Thodi Si Unlearned Happiness

3 Things 2016 Has Taught Me About Time

I signed off last year on the blog with wishes of a ‘bindaas’ 2016. Bindaas, a Hindi (Mumbaiya actually) slang roughly means without any hesitations. Carefree. With reckless abandon. And by God, did I have a bindaas year.

It’s been a rough year. A stop-go kind of one. One where schedules didn’t work and plans had to be improvised from month to month. A year where you just simply did. 2016 didn’t give much time for brainstorming or coming up with any action plans. You just did what you had to do and there was no time to reflect on what you were doing. How we’ve wound up to December is bewildering. Christmas weekend had me tingling, in a post-workout kind of way where you had 15% more to give at the gym that day but your class wasn’t core enough, slowly cooling down. Whether you’re done with the year or not, the holiday season in this part of the world automatically imposes a slow-down on you. And both 2016 and I have finally sat down and spoken to each other. About new beginnings and what this bindaas year has taught me about time.

Give Time To Develop Your Craft

It’s one thing to be talented, to have a dream, to be passionate about a cause. It’s another to do something about it.


Whether your idea works out or not, or whether your talent is a success or not, is largely a secondary thing. The important part is how much time you give to work and develop your craft. After years of daydreaming, this year I finally started my own company. While I knew from the outset that startups are hard work, I didn’t really anticipate the time it requires. To perfect your craft, to better your product or to come out a winner in anything, you have to give time to it. A lot of us don’t value and appreciate practice. Especially in the islands we have a very relaxed attitude to life and a ‘wing it’ approach even in our professional lives. My godfather always says that 95% of success is showing up and just doing the damn job.

New Beginnings 

I have never understood why people celebrate new beginnings so much. It’s one of the most overestimated human phases of life. Either they have no idea what’s about to unfold or they’ve simply miscalculated everything. You know despite the bubbles, balloons and the happy merriness of it all, new beginnings is sheer, back-breaking hard work. Either you’re moving or starting a new job or having a baby or starting up a new company, starting something new is not easy. And we humans seem to have fooled ourselves by the romance of new beginnings to not really comprehend the hard work that’s waiting.

Deciding to pursue your dream is easy, you’ll get many turning up for the opening party and celebrating your decision with you. But the next day, when you turn up to do the actual work – it’ll just be you then.

Failed Plans

If there’s one thing I know about life, it’s this – life loves to take your plans and toss it in the winds! Things rarely work the way you want it to work. While eventually you do end up where you’d want to be, it’s never via the way you’d like to go. Starting of this year, as I got ready to launch the 2nd platform on my company, Fiji was hit by a tropical cyclone. One of the worst in the region. With all my finances already invested in for our launch, it was one of the hardest things for me to swallow. While considering the state of the damage in some parts of the country, it would’ve been better to shift the whole thing to later in the year. But with so much preparation from other stakeholders and their time contribution, we shifted it by 2 weeks. While the event went ahead, the overall reception got lost somewhere in the aftermath of the natural disaster. And that set me back on a lot of things planned for 2016.

And that’s something you’ll have to understand about time. It’ll never work on your terms. You’ll have to on its.

This year I’ve learnt that nothing, nothing, is ever won in advance. And to even come close to achieving your goals or perfecting your craft, you need to give it time. Time that may be for something else otherwise.

Give Time To Grow Your Heart

This one particular day kind of shook me this year. Suruj got a bit sick earlier and the doctors sent us on a medical spree. And for 2 weeks, we hobbled through doctors rooms and test clinics.

After our appointment with this one specialist, I was standing at the reception to pay our bill. Another patient who’d just come out was standing next me while the receptionist tried to make another appointment with her. The lady in clear words said she didn’t want to see the doctor again while the blonde over the counter kept saying that the doctor had written on her reports to be seen again. When I looked over to the person, she was trying her hardest not break down and cry in a roomful of people. She did. And not a single person (including me) in the room knew what to do or how to comfort this stranger. She had come alone and she obviously got told something by the doctor that was too much for her to handle alone.

And in that moment, I realised how fragile life is. We spend so much time in developing our craft, our passions, our work but so little on our hearts. This year I spent the entirety of my year revolved around my startup and other work commitments. I met a lot of people and made many, many acquaintances but not one single new friend.

As Suruj pointed out that day on the drive back home (as astutely as only my mother can), that’s why I want you to get married, Shyamni. So one day you’ll have someone to hold your hand at the doctor’s surgery. #lesigh maaaa…

This year I’ve learnt, that you need to let your heart grow and that you have to give time for it do so.

Give Time To Hope

Life, as soon as you think you’ve got it figured, the bitch flips you over! And while our lifestyles are getting easier with technology and connectivity, to live life every day and to do it justice just keeps getting tougher. I know when I write this that I’m not the only one who goes to bed some nights and cries herself off to sleep from the sheer exhaustion of not keeping up.

But whatever your battle is, you must always, always keep hope. This blog site stands for everything hope is. Give time to hope, enough time for it to make you believe – that one day it will all come together. Somewhere in the daily stampede, it’s easy to forget that.

And once again this year I had to re-learn to give time to hope. So that hope can carry us through our battles; be it in perfecting our craft, achieving our goals or simply allowing love to unfold the layers of our hearts.


Here we are, Dear Reader – at the end of another year. And there’s nothing like a new year’s eve that brings infinite hope for another new beginning (here we go again!).

Wishing you strength and happiness in 2017 and always. And vhhy not, have another bindaas year on me!

Shyamni. xx

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3 thoughts on “3 Things 2016 Has Taught Me About Time

  1. Sukulu says:

    Love this and Suruj; she is a star (but i’m sure you already know that). A very happy and all things wonderful 2017 to you Shyamni!


  2. Being a person of the Indian diaspora, I commiserate with your writing vis-a-vis Narendra Modi. I am embarking on the arduous journey of making a feature length film on the struggles of the Girmit. This year being the centennial for abolishment of indentureship being the springboard. I am a US based filmmaker and was hoping I could interview you, for a documentary, I am making alongside to bring in awareness to the Girmit cause. Manosij


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