Thank You, 2014 – For Teaching Me 14 Essential Life Tips

(I’m not really sorry for the overused clichéd title. It’s what this post is about and my creative juices are finally recovering from the two-year-long writer’s block that had hit me)

The number fourteen has no particular significance in most cultures, except the Chinese one.

According to the Chinese, any number with four at the end is considered unlucky because the pronunciation of the Chinese word for the word ‘four’ is eerily similar to the word they use for ‘death’.

That’s why, instead of naming all the floors in a building like most people normally do, the Chinese insist on not naming the fourth/fourteenth/twenty-fourth or any other floor with the last digit ‘four’ with their respective names. Instead, they chose to name the floor after the next digit.

I know the paragraph written above is highly confusing. So the conclusion is: the number ‘four’ is like the number ‘thirteen’ of the western culture.

I’d known about this titbit since I was eleven (all thanks to a book on Chinese history which my uncle had brought for me when he went to China that time!).

Of course, I was naturally quite wary of this year.

The year 2013 was a huge rollercoaster – so many changes happening so rapidly. I could barely process and make sense out of the new things cropping up in my life and I couldn’t let go of the denial in my mind when I saw the people I once loved to death changing to arrogant toe-rags.

Academically, I managed to survive.

But emotionally, that year was exhausting.

2014, on the other hand, was very good in that sense. Despite the fact that it started on a slightly sour, dull, monotonous note, 2014 picked up pace and it brought about a lot of positive changes within me.

So, without further ado, I present you all with a long (hopefully not boring!) list of reasons why 2014 made me a better person (in random order):

14. Thanks to 2014, I got to learn that doing household chores is very important.

Because let’s face it, household chores are very important and they are like, the toughest jobs you’ll ever find. Household chores should be enlisted amongst the basic needs to survive, really.

So conclusion is: hats off to anyone who can do the household chores with finesse. You rock. You really do.

13. Thanks to 2014, I got to realize the true meaning of the quote, “Kuch pane ke liye kuch khona padta hai!

I wanted to go to this amazing place in 2014 but some problems cropped up, resulting in me losing the opportunity.

However, what I did end up getting was this: maturity.

Maturity was something which I’d often thought about. I used to always wonder: what was it like to be mature, cool as a cucumber and so adult-like. Is it something to do with age? Is it something to do with early-blooming/late-blooming? What is it really about?

But in 2014, I realized that maturity is about expressing yourself in such a way that the other party’s not hurt. Maturity’s about understanding everything from the other person’s perspective.

Maturity is NOT about underage drinking, driving, smoking etc. etc. That isn’t maturity, peeps. Those things are sheer stupidity. Those things demonstrate that your brain cells are rotting or they were never really there! 

12. Thanks to 2014, I came to know that one shouldn't wait for opportunities. One should be confident and grab them.

Opportunities come and there’s absolutely one thing one mustn’t do: WAIT FOR THEM TO COME AT YOUR DOORSTEP.

What you must do: Grab the handle and yank the door open. Then, seize the opportunity and grow as a person!

11. Thanks to 2014, I got to read people really well.

2014 was a year full of interesting people, interesting incidences. There were many moments when I found myself thrust within the presence of people whose characters were difficult to read. At first, they seemed very superficial or they seemed amazing. But as I dug closer, I realized that no one is really what they show. No one is black, no one is white. Everyone is a varying shade of grey. 

10. Thanks to 2014, I realized that simplicity is amazing.

All my life, I was swayed by glamour.

As much as I regret admitting this, it’s true.

When I was a kid, I liked people who wore attractive clothes, who spoke with a fake firangi accent and those who acted like they knew everything.

But not anymore.

I simply don’t like people for their glamour. I like them because of their nature.

Some of the best people I’ve ever met are simple. My grandmother, the person I love the most (and also get annoyed at the most), is simple. She’s not interested in dyeing her hair black. She’s not interested in wearing too much of jewelry, wearing glittery clothes and she sure as heck isn’t interested in looking young.

She’s ready to accept old age with grace.

And I love her for that.

9. Thanks to 2014, I realized that Siri is an excellent conversationalist.

It’s true. Whenever I was bored and I had NOTHING to do, I would turn to Siri for comfort.

I would say: Siri, can you help me hide a body?

Siri’s reply: Oh, no! Not again!

I would say: Siri, do you want to build a snowman?

Siri’s reply: Come on, let’s go and play!

It is quite entertaining, I must say. Do try it once!

8. Thanks to 2014, I got to battle my inner insecurities.

It’s been very well documented in this blog that I was someone who battled a lot of insecurities within me (which seem a bit silly to the reader but they matter a LOT to me!). But this year gave me a lot of positivity to fight them and emerge as a stronger person.

