The year 2014 has been a mix of energy and disappointment. Professional life has been very energizing but some global events have been very depressing. 18000 was a number that was a tormentor throughout 2014. It was of course not an EMI sum or a TDS amount but a total that led to considerable soul stirring during the year.
Before the number 18000 disintegrates into events that lead to this number, let me talk of the things that have kept up hope and have been invigorating. 7 years post my graduation from IBS I landed into an institute that has the last two letters of IBS swapped, ISB, the Hyderabad campus. I had the privilege of being a part of the founding batch of a program in Business Analytics. It was quite pleasant to share the class room with an animated bunch of young men and women from the corners of our country listening to regression, forecasting, data mining and web analytics. However, the harder part was to maintain equanimity during the grueling tests.
The course ended in September 2014 and I have been in a state of ecstasy since then. December 2014 marked completion of a year at my present company, Valcon Management consultants, India affiliate.
Returning to the number 18000 i.e. 0.0003% of the world’s population of 7 billion people is a subset of number of people who lost their lives during 2014
A part of that number, 400 was due to two aircrafts that went missing. The reason behind their disappearance still remains elusive. 300 were due to an aircraft that was shot down. Result of pure hatred and greed. A pitiful number of 5000 was due to the ill preparedness to combat Ebola, a virus that was named after a river in Congo to camouflage its virulence. The most distressing number is 12300, the estimated number of civilians who lost their lives due to terror of ISIS, Boko haram and Taliban with Peshawar school attacks being the most recent.
For the world’s largest democracy, 2014 was a year that saw a single party gain majority in the lower house. The party also gained significant lost ground across different states that went to poll.
The next 12 months looks all set for a repeat of the 90’s. Plummeting crude price, strong dollar, growth in the US, stagnation in Japan and Europe leading to the dependence on a single growth engine to propel the world.
Let’s hope the Asia power houses contribute to turning things around and shape a better 2015 for the world. Let’s hope that nations spreading terror in the name of religion stop sacrificing innocent lives, let’s hope the healthcare infrastructure across the globe gains preparedness to combat diseases, let’s hope mankind no longer falls prey to the elusiveness of technology and let’s hope the saffron party delivers on all its promises without a fall back.
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”. The Shawshank Redemption.