Upside and Downside: The Year that was

It’s the first Monday of 2020 and I wonder what it will bring for Mumbai On A High. I also wonder what it will bring for me. And as the world burns around us, I wonder what it will bring to the world.

2019 has been a mixed bag Life is a series of ups and downs isn’t it? Each one of us has happy days, sad days, disappointing days and delightful days. But most importantly, each day with its new set of experiences marks another notch in our learning journey.

I have found that the WOTY invariably sets the tone for the year. It may be serendipitious or subliminal messaging but it happens for sure. My WOTY for 2019 was REFRESH. I must say that to a large extent, my life was refreshed, though unwittingly.

The Downside

It was a fall from a ladder in the last days of September that actually forced me to ‘refresh’ my life.

As you can imagine this is not what I had in mind when I wanted to ‘refresh’ my life.

Daily routine

My regular early morning wake up routine was now dependent on Sushama whom I had employed to give me a bath. She is a masseuse with a clientele of highly temperamental women. Since she very kindly squeezed me into her packed schedule . Hence bath time varied every day and, horror of horrors,  once or twice I had to even go without a bath!

Wardrobe refresh

With a broken arm, I had to refresh my wardrobe. This was quite a challenge as no one seems to cater to the wardrobe requirements of oversized women recovering from surgery.

I also had to plan my clothes according to my ‘schedule’. For instance, if I was going to visit the doctor, I had to wear a loose, baggy T rather than my tie-up nightdress which had replaced my regular clothes! This restrictive wardrobe also restricted my going out.

A new look me

I couldn’t comb my flyaway hair nor keep it off my face so I went for a short bob. Unfortunately, this made me look like a cross between the unflattering version of  Mrs. Munion, the housekeeper in ‘Yours, Mine and Ours’.  and our ex-President Dr. Abdul Kalam. The fact that I couldn’t put on lipstick, perfume and eyeliner didn’t help my look nor my spirits.

Oh No! No holidays

The worst disappointments of the year were my cancelled trips overseas and in India. I was planning to meet my friends in Europe and accompany Ms. Papaya and her mom to Pench. Unfortunately, my friends and the tigers will also have to wait till my arm is strong enough to lug bags and withstand bumpy safari rides.

The Upside

But 2019 had its upsides too.


The year began with our college reunion where it was fun to meet alumni and teachers spread over four decades. How different we all were from those carefree college days. Grey hair was a given. Some of us had achieved our dreams, some hadn’t but all of us had an air of contentment.

Throughout the year there were impromptu meetings with friends and family, planned dinners and lunches and birthday celebrations of the members of my four-generation family.

Circle of Life

With the Little Ones going to big school, life completed a full circle as I reconnected with mums I used to meet at the pick-up time of our children. Now as 60-year-olds we looked more relaxed and happy than we did in the old days.

Every cloud does have a silver lining.

My broken arm was a life-defining moment.

  • Delegate, train and supervise

For one, I learned to let go and delegate. It came as a shock to me when  I realised that I  don’t always have to do everything myself. Proper instructions and supervision is key to getting things done exactly the way you want.

  • More time to explore and learn

With more work done by others, I had more time to think and more time to do new tasks. I was forced to use my left hand more.

I discovered how to write and type with my left hand.

I explored my computer and iPhone and discovered the joy of dictating to my iPhone. This made emails and WhatsApps a breeze!

  • Catching up with reading

Being housebound, I caught up with my reading and actually fulfilled my Goodreads Reading Challenge 2019.

Since I actually read more, I participated in the #DecemberBookLove, an Instagram challenge sponsored by Shalz and Soumya.

This challenge forced me to explore Canva and discover other bloggers and the books they read.

Gratitude for 2019Image for Gratitude 2019

As the new year begins I can only express gratitude for the good things that happened in 2019. Because there were many good things that happened despite the not so good ones.

I am actually grateful for my fall because it gave me a fresh perspective of life.

Thanks to my daughters Anna Shetty and Daughter No1. who helped me with my surgery and post-recovery.

I am lucky to have Dr. D around to help me with my fracture and surgery.

