Wow, 2015 seemed to go by so fast – but then each day, week, month, year seems to be whizzing by so quickly now. I’ve never been a fan of listicles and a ‘Best of’ kind of post, so this one is rather surprising – and even more so in a year when there weren’t too many opportunities / experiences to really merit a ‘Best of’ but here goes.

Best of 2015

This was actually more of an effort than I realised – not because there was a problem of plenty, but because there was a problem of too less, which means some many popular choices could be missing simply because I haven’t experienced them yet 😉

Best Book

The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story – Hyeonseo Lee

The Girl With Seven Names

In a year where I read less than half a dozen books, and just three that were published this year, I thought “The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story” was one heck of a read. This is the story of Hyeonseo Lee and her escape the dictatorial regime in North Korea as a 17 year old, and finally returning 12 years later to reunite with her family and help get them to South Korea, overcoming incredible odds.

Best Movie (English)

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max - Fury Road

Yes, there were some very good movies that were released in 2015, but for sheer overall entertainment value, nothing tops this wild, adrenaline pumping, chest thumping roller coaster of a movie. The fourth in the Max Max series, it has fantastic stunts and action scenes, and Charlize Theron in probably one of her best roles ever.

Best Movie (Hindi)

Masaan

Masaan

A far cry from the staple Bollywood films, I first heard of this movie when it won a couple of awards at the Cannes Film Festival. Set in Varanasi, it tells the story of two separate couples from different strata of society. Poignant and helpless in parts, offering hope in others, it is a brilliant directorial debut by Neeraj Ghaywan.

Best Music Album (English)

The Universe Has A Strange Sense of Humour

The Universe Has A Strange Sense of Humour

Admittedly, I’ve not listened to many English albums this year, barring a stray song or two here and there. I’ve been a fan of Warren Mendonsa’s Blackstratblues since 2009, when I heard ‘The New Album‘, and at the NH7 Weekenders from 2010-2012, and though I felt this one lacks the same punch as their previous albums, it is still a damn good listen. Besides the link above, you can also get from iTunes.

Best Music Album (Hindi)

Roy

Roy

Again, as above, I’ve not listened to many Bollywood albums this year, and I’m aware there are several other contenders for this. There have been several good songs from other movies as well, but as an album, the songs from Roy have probably stayed with me that bit longer, whether randomly humming them or listening more often while driving.

Best TV Show

Narcos

Narcos

In a year that saw some brilliant new shows as well as the continuation/end of some all time popular shows, I’d pick Narcos as my favourite show of the year. The story of Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drug cartel has been told before, but the way it was presented here was fantastic. A riveting watch, and I’m looking forward to Season 2. You may need to use a VPN to watch it on Netflix or use “alternate methods” to watch it Netflix is now available in India 😉 Incidentally, the theme music (below) is also my current ringtone.

Best Meal

Guppy by Aoi pop-up

Guppy Pop-up

Yeah, I know – this is a strange addition in this list, but I couldn’t resist. For me, 2015 didn’t see any travel out of Pune for various reasons, and although there were some good lunches and dinners in the year, the Guppy pop-up in late August and then again towards September-end was the highlight – particularly because when it comes to Japanese cuisine, Pune really doesn’t have much to offer.

So that’s it. Which were your favourites of 2015? Drop a line in the comments and share 🙂