Special Moments of 2022

Wijay000
9 min readDec 31, 2022

I was asking myself what were some moments in 2022 that were so special to me and how those moments inspired me or gave me a new insight or perspective to me. Then, I asked myself why I should not write a post about it. While there were many moments, I am going to list 10 of them.

#1 My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary

We celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents in Madurai in August. I visited India after 3 years. It gave an opportunity to regroup as a family. It also gave an opportunity for many of our relatives and my father’s colleagues & friends to meet and remember their work & life. My father was at his happiest self and I had never seen him so happy in my life.

The highlight of the event was my father’s classmates who came all the way from our native place near Suruli Falls (Cumbum Valley) driving for more than 3 hours.

#2 Virat Kohli’s six in the T20 match against Pakistan

India required 31 off 12 balls with Virat Kohli still at the crease. Haris Rauf, Pakistan’s star bowler bowled four brilliant deliveries and the target was 28 off 8 balls. Rauf’s 5th ball was also a brilliant one but Virat Kohli pulled off one of the finest shots the cricket world has ever seen. Virat hit a six where there was no chance of a six at all and he hit it with such an effortless straight bat. It was a masterstroke and it was a master’s stroke. He followed it up with another flick of the wrist six and turned the match on its head. It was one of the greatest knocks I have ever seen in my life and those two sixes will stay in the minds and hearts of every Indian.

Sport and movies need a bit of exaggeration to illustrate the experience. If you didn’t watch those two sixes LIVE, you basically havent lived your life.

#3 Messi’s goal against Australia and his brilliance in the WC final

Messi’s goal against Australia is one of the greatest goals I have seen. There was no chance of a goal with three defenders and the goalkeeper and yet, he sees it and he scores it. Watch below

Messi magic! | Argentina v Australia | Round of 16 | FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 — YouTube

In the semifinal and final, he was just absolutely brilliant. The world cup final was the best football I’ve seen in my life. It was a match between France’s brilliant coach Didier Deschamps and Lionel Messi. Didier took out almost all his senior players except Mbappe and pumped in fresh blood after Argentina took a dominant 2–0 lead. That strategy paid handsome dividends with France finding new energy dominating Argentina in the last 20 mins. After a nail biter, Argentina ended a 36 year world cup drought.

Messi lifted not just the trophy but himself above all the GOATs in football.

In addition, Qatar’s dream to organize a world cup in a desert and making it happen was so inspirational as well.

#4 Kamal Hassan’s Vikram

I watched a Kamal Hassan movie after a long time. The theater was full and there was so much crowd in Geneva that it was hard to find the right seats. Once the film started, we were glued to the seats and then, the pinnacle of the film came through the exquisitely shot interval sequence. The staging, Anirudh’s background music, the lighting, the youtube cooks, the vijay sethupathi magic and Kamal Hassan’s ‘Arambikalaangala?’ was just out of this world. When the screen showed ‘Intermission’, I was pinching myself and asking whether this was an Indian film. It was mind blowing.

𝐕𝐈𝐊𝐑𝐀𝐌 𝐈𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐑𝐕𝐀𝐋 𝐒𝐂𝐄𝐍𝐄 — YouTube

You can make anything world class if you believe in and dedicate yourself to it. This was the message that Lokesh Kanagaraj delivered through the film

Kamal Hassan is in the film industry for 60 years and even at this age of 67, he is still giving every hero a run for their money with his swag, dance and uber cool attitude. This dance especially from 1:08–1:22 in the pathala pathala song (video below) gave me goosebumps. He danced better than all the other dancers dancing with him and his moves were just so perfect.

Pathala Pathala Video | VIKRAM | Kamal Haasan | Anirudh Ravichander | Lokesh Kanagaraj — YouTube

I want to be as cool as Kamal Hassan when I turn 67 and I want to have that swag.

#5 Passing the French exam

I am definitely proud of this one. I took French lessons with a teacher and I had to get A1(basic) in writing and A2(intermediate) in Oral which includes listening and speaking. I had 5 weeks to prepare for the exam. The exam cost 250 CHF and I didn’t know from where I got that level of focus. Every day, I spent 3–4 hours watching, reading, hearing and also, conversing with friends to get to that level. I was so focused and did my work diligently. I was very confident in writing because I was doing very well in writing from the very beginning.

