Yearly Review 2023
So, it’s that time of the year, looking back, contemplating, feeling emotional on what happened and all those things. I was pretty confused with what the title should be because, I usually tend to put quircky titles for things and suddenly there isn’t a title I could think of ather than a really generic ones, so maybe yeah, I lost that quirckyness a but along the way, which is okay to live by if you think about it. Sometimes you have to clean your memory so that new memories can persist.
2023 when looking back gave goods and bads as any person would receive. Started off fine but by the last lap, it turned my world upside down. Like something I have never expected to happen and I have no clue how I’m still coping up with that stuff.
On December 31st, my senior engineer and mentor at Frappe resigned. It kinda made me lot of internal questioning about myself regarding how I’ll go forward with work because it felt that you are going to be alone in a 2 person team. But eventually had to move on to handling things but it was not great.
January was when Abraham, Kiran and Subin rented out a new apartment. They called it SPAM HQ because all 3 of them knew each in some ways via our Whatsapp group SPAM. I used to travel there every weekend to talk and chill with the guys. Great fun.
January was also when I went to Kozhikode for Kerala Literature Fest, it was in Kozhikode and spend 2 days there, walking, talking and enjoying food. But not so much on the books though. It was kinda a required weekend break.
By end of January, there was Pehia Summit and Barcamp Kochi. I took a session at Barcamp Kochi on Mechanical Keyboards, that was my first ever talk on Keyboards. It was really fun and chatted to a lot of people.
In February, it was time for Frappe offsite, we went to Bhopal this time. Really wierd place but our stay was in the middle of a forest, which was a nice experience. No Internet connectivity made it a little worse since none of the general operations went through. But it was a nice team building experience and I got to see the Sanchi Stupa. My mom who was the history teacher was so happy to hear that I saw the monument and the got to know the history behind it. I don’t recall anything else from February that is worth a say.
March was the month I went to Mumbai for a whole week and moved to a new role inside Frappe itself. Enjoyed and hated Mumbai at the same time. Whenever I visit Mumbai, I always ponder on why people actually live in a big city. More oppurtunities? Fast yet miserable lives? I guess it is something obvious that the village guy inside my head doesn’t see. Maybe art but at this point I don’t care.
April too I don’t recall much happening other than the work stuff which is too boooring for this context. Ooh, got a salary hike by 20% which was nice.
May was good. First week itself, Me, Abraham, Sid and Dharwish drove all the way to Malappuram(~100 KM) to see our friend Anirudh. He was going through a rough patch and all of us took him for a day out to the nearest beach. It was a good day, one that all of us will cherish. The next week, I had promised my younger brother that I’ll take him out for a motorcycle trip for a day. We rode to Wagamon which was a hill station near us(80km) and that was a good day too. May went on with the usual stuff.
June was the month our family started to look into buying a new car and I went on to book a new car, a Toyota. It was also the month of the new spiderman movie which I too went to watch on the first week itself. June was also the month of the plan to move out from my home to Kochi, which was not far but away to figure stuff out in my early 20s.
July started off with another Frappe offsite to Igatpuri which was near Mumbai itself. It was okay. New places and all was fine untill you feel out of place. July was the month I moved out. I moved out to Kochi but would come home for every weekend. Me and 5 other friends rented out a house in Kochi which was near Infopark and only three out of the six guys actually worked there. But the move gave me a whole new perspective of freedom and how things will be. I learned to cook new meals. Had a new workout routine which never actually worked out, lazy as ever. But new things and all of them fast. Subin moved out of Abraham’s flat and Bijoy who was also a long time friend joined in.
August wasn’t any good. Had to work from Mumbai for another whole week. It wasn’t great. Kinda pulled through, this time the whole dynamic was shifted with me and my team lead getting into tumultous conversations which fucked me up even bad. The thing is that I generally get anxious on smallest of things, I panic a lot when shit like these happen. Even existence seemed a burden to me then. I still recall tweeting about how losing fun in the things you love is bad and Abraham was the only one who actually called me and asked me what happened. I still recall him telling me don’t worry and things will turn out fine. August went through as I put myself in the pressure cooker of doubt. But every week I was at Kochi, I would go to Abraham’s place at 10pm once a week to geek out about things. I still continue this today.
September’s first week went on with going to Mumbai again and this time it was Frappe’s annual conference. I talked about the feature I worked on and 3 days later came back to Kochi.
September 2nd week
Yep, it’s a heading. This was one of the hardest weeks I had to go through. Debconf was happening in Kochi and Abraham was in the organizing team and we had already registered for it. We went for DebConf and met some old friends, had a lot of chat about software, SBI Auto Loans and how awesome some bank managers are. On September 12, me, Abraham, Bijoy and one of our friend went out for Dinner and we had quite a good dinner. I dropped off Bijoy and Abraham with our friend to Abraham’s place. I told Abraham that I was going home the next day and wouldn’t be able to see him till September ends.
The next day in the evening when I was going home, Bijoy called me and told me come back to Kochi as soon as possible and something bad had happened. I rushed back as soon as I could. We lost Abraham that day. My best friend, my brother was lying there in the bed of the canal, lifeless. The water took him. I couldn’t even process what I was happening in front of me.
I couldn’t get out of it. The grief, the loss, the pain. I haven’t cried like that since forever. I wake up cry for a few minutes, go on with life. Repeat. As Pink Floyd said, it comes in waves.
But all of this you wouldn’t get as the reader because I can’t make you feel the grief becuase I am not Arundhathi Roy or Khaled Hosseini or John Green. My grief is my own and it’s not conveyable via words.
I questioned all of the things I kept close, I questioned my faith, battled my gods on why this happened nothing made sense and still doesn’t.
September was fucked for me. I really wished I was sleeping and someone would wake me up after September ends like Green Day’s song. Alas, not a nightmare rather a reality I had to go through.
October went on. I travelled to Pune for a work sprint, met a friend of me and Abraham’s had a lot of talks. Attended my first ever actual interview at RedHat. Worked from a co-working space. Blah blah. Nothing made sense to me. I sucked at work. Bought a new car though. Had to switch to a Honda rather than a Toyota. Went to Bangalore for a weekend, met my cousins who work there, met my nephews and neices there.
November first week, our CEO asked me to start looking for a new job by December end. Took a two week break from work, resigned from Frappe on 22nd. What a trainwreck it was.
December has been moderately good. I sat for a few more interviews and got into a new company which had an office in Kochi. Will be starting there in January.
End Note: 2023 was fucked up. I still haven’t gotten over my grief. It hurts me to know that I won’t have my best buddy anymore nor will I get a chance to drink beer with him and talk about all shits of life with him. Philosophies don’t matter anymore. People who are gone aren’t going to come back. I’m not sure I’ll meet Abraham anywhere else maybe in my dreams. Wishful thinking is good till a point when you know that it’s just stupid hope. But it’s what us humans are, Hopeful!
Rather than overthinking Athul, I don’t even think anymore. Thinking is too bad for me since I’d rather be digging my own hole for me to rest. Athul died somewhere along the way, somepart of Athul lives, and I don’t even know which part lives. It’s just a matter of minutes till we break bread with out loved one for one last time.