Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Steady Ride

It’s been something of an interesting year. On the global scale the year was marked by disasters in the aviation industry. Malaysian Airlines lost not one but two flights in the space of a few months. As the year comes to an end, it was the turn of Malaysia’s star airline from the private sector to suffer a crash.

In terms of the global economy, we saw a comeback of the world’s largest economy, the USA. On a more positive note, the Obama Administration did something unusually courageous; it talked to Cuba and finally took positive steps to end a 50-year old embargo that had only served to keep the wet dreams of the Miami Cuban Diaspora happy. Hopefully this tropical island will boom in the way that it deserves to.

There were no big family events this year. My cousin Lucas got married to Cheryl, his long term girlfriend. She is a delightful addition to the family and we all look forward to the day when they start a family. Mum, Auntie Frieda and Uncle Adrian made an appearance.

For me, the Family Court decided to be kind and granted the adoption order to allow me to adopt Thuy, my favourite evil teen. She has since changed her name to Jennifer Tang and we are currently trying to get her settled on a long term basis in school. She’s settling into school slowly. Not sure if it’s a good thing but she’s got an aptitude for visual arts, rather like my sister who is born twenty years and one day before her.

The career front was ordinary. Unlike the preceding years there was not grand project with either the IIT or IIM Alumni, though I admittedly continue to be friends with members of both associations. I still keep in touch with Supriyo Sircar, of Polaris who continues to encourage me to write. I also remain on good terms with Suresh Shankar of Crayon Data and V. Harihairan of Third Wave Power.

The most prominent PR work was for Girija Pande, the current Chairman of Apex-Avalon and former Chairman of Tata Consultancy in Asia Pacific. I guess I had a stroke of luck, the Chinese President (China’s strongest leader in a generation), decided to visit India, which had elected Narendra Modi with one of the largest majorities ever enjoyed by an Indian Prime Minister. Suddenly everyone wanted to talk to a man who knew Sino-Indian Business Relations like the back of his hand and I had that person.

I remain at Bruno’s Bistrot. Have become part of the furniture and the owner and I have become after work buddies of sorts. I bring in the revenue and he allows me to snack and buys after work beer.
I’ve also become closer to my neighbours like Eintein David the bar manager of the Japanese restaurant next door and one of the nicest additions to life is the friendship of the Deveraux Family.

This year’s big change comes from an unusual source and my hero for the year was the most unexpected. I met Farooq Mann over three years ago. Not sure what happened between us but he decided not to speak to me for three years and then out of the blue he decided to return to my life.

And return he did. He’s brought me into the world of liquidations and insolvency work. I deal with an area of business that I never dealt with before and I’m grateful to him for helping me discover a new side of business.
Steady employment from two jobs hasn’t made me rich. I am ending the year without cash but I’ve built up my CPF reserves more quickly that I have been for a while. I’m not out of loser ville yet but I’m walking away from it. I’ve nearly doubled the account within the space of a year.

Not sure what happens in 2015. While I haven’t ended this year in the position I would have lived to end it in, I think the foundations for something better appear to have been laid. I look forward to the challenges of 2015.

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