arrangements for the large crowd. Another accident near Kufri killed almost all passengers in a bus where the driver had no license to drive the bus. But it was business as usual for the sarkar as people got killed. Meanwhile the Govt. babus were busy calculating their DAs and other allowances. In between, there was no time left for some actual work for which they happen to get paid. The Congress leaders remained busy fighting among themselves. No one expected them to oppose the govt. as they had their hands full. Major Mankotia announced retirement from politics after completing his ‘defeat Congress’ mission. HP University still remains a hot bed of communists.
On the personnel front, the year went fine. I completed one year in my new job. Elders in the family were still not able to make out how I work from home with just a laptop and a phone and seemed always busy. This blog also completed one year and have reached 7,300 hits. Add to this 4,400 hits to the original WordPress blog, the combined hits to 9500 ft in the Himalyas were over 11,000. Two of the stories got featured on Blogbharti. Not bad for a rookie! Made new friends this year and got involved with Himvani. Thanks to Varun. Connected with old friends from Shimlahangout. This year did no major traveling except for a trip to Jallori Pass and to Dharamshala and Dalhousie. The apple crop was average but due to the trouble in Jammu during apple season got good returns. The orchard seem to be demanding more than what it is giving back. Add to this the massive labour problem with Nepalese not coming now, sustaining the orchard is going to be an uphill task. Kaveri, the daughter will be 2 years old on Lohri. It has been a joy to watch the kid grow up. Another member is expected to join the family by April.
Here is a wishing everyone a great New 2009. May the New Year bring peace and happiness to you and your family!