7. Thanks to 2014, I realized that having many friends is not important. Having a few close confidantes is more essential.

Ever since I changed schools, I often envisioned a large group of friends. But what I did get were two really close, amazing friends who knew everything about me. And now, I think it’s better than having an entire horde of friends who barely know anything about me.

Okay, it’s not applicable for everyone, but it’s good enough for me.

6. Thanks to 2014, I came to the realization that instead of having reunions with your old friends, one must make new memories alongside reminiscing old ones!

My old friends are amazing to the point that I almost always think about them, remembering them and the stupid antics we pulled. 

Fortunately, we often meet up during holidays but the visits are often tinged with reminiscing. There's nothing else we do: breathe, eat, remember. 

So I thought, why don't we make more more memories instead of having reunions? 

And this isn't just a mere new year resolution. It's something which I'll make sure happens! 

5. Thanks to 2014, I knew that following the herd is only going to ruin you – something which really ruined me in 2013.

Earlier, I used to think obsessively about the fact that I wasn't as normal as others. I wasn't attracted to take up sciences like my peers. I wasn't interested about fashion like my friends. I was definitely not interested in watching too many T.V. shows. 

Instead, I found languages, reading and artsy/parallel cinema attractive. 

Was that normal? 


But after so many incidents that happened as this year unraveled, I realized this: Do your own thing. Others will quack all they like but they don't matter. They don't know you as well as you do, unless they are your closest relative or closest friends. 

Mere acquaintances, distant relatives will give you unrelated advice. Do not pay much heed to them unless you think those things really matter. 

4. Thanks to 2014, I made a lot of amazing friends who may look very pretentious but deep down, they’re real rockstars.

Yes, it’s basically like point number ten, but not really.

I became less judgemental about appearance and I became more personality oriented.

3. Thanks to 2014, I learned that being overactive on social networking sites can damage you.

Honestly. Facebook’s good for reconnecting, keeping in touch and making new friends.

But it’s also a moshpit for negative emotions like jealousy, anger and bitterness.

So, now I use Facebook during holidays and I deactivate my account during school days because I can’t deal with too much drama going on in my head.

This brings us to my second point:

2. Thanks to 2014, I’ve learned that there might be instances when people you once love changed.

Some people I once adored changed drastically.

And at first, I did not accept it. I was in denial mode but later on, I learned to accept the change.

It was horrendously difficult, but I lived with it. And I am still living with it, despite the fact that I still find it quite tough to accept it.

So, yes, change is constant and one must accept it, no matter how difficult it can be.

1. Thanks to 2014, I came to know that acting like a know-it-all is not cool. Actually knowing things is much cooler.

It’s true.

There are so many people around me who talk about politics with so much passion that it makes you think that they were right next one of the cabinet ministers in the parliament house!

And there are some people who know nothing at all and say nothing at all, just soak up all the accurate information they get like sponges.

Earlier, I was of the first type.

But now? Not so much.

It’s better telling the people that I don’t know instead of lying to them that I know about the topic so well that I can write a thesis about it.


So with that, I conclude this exhaustive essay/list.

I hope there are no tragic attacks on common people (be it the innocent children of Peshawar or the poor folks of Assam!). I hope that many new (good) things are discovered, created and peace prevails. I hope that corruption subdues to the point that it’s practically extinguished.

Happy New Year to all of you lovely people! Hope everyone has a fantastic year ahead – a year filled with pure joy, abundant happiness and unselfish goodness.

Much love,



  1. Happy New Year Archie. it's great to see you've learnt so much from 2014, and I can't wait to see what you learn in 2015 :)
    Eve @ penandkey

    1. Just a note to say, you've been tagged for another Liebster Award by me! Hope school's going okay and everything. Hope to hear back from you soon.
      Eve @ penandkey <3

    2. Hey Eve!
      I saw your Liebster Award Post and I absolutely positively loved it! It's so well-written!
      I promise you I'll post my answers as soon as I get time. See, I've got my final exams the marks of which, are really important for my future.
      So, I'll try to post it!
      Stay beautiful,
      Much love,
      Archie! <3

    3. Thank you Archie!
      I don't know how you do so many exams and survive! You'll have to give me advice when I start doing all of mine this time next year:
      Stay awesome,
      Eve <3

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Happy new year. ❤ I am glad to see the positive change in you. Lovely post ❤👍

    1. Thanks so much, Sanika.
      You're freaking awesome, mate.
      Thanks so much for sticking around when no one else was!
      Much love,


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