One of the oldest memories I have of Ugadi is my mother forcing me to eat Neem leaves.
The festival, marking the beginning of the new year, is celebrated mostly in South Indian states - and eating something bitter along with something sweet is one of the major rituals.
Apparently, it is supposed to indicate the good and bad experiences we're going to face in the year.
I remember being bitter most of last year, but the 'sweet' moments were really good - and somehow it all balanced out.
I took a few steps as the year ended which are supposed to make life a bit easier.
Granted, I miss those great moments, I wish I hadn't done what I did.
But not doing what I did would have led me and the people around me into a mediocre, but sweet, abyss.
I am gladly eating the bitter now. Either I'll get used to the taste, or something sweet will turn up.
Happy Ugadi, everyone.