2020. What a Disaster!

If I asked about your favorite school memory, I’m sure there’ll be all sorts of responses like waiting for a lunch break and sharing food with friends, rejoicing when the Math teacher was on leave, and covering all notebooks with cellophane before the new session started. The list would go on and on.

For me, if I had to specify one favorite memory, it would be doing creative writing during the English period.  Penning my thoughts down on paper, or typing on the laptop in case of high school; and seeing them reflected in the eyes of my teacher while she read my story. The feeling was indescribable. Especially if my story brought forth even the smallest change in facial expressions. That slight twitch of the eye or a faint smile or even a small frown because the ending wasn’t what they expected. It all gave me such immense joy. I’m not a professional writer but I’m sure many of those who write often would relate to me when I say that, evoking emotion through one’s writing, be it laughter or anger or happiness, feels like a superpower. And at that moment, the writer feels like a superhuman. I believe that a writer’s true purpose is fulfilled when he or she can make the words come to life in the reader’s mind. When the readers feel exactly what the writer felt at that moment.

I remember undergoing a phase where I wrote the most absurd stories. About dragons, finding hidden treasures, being the first teenage Prime Minister of India, having the strength to pick up a car, and sometimes all of it mixed into one. The only thing common in all my stories, apart from being totally unrealistic, was that they would all have the same ending, which was, “And then I woke up to realize it was all a dream”. I did this because I knew that I could write whatever I wanted and no one would object to it as long as it ended with being a dream. This allowed me with the “creative license” that I needed to score good marks in the subject while making my stories entertaining.

Little did I know that ten years in the future, the world would resemble my stories a little too much but we wouldn’t have the privilege to ‘wake up’ from them. Who would’ve thought while wishing each other “Happy New Year” at midnight on 31st December 2019, that 2020 was going to be the year of unrealistic circumstances that only looked fun when they were penned on paper. At times I felt like I was living in the movie ‘Colossal’, where people’s imaginations were turning into real events. How else would you explain the back to back disasters that have been occurring since March? 

So many families have lost their loved ones because of the Covid-19 crisis. Entire families have been displaced due to the untimely floods all over the country. Farmers have lost their entire crops because of the Locust attacks. Riots and protests are happening all over the world. Earthquakes, floods, pandemic, and riots. If I had mixed all this in my stories in school, I don’t think my teacher would’ve believed it even if I ended it as being a dream. Because even dreams have a limit to ridiculousness but the year just doesn’t seem to take a break.

Looking at the calendar, sometimes I find it hard to believe that we’re in the 8th month of the year. It seems as if this year has gone by so fast while at the same time each day seems never-ending.

I know that reading all this probably has you thinking of a few questions such as, “Where am I going with this article? Why am I stating the obvious depressing truth? How did the article change suddenly from childhood nostalgia to disasters of 2020?” Trust me, I have a point. I’m just trying to find a way to get to it. I’m trying to find the perfect statement to link the first half of my article to the second half. But it seems like I’m not a good enough writer to make the connection so I’ll just get to it. 

 

Family.

The only people that’ll keep you sane during these horrible times are your Family. Not friends or co-workers or anyone else. It’s just your family. They stay with you throughout. From the best moments to the worst moment. No matter how much you guys might fight. In the end, what you really want is to sit together and have dinner and discuss your day with them. I know that this year has been filled with disasters one after another. But I am happy that I was with my family through it all. Because I know that I couldn’t have survived it without them. And this year, no matter how horrible, is a year I’ll remember and cherish throughout my life. This year was the year I spent with my family.  And we gave each other strength just by being there.

So, I might not have been very productive. I might not have studied much this year or worked or exercised. And sometimes I do feel bad about how the year was a waste. But then I remember the precious moments I had with my grandmother. And the game nights I had with my parents and my sister. And I feel, maybe it wasn’t such a waste after all.

Since the year isn’t over yet. And the disasters just don’t seem to end. I suggest you all take a page from my book and go spend some time with family. And to those of you who’re totally relating to this article and remembering the endless games of ludo you all played together. Well, I’d just like to say that you made me feel like a Superhuman.



Swati Anand

(Author)

Stuck at home in the middle of a pandemic. Writing my heart out and trying to reach like-minded people in the hope that reading my articles will make them smile. Will be exploring a range of topics with no regard for structure, much to the dismay of my high school English teacher.

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