Open your eyes and see what lies in front rather than closing them to think and analyze. There is beauty that ought to be seen but in our world of information processing and high walls of self-preservation we sometimes miss out on the rawness of things or feelings or life itself. Were years that have gone by – simpler? Were lives that were led before ours lesser complicated? Can we go back to the start?

The year that went by was a mixed one. There were highs and lows, like most other years. I find myself in conversation with people all the time – that’s my thing, I guess. To be a writer, I one needs to their keep ears and eyes open at all points in time to never let an opportunity pass. The auto-driver has a story, the hairdresser too, and don’t forget the girl you meet at the party complaining about the salt on her Bloody Mary glass. But, this year has been a strange one – there have been missing airplanes, terror attacks on children in our neighboring country, a national election that promised to change India’s fortune, the retirement of sporting idols and the passing away of people we have looked up to. Yet, when we look back – we seem concerned and when we look ahead we’re pessimistic.

Robin Williams passed away this year, and to many of us who grew up watching him, the memories should be of the actor and what he managed to do on screen – rather than question why he committed suicide and why he couldn’t hang on? Those aren’t questions for us to answer in the first place. I will always take from him his portrayal of a daring and young schoolteacher who quite simply challenged the structure in Dead Poets Society. That inspiring role has had many a young person reach out to fight the system. Some fights are worth it; we must pick our battles in 2015. We must!

The start of a new year is quite literally a shot at changing all those things that we might have not had going our way in the previous year. Think about it? When we run out of all the Monday’s where we promised ourselves to change something or the other and we didn’t – we have new years and the resolutions! It’s a fresh black board with colorful sticks of chalk. Go draw, go figure. Take risks – see something beautiful? Hold on to it – don’t give up. You can embrace the ordinary or chase excellence, you can choose to be a face in the crowd or be the face a crowd comes to see. This is YOUR year and may the gods wait to delight you.

Live in the moment. Own it.

When I feel, life is in my hands. The future is mine to create and not to prepare for.

See you in 2015.

(About the writer: Arjun Puri was born and raised in Kolkata, back when it was still called Calcutta. As a young child he spent time in Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru – before their names changed. His last long-term home was London, and he fully expects it to call itself something else soon. Arjun graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2007 and worked as a banker for 5 years, before he realised it was not for him. Arjun now lives in Delhi and works in the education sector. He loves books, sport, people and travel -- and most of all, Leyla, his German Shepherd).