On the exam day, I made some blunders which included forgetting few words that led to an ‘okay’ performance in speaking. When the results came after a month, I had scored 76/100 in Oral and 92/100 in writing. I was just 3 points shy of B1 level and had comfortably passed my exam with ease. It was so satisfying and the efforts yielded the desired outcomes.

#6 A day in a slum in Mexico City

I got a great opportunity to do a project to help teen mothers in Mexico get back on the path towards employability. As part of the research work, we did an immersion study in one of the slums on the outskirts of Mexico City. We spent half a day with a family of a young mother who has 3 kids. She delivered her first child when she was 13. She lives with her grandmother and a mentally challenged sister. She earns her living by selling toys on the traffic signal. It was one of the most eye opening moments in my life which led to one of my best insights ever. Poverty is an outcome of behaviour and not money. Most of the people who live in poverty don’t like the routines that we are used to and in a way, they have the same mindset of the rich. The rich buy their time while the poor keep their time and choose to suffer instead of compromising with a 9–5 routine.

The other big surprise for me during that day was the trip to the school to pick up the kids. The school was named after Rabindranath Tagore. Can you believe it?

#7 A visit to San Marino, my 43rd country

San Marino is a tiny republic inside Italy on the east coast in the Emilio Romagne region of Italy. I created an opportunity to visit this tiny republic and it was my 7th trip to Italy, my favorite country. One can spend 2–3 hours here and this country was created to facilitate investments and it is one of the oldest republics in the world. It was a foggy day but we were lucky that the sun showed up on the top of the mountain.

During this trip, I also got an opportunity to visit one of my most favorite cities, Florence, for the third time. Florence is the capital of Tuscany, the most beautiful region on this planet and was home to Leonardo Da Vinci. It houses so many amazing museums including the Uffizi Gallery which houses the famous statue David by Leonardo Da Vinci. It also has probably one of the most beautiful bridges I have ever seen and this bridge is a treat to your eyes. it is called Ponte Vecchio and it is a bridge which has so many buildings on top of the bridge which makes it beautiful and lively.

#8 A conversation with Shai Agassi

Shai Agassi is one of my biggest inspirations. In 2008, he had this big vision to get his country Israel out of dependence on oil from its powerful neighbours who are also its enemies. He is a dreamer who created Better Place, the pioneering electric mobility ecosystem in 2008 much before Tesla. He quit his high profile job at SAP where he was a CEO in-line but chose to pursue this path because of the inspiration from Israeli president, Shimon Perez. It started with much fanfare and ended up as one of the biggest failures in the world.

I am working on a book on innovators who are moving the planet towards Net zero and wanted to include a chapter on Shai Agassi. I didnt have his address but after so many different outreach approaches, I finally reached Shai and convinced him to share his story with me which is now a chapter in my new book which is releasing in 2023.

You can watch his inspiring TED talk here

Shai Agassi: A new ecosystem for electric cars — YouTube

#9 My long walks at the start of the year

I decided to go on long walks at the start of the year. I started with a walk to Mt.Saleve which is 16 kms from my home. My daughter also decided to join me and we completed the walk in 5 hours including a break for lunch. I thought I could do the 16 kms in 3 hours but it took much much longer. My daughter decided to go back by bus but I decided to walk back to home. I did a total of 32 kms in 9 hours and it was such a fulfilling journey.

I followed this with a long walk to GEX which is 30 kms for a return trip. But I hurt my leg after this trip and didn’t do a long walk for the rest of the year but these two long walks were such a beautiful experience to cherish.

Walk 2: The Long Walk to GEX — 30.2 kms — YouTube

#10 Meditated for 201 days this year and started Yoga.

I got connected to Alok Kejriwal, who is one of India’s famous entrepreneurs and his wife Chhavi Kejriwal, who conduct the Art of Living courses. After the three day course, Alok created a whatsapp group where all my batchmates were asked to report back on our daily practice. There were 3 people in our group who ended up doing this practice regularly and I did the practice for 201 days.

In addition, I joined an online yoga class to get formally trained through a trainer based in Noida. It was super helpful and I was able to practice it for 2 months but stopped it after my trip to India. I need to restart it again.

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Wijay000

Father, Entrepreneur & Writer; Edison award winning innovation; Daytime Emmy nominated animation; Author of two books; WEF Davos, Cannes Lions, TEDx