The world will be screaming Happy New Year in two days. 2020 was horrible. It was merciless. People died. Lots of people. Let us just accept how bad it was. And just when we got hopes of a vaccine, there was news of a deadlier strain coming up…
Really what is so ‘Happy’ about this coming year? 2020 has changed me I am sure the way it has changed so many of us. For people whose loved ones were snatched away, they will never be the same again. In that way, the rest of us who did not get the virus, did not lose anyone close must be the lucky and grateful ones who can complain about anxiety, loneliness, boredom and isolation. While a personal tragedy changes one forever, a pandemic reminds us that it is not just life that is uncertain, but the entire world could crumple anytime.
I think this year has caused permanent damage to the way I see things. I feel we are all just surviving that’s it. That is what we were always meant to do. And that is the best we will ever do..
Speaking of survival….
Roti: Most important thing
I pretty much cooked since March. My partner and I decided not to call the cook even after things got better. Cooking definitely takes up a lot of time. It is also never ending. But still, food is something that can give instant happiness. These thoughts inspired me to write my book, ‘Marriages are made in kitchen’. I think my highlights of this year have been the times I have ordered chilly chicken, chowmein pizza and momos at home!
Kapda: Why do we have all this stuff!
I started watching a show, ‘Minimalism’ on Netflix. I have been busy so I could barely get past the first episode. However, when I look at my two bedrooms full of clothes, makeup and accessories, untouched for 9.5 months of the year, I think why do we buy so much stuff!!! Do we need it? I have a habit of buying new clothes before every vacation. Those dresses get worn once or twice. I don’t even want to get into saris, and heavy salwar suits and how rarely we get to wear them! Of course, the only winner in 2020 was pajamas and track pants!
Aur Makaan: Where do you stay?
I moved house recently. I went from a bigger house in a small society to a smaller house in a big society. In this house hunt, I met people who vacated their houses on rent and left for their hometowns.
‘When will you come back to the city?’ I asked a lady. ‘Once my son’s school opens, or my office calls me whichever is earlier.’ She replied.
I also met a man who is selling his house because he has got permanent work from home now.
‘I will go back to my native (hometown) or go to Australia!’ He said. And then I thought to myself, what would happen if this continues? What will be the deciding factor where one would live when there is no office and no school? You could be anywhere but anywhere is a scary place to be….
I read something on Christmas, ‘The things I want, cannot be bought!’ How true is that! Could it be any truer? (Read ‘be’ Chandler style)!
Magar mujhko lauta do mera woh bachpan, wok kagaz ki kashti who barish ka pani!
Let me tell you what I want. I want to go back to the time when six people lived happily in a two bedroom house where 10 people would visit for weddings and holidays. The time when our rooms were full of people, laughter, chats instead of stuff! I want to go back to the time when we would share a room with a cousin and talk all night. Make Maggi at 3 am, and swear to sleep only to keep talking again. Wake up late, and have elders say how much we sleep. We would explain, You see, we slept only after 5…
Khairiyat poocho kabhi to kairiyat poocho..
There was a time we had landlines, which were mostly placed in the living rooms. People called and introduced themselves. No privacy. Yet, friends who spent the whole day together in school called each other up every day and talked for long.
Tumlog ko itna kya baat karna hai? School mein to mile hi the!
Family members would say. And these calls were not free! Yet it was a price worth paying. Then came mobile phones. SMS. Call charges were still high though. Initially I hated SMS. I would call people to respond to their message. ‘It is annoying to type,’ I would say. Then came Skype and WhatsApp. There was no concept of call charges anymore. From being the kind of person who didn’t like typing, I became the kind of person who didn’t like surprise calls. I started texting people to check if I could call them. They returned the courtesy. It became a norm..
How many people can we pick up the phone and just call? How many people call us regularly just to ask ‘Aur kya chal raha hai?’
Muskuraye to muskurane ke karz utarne hoge
As kids we loved families. We loved to draw those stick figures with a round head. Shirt pant for Papa. Sari for Mumma. Girl child in skirt. Boy child in shorts. But little did we know that families come at a cost. Marriage comes at a cost. And one person always pays the higher price. The ones who chose self-respect often have to give up companionship. The ones who chose the relationship have to compromise on their dignity. All for that occasional smile. Sometimes that smile is not even for you, but for someone else. What do you get in return?
Dil dhoondta hai phir wahi fursat ke raat din
I used to think that if I am home all day (despite work from home) I would probably read a lot and watch a lot of movies. But fursat is good only when you are stress-free. Otherwise, fursat can become your worst enemy.
In the middle of this year I thought, when will this end, when will I get to go to restaurants, movies beaches and vacations! But now I feel it may not change anything. What if the emptiness of this year is permanent? What if the hollow feeling is within?
What if everything we think makes us happy in life is just a way of escape?
Even though I am feeling very low about next year, I wish everyone a happy and safe year ahead. Do share with me in the comments the songs that best capture your feelings of 2020.