Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ending the year covering a state funeral and working through the countdown

I decided to start blogging again. I've been planning to document my PMB 'adventures' for a while but life and laziness continually got in the way. Tomorrow morning I head off to India, a trip that was organised in the last two (extremely stressful) weeks. Tonight, I'm trying to finish stories that I was meant to hand in last week... But I'm avoiding it (as you can see).

For me, 2011 was a rather epic year. I didn't expect it to be; I thought it was just the year between the 2010 Fifa world Cup in South Africa and the end of the world as we know it. In fact, it took me months before I even accepted that it was 2011... Ironically, the year that I was not looking forward to turned out to be one of my greatest years yet. It was a year of major growth and self discovery; a year of first times and random adventures and a year of experiences that I never believed I would ever experience in my wildest dreams.

For example, in high school, I was crazily in love with Coldplay. Their CDs were my study music and in grade 11 and Matric I would play them on repeat (along with James Blunt) until someone in my family couldn't take it anymore. I remember watching their video for Clocks (see below) and thinking how amazing it would be to see them perform live.  Another band that I was madly in love with in High School was U2 and in 2007, I wrote as my Facebook status "I wish I could see U2 live... then I could die peacefully". This year, I got to see them both... Wow!

In fact, thinking back, all my memories from this year feel somewhat surreal - good, bad, ugly. It was a year with as many laughs as there were tears, and random adventures that taught me to see life in a different way. I blame my job for many of the experiences. There are days when I really hate what I do, but half of what made this year great wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for my job.

On Thursday, I worked until after 9pm trying to learn everything I could about a man I barely knew to write his obituary. It was the first time I every wrote one and, of all people, it was about the politician and Minority Front leader Amichand Rajbansi. Reading through all the newspaper articles on him I couldn't help but despise him. He just seemed so corrupt and manipulative and devious and all those other negative adjectives that generally follow politicians. But then I attended his funeral today and sat among the plebeians to avoid the rain and I saw a different side to him - I saw the lives that he changed and the people that he had impacted... people who didn't mind sitting in the rain for 5 hours with just a thin shawl to protect them from the rain "because he deserved that much". It was moving...

Here are some photos that I took from the funeral:

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