As we draw close to the end of another year, and we look forward to 2012 with hope, dreams and resolutions, I thought it best to make a note of 11 people/ things that made 2011 the year it was for me. Despite all the traveling and writing (most of which is enjoyable), to me this was the best year in a long, long time…I didn’t think it would be when, after a long dinner on a chilly night, we took a short walk to the beach near across the marina, and we brought in the year watching the fireworks on display across on Palm Jumeirah. So thank you 2011, and here goes -
1. Zahir Ahmed Faiyaz - Words can’t explain my feelings when I first saw him, when I first held him, when he grabs my thumb every now and then, or when I watch him grow and discover new things everyday as his eyes light up with excitement on seeing his new toys. The year began with me watching him grow from the size of a pea on a monitor with a lot of anxiety about what fatherhood might bring, to the chatterbox he is today, living in his own uncomplicated world, and bringing us happiness that we didn’t quite foresee. My words to him, when he might read this some day - ‘Be the best of yourself, and strive to do everything you want to do.’
2. Minaz - For delivering and nurturing the above :) and for being a super-mom. Her relationship with Zahir and how they connect is the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long time.
3. Mum - As always, my pillar of strength and support through all that’s thrown my way, and through all the challenges I’ve grappled with. I couldn’t do it without her.
4. Ali Mohammed Faiyaz - Always around to give me a reality check and some good advice, he’s also shouldered the responsibility of running Grey Oak Publishers in my absence, and now Grey Oak Pictures too.
5. The boys - Mayur, Asher, Manish, Shaggy, Rikin, Pranav & Vicky and the girls – Shweta, Seema and Sapna. For no specific reason other than putting up with my madness, and encouraging me on everything I my heart so chooses.
6. Gaurav Mathur & Tim Spreng - My shooting buddies. We don’t shoot endangered animals or poor birds. We make beautiful films instead, and the hope is to do more of that in 2012 with these two boys, the best DOP’s I know.
7. Prague and people I met there - Lucy, Maria, Juan, David West, Moe, Akshat & everyone else for our more or less similar dreams (on film making) and for helping each other get there.
8. Grey Oak Westland team - For keeping the faith and pushing hard on all fronts through 2011 - editorial, design, sales & marketing, particularly the Westland team, our new family. 2012 will be ours, hopefully.
9. Swati Mittal – My ‘wingman’ and fellow traveler. For helping bring Grey Oak Pictures alive and for the unflinching support on this and all else, in helping pull together the impossible. Time to make it happen now.
10. Our actors - Purab, Anshuman, Manjari, Vipin Sir, Nauheed, Ash, Shaana, Jas, Kainaz, Cyrus, Aashish, Jared, Jayati, Smaran, Vikram Sahu, Sid, Amaan, Aditya, Roop and everyone else - for believing in what we’re trying to create.
11. Authors and Partners - From everyone who writes for our imprints from the very talented Oswald, Ronald and Paritosh Uttam, to the host of debutant authors. To our publishing and online partners, co - producers and line producers of our upcoming films, and the crew on the films we’ve worked on; you definitely made this year more interesting and meaningful.
For anyone else I’ve missed on the list, sorry about that. Also, a special mention to my ever cheerful, Nani. I couldn’t be everything I am without her blessings.
2012, bring it on.