The best thing that happened to me this year didn’t involve me at all, except as a giggling spectator. My then eight-month-and-twelve-days old son rose up on wobbly legs and took one step. He looked at me for approval, which came in the form a girly giggle. (I’m not ashamed to say, I kick into an off-key falsetto whenever I am excited.)
Ari, for that’s his name, perused the wooden floor of our room in Taj, Srinagar. After 43 hours or so of careful examination of the floor’s structural integrity, he shuffle-stepped. Then, with a leonine roar he quick footed the next three steps into my sweetly aching arms.
When I picked Ari up, I realised I couldn’t stand. I knelt before my knees gave way. I felt so gloriously weak in that moment.
This is when my somnambulant heart whispered in my mind, ‘in the end you aren’t defined by what you do, but by the moments when you’ve been truly alive’. It may well be that very same thought has been beamed at me many times over, but this was the first time I listened.
The tragedy is that it took me 46 years of living to understand that. The good thing is that I did.
The one regret I have (among many) is that I cheated my daughter of those moments. I wasn’t strong enough to be vulnerable eight years back. My overcompensation has been to spoil her silly over the last few months.
My biggest learning from this is that it’s okay to be weak sometimes and let it show, if you have people around you who will be strong for you. It makes for great work and an even better life.
In that respect I am hugely fortunate. In some of my toughest moments: my family, my friends, and so many of you who I met in passing, or on Facebook, all of you were my strength. For that and much else, I am utterly grateful.
Wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
Bobby Pawar is Director, Chief Creative Officer - South Asia, Publicis Worldwide.