And of course I am grateful to all my family and friends ( both real and virtual) who cheered me up with visits, calls, and messages during my lying-in-bed days.

So with my ordeal slowly coming to an end, I can only say that I am glad 2019 is over

Welcome 2020

20/20 vision indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance. Distancing oneself can give you a better perspective as you are on the outside looking in.

There! I’ve got my #WordForTheYear 2020 – It’s DETACH.

Image for WOTY 2020

Before I sign off, I’d like to ask you if you are one of those readers who have been lurking around my blog. Please, do me a favour and leave a comment so that I know who you are. This is part of #International De-Lurking Week hosted by Parul.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you soon.



Linking up with VidyaSury’s #Gratitude Circle and Corinne’s #MondayMusings

Image for Gratitude CircleImage for Monday Musings

Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!


  1. Well, Sunita, here’s to your positive attitude amidst all that was going wrong in your life last year. To be able to look at the rainbow despite the dark clouds of gloom needs a particular awareness and acceptance of life as it is. I so loved reading your post. It’s the first post I have read today and it gave me so much! It is so necessary to detach, distance oneself in order to be able to appreciate what you have and not feel glum because you don’t have what others do. It’s a word I am going to hold on to, Sunita. It’s what I need sometimes.
    Wonderfully expressed!

  2. Looks like your year was dominated by your fall-I cant believe how positive and constructive you have made that into. Reading this post gives me an insight into your mind and I must say I am impressed with your spirit and attitude. Way to go Sunita and thank you for taking part in our insta challenge – we loved every bit of it and everyone’s enthusiasm was stunning for us.

    Wishing you a very fulfilling and happening year ahead!! XOXO
    Shalzmojo recently posted…#Gratitude-Its the life in your years that count! December 2019My Profile

    1. Thanks Debbie ! I’m lucky I can grin and bear it . Besides I have a high threshold of pain so can do without pain killers for quite a while . It’ll take me a year before I’m back to normal. Good luck to you for 2020

  3. I do hope you’re mending. I remember going to a writer’s conference with a damaged arm–in a sling. I wore a hat because of the hair thing. Just wasn’t worth the trouble trying to straighten it out!

    1. Oh dear ! I can imagine how difficult it must have been . I can’t wear a hat because no one in India really wears hats . We just wear them on picnics or to play golf !

  4. I can only say you’ve made every moment count in 2019, Sunita, especially after the accident but also before it des[ite being homebound and dependant on someone! I’m sure your positivity helped you tide through it in a big way as much as the love and support of family and friends who came to your aid!I have so much admiration for the fact that you even managed to ace Shalz and Soumya’s IG challenge in your condition, which is so wonderful!!! Wishing 2020 brings you everything that you’re hoping for. Have a fantastic 2020!!
    Best wishes
    Esha M Dutta recently posted…My Word Of The Year for 2020 | #WOTYMy Profile

    1. Thanks Esha for yor words of encouragement. 2019 was hard for you too. Coping with loss is indeed very difficult….Hope 2020 is a good year for you and your family.

  5. 👏👏. Every cloud has a silver lining, if one but stopped and noticed. Looks like your fall gave you the opportunity to do just that. Glad you are feeling better and back in the saddle if your daily life.

  6. It’s amazing how you found so much good out of your situation and turned it around, Sunita. I love what you said about learning to delegate – that’s a skill we all can develop instead of thinking that the world revolves around us!
    Wishing you and your family all that’s good in 2020.

    1. Thanks Corinne for your good wishes . I am one of those optimists who knows that there is always a parachute 🪂 for when I leap into the unknown. And lots of more terrible things could have happened apart from a fall and/fracture .

  7. Happy New Year Unishta! I hope your arm is healed now and you can put on eye makeup again. Your word of the year seems peaceful. I’m always curious in the thought process that lead to your choosing the word! Have a great year and don’t fall off any ladders.

    1. It was nice hearing from you after a long while . Hope things are ok with you. I won’t fall off any more ladders – I look at them with renewed ‘respect ‘ now 😉 . Eye make up is a long way away but can just about manage bathing and dressing without help. But will definitely get there! Thanks for your wishes and hope 2020 is a good year for you.

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