In one of my favourite scenes in the superhero movie "The Avengers" that came out earlier this year, the evil god Loki tries to threaten Iron Man by saying, "We have an army." Utterly unperturbed, Iron Man promptly replies, "We have a Hulk." For the last twenty-three years, whenever we have been threatened by cricketing armies from anywhere in the world, we could always retort in the same way as we always had our own Hulk ready to fight for us, to give us hope, and probably even lead us to a victory. Not any longer. The world didn't end in 2012, but the god of cricket definitely stepped down.
|Manhattan after Sandy (Source)|
Speaking of the apocalypse, the real 2012 was in no way as interesting as the movie version. Yes, the city that always gets devastated first in any disaster movie since King Kong is still recovering from hurricane Sandy, but it is still a far cry from the end of the world. There are, of course, hundreds of hurricanes in the world every year, but it's not everyday that I end up in the middle of one. Those three days without power and little contact with the outside world would be hard to forget, at least for some time to come.
The Mayan apocalypse was obviously an urban legend. The world can hardly be expected to end just because the guy making their calendar ran out of paper (or stone). However, humanity did suffer a number of setbacks in this year, be it in the deaths of people like astronaut Neil Armstrong, writer Sunil Gangopadhyay and sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, or due to inhuman crimes like the Newtown school shooting and the New Delhi bus rape case. Once again, I find my opposition to gun ownership in the USA and support for capital punishment in India justified, although I would have preferred if I had been proved wrong. On the positive side, Ajmal Kasab was finally executed, although some people said he died of dengue before he was finally hanged. Either way, it was a good riddance.
For me, the year was a mixed one, exactly like all other years. On the negative side... actually there's a lot, the least of which were my laptop's hard disk dying abruptly, and I losing my iPhone. On the positive side, I have been super busy with my research and I think I can finally see the light at the end of my Ph.D. tunnel. Whether that is daylight or the headlight of an oncoming train, only time will tell. But for the time being, the only thing that I can do is move steadily towards that light. In the process, I had to forego my annual India trip this winter, although I did manage a couple of other trips, to Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.
|Moth art created by Alex Hatjoullis|
So that's pretty much it for this year. For the time being I have my hands full with a lot of academic and non academic work, which includes reducing weight and learning to drive. You can say I have started on my resolutions even before the new year arrived. I won't make any false promises - blog posts here will be sporadic at best for the next few months to come. However, I'll try to write more posts on my Bengali blog from time to time, so that should be counted as good news if you can read Bengali. Or maybe that's bad news, depending on how you look at it. In other words, 2013 will be just like 2012, as far as I am concerned.
Except for one thing. I will not be able to see one little man play for India in a one day match again. A man who has played in more than half the matches ever played by India. A man who has scored more runs in World Cups than eight complete test playing nations. In spite of everything else that happened around the world, I'll probably remember 2012 most as the year when Sachin Tendulkar retired from one-day cricket.