We are finally on the threshold of 2021; the year which will hopefully be better than the last devilish rollercoaster one. But peculiarly, 2020 has become a memorable chapter in my life, both in a good and bad way. I know I am going to visit my 2020 memory shelf even after years; reminiscing it with glazed eyes. We all are.
No one could have believed something this monstrous was coming our way in January. I, for crying out loud, was working like a mule to keep up with my syllabus and get my assignments ready. It was my 10th boards, and all I could think about was getting over with my exams, hoping for a long break and a vacation with family and friends.
Turns out, god answered the first wish very generously, extending the break from three to a total of NINE MONTHS!! And the vacation part, well you know how that would have turned out. Exams finished midway March, thankfully before the lockdown. Then came 21st March, 5 PM, Janata Curfew. That day is going to stay with me forever. Clapping and banging thalis and blowing conch shells with the whole locality participating, those five minutes were amazing. It was astounding to see how everyone came out for our Corona Warriors, showing gratitude for their service. The moment also signified that despite the problem that faced us, we were united to face it back with defiance. The solidarity was once again shown by the countrymen on 5th April, 9PM by lighting diyas, candles and mobile torches. That night felt like Diwali came early.
April was the beginning of what I describe as the ‘Period of Boredom’. With complete days of doing nothing (well, not counting the house chores here), I never imagined I would crave to STUDY, just for the sake of doing anything. The hunt for new hobbies began, and I found myself trying new things. I learned how to knit, cook some basic dishes, took up a Sanskrit and German-speaking class. Reading, of course, consumed most of my time.
What became my saviour during the Period of Boredom were the mythological shows that started streaming on DD National. Although I was familiar with the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata, never in my whole life would I have imagined that they will become my favourite TV shows. And not just me, all my friends were hooked onto them!! It was a great initiative, considering the lack of information about our culture and epics in my generation.
July saw the declaration of exam results. Thankfully I and all my friends scored good. But sadly, no celebration. And with that began what I call ‘Period of Screens’. Online became the new lifeline, and Google became the new classroom. Again, who would have guessed such a thing can happen. We got used to the new algorithm, giving tests online, attending lectures online, and even finding ways to trouble the teacher online! This period made us aware of the power of technology, it’s extent. Now attending webinars and online conferences feels so normal, when we would have balked from them just a year back.
With more time to spare, I finished my reading goal in August itself. The latter months saw little control in the rising COVID-19 cases. No one can deny the fact that 2020 was the year of learning and wonders. It tested our patience, our state of mind. When the world emphasizes the need to be extroverted; it was proved by the lockdown that living with just ourselves is important too. 2020 taught us to bear the losses of our loved ones. We were the witnesses of natural wonders; peaks of mountains became visible from hundreds of kilometers away, rivers became clean, we were surprised to hear the sounds of birds in our always-busy locality, we were the spectators of nature rejuvenating itself! We understood the importance of our old ways; washing hands the moment we step in the house, Namaste became the trending way of greeting. The things we used to dismiss as stereotypes or simply not-modern came back in our life.
The most important thing that I learned in this pandemic was how suddenly things can change. That change is instant, and we have to be prepared for it always. The coronavirus swept in and changed our lifestyles completely, and we couldn’t do anything but watch. That despite being the most superior species in the world, we can become helpless. Nature has creative ways to remind us of our limits, and I guess we have learned the lesson well enough.
May the new year be joyful for you and your family!
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The Lockdown Chronicles: Looking back at 2020. The Lockdown Chronicles: Looking back at 2020. The Lockdown Chronicles: Looking back at 2020. The Lockdown Chronicles: Looking back at 2020. The Lockdown Chronicles: Looking back at 2020.