Previous years’ turmoil continued in 2013 with debates around healthcare, privacy, race, gun control, weather and more, coming to a boiling point. Everyone was persuaded to move out of their comfort zones, from Paula Dean (on race remarks) to those shocked by Sandy Hook shooting and Boston bombings (would gun control have an impact on curbing mass violent acts) to Obamacare (so many mishaps and jury is still out in terms of long term impact) to Pope St. Francis of Assisi (if Pope is sounding more like Jesus and embracing humanity, how are those entrenched in the church’s doctrine and dogma to make sense with any of it) to archaic “stand your ground” laws. World events also compelled national leaders to expand their perspectives and confront moral issues around Syria (as the world sits by helplessly, a country of 21M has created 2M refugees and 120,000+ have died), China (flush with economic power, flexing its muscle), enormous legacy and impact of Nelson Mandela (lesson to insist on justice and then follow it with compassion and forgiveness). And Mr. Obama has communicated that US delegation for upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia will include America’s openly gay athletes. If storms and typhoons are any indication of winds of change, they were blowing stronger than ever, towards the year’s end. Nearly 4000 people lost their lives and 4.4M people were displaced by super typhoon Haiyan, in Philippines. In the US, tornados, thunder storms, black ice, freezing rain, and power outages, briefly turned the concern over from global warming to global freezing. Winds of change are felt by many, as the job market has gotten stronger, housing market has markedly improved, stock market has rallied, hiring has continued to pick up pace and unemployment has fallen to 7%. Yeaaaaaa!!!!
As the year draws to a close, as a recruiter (focused on life science, biotech, and medical device companies that were lagging behind in the recovery), the pace of hiring is making me very busy and quite happy. Please see my opportunities in JOBS category of my blog www.darshanavnadkarni.wordpress.com and send resume to wd_darshana at hot mail dot com. The year was anything but uneventful, for me. I saw nearly two dozen plays (check out my reviews in the Play category), countless movies, read many books, attended book clubs, attended many conferences and talks (many of which I have written about on my blog), and attended many wonderful Gujarati music events (on which I have written in Gujarati). As a certified blogger, as member of the “press”, with my complementary tickets to live theater, conferences, and other events, it has been a great pleasure to spread the love and introduce many friends to the joys of quality entertainment and other events and I have interacted or have gotten mentioned by actors, directors, authors, and got mentioned in ads. It’s been a fun ride.
Both of us, my daughter, Neesha and I traveled. Neesha completed the last semester of this year, in a study abroad program, at Glasgow, Scotland. California girl absolutely loved Scotland, despite the weather! She also traveled to London and met the huge Kothari clan and many cousins (my mom’s side of the family), and traveled to Ireland (also loved it) and greatly enjoyed learning Scottish dancing. Neil is busy and IT is his life, so he says. My mom is doing well and I am grateful to the angels watching over her. I took absolutely delightful Mediterranean cruise and visited gorgeous islands of Greece (Athens, Mytilini, Mykonos, Heraklion) and mystical Turkey (Istanbul and Kusadasi). And then I went on yet another fantastic tour and visited amazing China! While the Mediterranean cruise tickled the senses, the trip to China, at the year’s end, expanded the senses. (Do check out my travel writeups on my blog, – a new category that I started this year).