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What is your reason?

Dr Navniit Gandhi
Sunday, November 15, 2020
What is your reason?

Each one of us already has or will have our own private reason to remember 2020.

Those of us who have lost a loved one this year—- due to COVID or otherwise, will recall this year agonizingly. For some of those who lost a dear one, the loss was so sudden and the family so unprepared for this fatal attack that the pain will be much more unbearable. And some who had a brush with death themselves but were saved by the prowess of doctors and prayers of families, will remember this year with no less gratitude than what they can muster.

Front-line workers all over the world shall remember this year warily, though they would be astounded and would wonder how they managed to stand sturdy and tall for months at stretch and saved innumerable lives!!! Amidst all the fatigue and crazy challenges that they have endured, let us make the doctors, nurses and all the staff in hospitals and COVID centres all over the world, remember our applause, and gratitude. Of course, the personnel manning the municipalities, police, public transport and essential services should remember this year for all the smiles, praise and applauses too. If they recall this year sadly for all the complaints, cynicism, and wrath hurled at them by us, it would be a shame, isn’t it? The deadly virus was all geared to wipe off the planet a big chunk of the human race and to render another big percentage weak, incapacitated and down with a horde of neurological, cardio-vascular and psychological damages. But it didn’t kill us all and we also got regular services such as—-food, water, medicines, masks, cleanliness, sewage, and even emergency transport facilities. This calls for applause with bowed heads, for all of the above personnel.

Some of us will remember this year wistfully for the uncertainty we faced as shops were shut or as trade was hard hit or businesses came to a standstill. For some, the savings took a hit and for some, the little extra that they had hoped to make it this year for a treatment or a marriage or higher education looming ahead in 2021, did not happen and they stare at difficult dilemmas ahead.

How will you remember this year?

Did you spend some moments on yourself? Did you look at yourself a little more closely, especially these days when we are without make-up and/or other facades and pretenses? Did you have chai in your own company and a little charcha too with your own heart that yearns to be heard by you?

Many of us felt the ties at home gaining gradual strength— mothers bonding with their daughters and partners understanding each other more fondly. As each member performed the designated chores, greater appreciation for all the tasks at home naturally was felt. Kids, though isolated from friends and often cranky as a result, nevertheless saw their parents for durations (hours and days in this year) which otherwise would have been spread over three-four years. The advantage of this may not be all at once visible but shall certainly manifest in the long term.

Some shall recollect this year for having to swallow the bitter pill—- whether in terms of the Kaadha (concoction of herbs/spices) which had to be regularly gulped or whether it was the bitter taste left in the mouth by the crazy diktats from bosses and unreasonable amount of work dumped (often, for sadistic reasons). For some, the bitterness came from very close quarters—- as for example, kids who witnessed domestic abuse or women who have borne it and were trapped in it. The scars shall hurt, well beyond 2020.

Lots of reasons which we cannot possibly even fathom, too must be out there, for which individuals shall find 2020 unforgettable. Lessons too we have learnt plentiful.


Some lessons were painfully learnt after much suffering such as: that health is the only truest partner-for-life, and good food, robust internal systems and savings assume primacy over promotions, looks, and glamorous lifestyles. Some lessons were learnt out of no choice such as: that we must be prepared for all sorts of days and that self-reliance works better than whining! Lessons were certainly learnt. Some of us learnt early on the importance of being at ease in one’s own company. 2020 revealed to some reluctant ones that sitting alone helps in knowing oneself better and that there is greater clarity of thought and purposeful action if one isn’t maddeningly busy all the time. Some of us woke up to the importance of daily phone calls (over meaningless forwarded messages) to loved ones in other cities/countries.

Some of us cooked better and laughed more and read more sensible stuff. Some took to yoga and recognised what was amiss in their busy lives ever since they had sacrificed their morning walks and healthy home-cooked breakfasts. They may remember 2020 and take a deep breath!

Yes, amidst all the pain and trauma which some of us suffered, there were such stories of valour, empathy and care as would forever be etched on our psyche whenever there will be 2020 mentioned.

If all those whom you love are just frustrated while working from home or are cribbing over minor issues at home or are desperate to venture out for a break— you can heave a sigh of relief for it means that they are alive; that they have their jobs; that they have family members with whom they can squabble and are not in solitary confinement and that they can afford a vacation and are only biding for time.

2020 shall be remembered by some of us with pride, even as the wedding bells rang for some, the best written works penned by some and the yummiest delicacies churned out by some. However, not all of us could thus soar high. The wings were sadly clipped for many such as those in the aviation, travel, hospitality, sports and entertainment industries. Even the daily-wage earners, hawkers, porters, and others engaged in odd jobs—-wonder how they managed to get through this year? Wonder how would the sport stars, film/TV stars, pilots, B&B hosts, tour guides and all those for whom life came to a near total standstill, remember this year??? Even more so is the plight and pain of the sex workers, the beggars, the transgender whose living conditions must have collapsed to deplorable levels.

While a few kids would joyously recall this year as a special one wherein there were no uniforms to wear, no glaring looks of teachers to face, and while sitting comfortably at home and enjoying the regular pampering by mothers and grandmothers, others were sad and forlorn without their friends, pranks, loving pats from teachers, and all the playing and fun. Do hope, though, that just their limbs be sore and muscles numb with months of sitting at home and doing nothing, and that their handwriting or creativity or social skills do not suffer the same way.

Whether the reason is a happy one or a tearful one, we ought to be grateful...for being here alive to remember all that which happened in 2020.

Every passing year is remembered differently by each one of us, but there is something strange about 2020.
This year, the trigger was ONE! One virus hit and baffled us all at a global scale...
2020 is about to bid goodbye... We shall remember this year for our own reasons.
Some shall recall the losses and lonely nights spent in despair while others shall recall the bright days of miracles, love and care!!!


Dr. Navniit Gandhi is an academic, writer, author and a trainer/counsellor. Her write-ups can be read at navniitspeaks.wordpress.com
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Smitha
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Beautiful article! Wish and pray that 2021 brings us lot of fortune, good luck and most importantly good health!

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