How do you say Goodbye to a year in which every family you know has said Goodbye to a loved one?
How can you be positive about 2022, when you know you did the same in the beginning of 2021, and yet all it gave you was sadness, disappointment and grief?
I read the post of a mother today, who lost her son this year. She swore to God and to 2021, she will never forgive either of them. It gave me goosebumps.
2021 was a horrible year for me. I struggled and failed in every aspect of my life.
One month into the year, on February 1st when I lost my Dadi (grandmother), I knew that the coming times will be painful.
Not just because she died. I cannot fight with God for taking her because the sad truth of life is that everybody dies and all we can hope if that they do not die before their time. It was something else, I felt.
I felt like it was the beginning of the end.
End of what? I was not sure. End of the world? End of me? End of my happiness? End of an era?
Nightmares followed. Negative thoughts followed. One thing went wrong after another. I regret every single decision I made during this year.
Everything fell apart.
I have come to realize a few things in life.
We like to believe that everything will be okay. Things have to get better. But the truth is, the universe owes us nothing.
Prayers don’t save dying loved ones.
Love does not save marriages.
Qualifications do not save you from unemployment.
And nothing, absolutely nothing protects us from our destiny.
This has also been a very low year for me even in terms of writing. The only project I finished was my book, ‘Marriages are made in Moments’ and the only reason I was able to finish it was because I pushed myself to publish it on my Dadi’s birthday, 15th March.
The irony is despite the suffering life throws at us, despite all the sadness and shocks, somehow we all are still here.
Each one of us is surviving our own unique hell and that is a miracle in itself.
What helps us go on?
Probably the fact that life is not bad all the time. Few happy moments here and there are so powerful that they make us feel alive.
What were such moments for me in 2021?
This lovely woman that you see in the white sweater is my best friend. She was and has always been my best friend since the time that I have known what a best friend means.
What is so special about meeting a best friend?
The special part is that I met her after a decade. The special part is that I had been planning to meet her for a long time but the plan never materialized.
But, after so many unsuccessful attempts to meet, on one mundane day that started like any other day, a random call for unplanned work, and an unexpected travel gave me an opportunity to see her when I was least expecting it.
We both have been through so much in the last decade. Yet, when we met each other it was as if we were the same school girls again. Fun-loving. Naughty. Mischievous. Carefree. Silly. We could make each other laugh. We could laugh at anything. We could talk about anything.
The thing with life is that even in your darkest, most hopeless hour, God sends you a sign. A sign that someone cares about you. A sign that someone loves you. A sign that you are not alone.
With her I felt I could be happy, and that thought itself will give me a lot of strength in the times to come.
I met my niece and my sister after two and a half long years. Yes, this is my niece – a tall and beautiful 13 year old. I miss her as a small kid but there is something amazing about having a teenage child around. This young lady who borrows your eye-liner, gives you fashion and technology tips, looks out for you, has more clarity of thought than you do, and has more confidence than you ever had at her age.
I also noticed that when you see a child sleeping, even a 5 foot 5 inch tall one, they still look like a baby! I resisted the urge to snuggle beside her in bed.
My love to everyone reading this who has a daughter.
You will have a friend forever, and you will relive your youth.
Nothing works wonders like a proper three day Indian wedding! The biggest stressbuster is to spend two days of your life in a completely happy and carefree zone where your only job is to enjoy, and create memories of a lifetime.
My dear cousin, you know I am talking about you. Your wedding now seems like a dream.
Distant and unreal, in another world! My love to the couple and thank God we managed to attend this despite the fear of Covid.
My good wishes to all couples who had postponed their wedding because of the pandemic, and finally got a chance to celebrate the big milestone of their lives.
That is it for the good moments. I had my share of painful moments too.
On one such painful day, I was back from a friend’s house party. The party itself was fun because there were people and I was distracted. But while I was coming back alone in the cab, I felt a sudden rush of loneliness and sadness. It was raining heavily.
I have a strange relationship with the rain. When I am happy it makes me happier. When I am sad, I feel like the clouds are crying with me. The rain mirrors my emotions.
I got out of the cab. Two steps towards my house, and there was a puddle.
The next thing I know, I jumped. I jumped right in the middle of the puddle. My beautiful party shoes drowning in the water, and my purse went flying down. I spent the next minute walking in the rain getting wet, my hands spread out feeling the droplets of water.
And in that moment, I felt so content.
Why did I jump with my two feet on a puddle? A fully grown woman who a moment ago was feeling so incredibly sad?
The answer is simple. We humans are meant to survive. We are meant to live.
And survival makes us want to be happy.
In that moment I thought, what is it that we worry about? The labels?
How much we earn?
The size of our house?
The people who trample all over us?
When the real joys of life do not deprive us anything based on any of the above, why do we?
The rain feels the same whether you are rich or poor.
Pizza is tasty whether you are married or divorced.
Music has the power to heal even when every single bone of your body aches.
The only thing that we need to continue doing in this cruel, shocking, heartless life is to keep finding those moments.
The moments that make you feel alive. The moments that make you feel that despite the chaos, this world is still a good enough place to be in. And this where you are right now, is where you would want to be, even if you could be anywhere else.
With this note, 2022, I welcome you. We are naive people. We celebrate you on 31st December. We wish each other, ‘Happy New Year’ even though you have promised us no happiness.
We have no idea what you have in store for us. Yet we welcome you with open arms. Please don’t betray us.
I hope you give me happiness and peace. I hope you give happiness and peace to everyone reading this.