I wanted to write this post for many days now, but waited for the year to end. Who knows what else it would have brought. Nevertheless, it left us with two new mutations of Corona Virus to deal with. Yet, the last year also brought new opportunities for me. I have already written how it changed me as a human being, but other than that, there were some moments which made the year so unique.
I had decided to stay away from gadgets last year or to use it the least I could, as this was my board year. But, it was as ironic as the title of this blog that the whole year was all about studying online. And it is by the virtue of these gadgets, which introduced me to blogging, that I am writing this post. From listening to podcasts to reading interesting articles and researching about various topics, I feel blessed to have been born in this era of technology. We never used our smart phones or PCs to full capacity, nor do we do now, but 2020 helped us to explore plenty of features in one small screen. Most of us never even heard of Zoom app before and now spend hours on it on a daily basis. This pandemic, in a way, revolutionized the use of technology.
Although I could not read many books this year, considering the board exams (it seems to be my favourite excuse), however I was able to read about 3-4 books. As far as I could remember, the year started with Raavan: The Orphan of Aryavart by Amish Tripathi. It is the 3rd installment of The Ram Chandra Series. This time Amish has done something different with his storyline. He has narrated the same story three times with the perspective of different characters. For example, the first book of the Ram Chandra series deals with the life story of Ram and ends when Sita got kidnapped, whereas the second and third part depicts the life of Sita and Raavan respectively and ends with the same scene of Sita getting kidnapped. But, there are some mind – blowing revelations in each book and, of course some Amish – like touches as well. Still, I found The Shiva Trilogy to be more engaging. So, yeah, apart from this I read The Ten Rules of Successful Nations by Ruchir Sharma, Bad Money by Vivek Kaul, and am currently reading Tim Harford’s How to Make The World Add Up. Now, because of the online classes and the lockdown, I found that one could devote more time in reading. One, we had only five classes, instead of the usual eight in school. Two, there was a gap of at least twenty minutes between each one of them, so I could do something more productive than just gossiping that I would have done in school. Three, a 30% syllabus reduction further helped. All in all, a good time for all the book worms.
I remember how everyone used to come to their rooftops and play with their family members at the starting of the lockdown. There would be a different sport going on in every house; cricket, football, kite flying, pakdam pakdai, badminton, UNO, and what not! We used to play UNO or cards in the afternoon and cricket in the evening. It was fun playing with all the family members. But as the country opened up, people started to go back to their normal routine and now not more than a handful of people can be seen on their rooftops. This was something I never saw before, and I think will never see again. It was one of the most special moments of this period.
The biggest moment of last year was that I got to know what I wanted to do in my life. To be honest, the 20 lakh crore package of the government this year forced me to read and research about it, and I realized how interested I am in economics. I was continuously exploring my interests from the last 2-3 years and finally this time I found out what my passion really is. Since I have got clarity on what to do next, it was a very important milestone in my life. I got to know about some great experts of economics, again thanks to the internet. Reading them has been a pleasure, and writing about some topics myself has been a great experience as well. And all this helped me to understand this complex – looking – but – easy subject. It is weird that we all love money but don’t want to read anything about it. It is not totally our fault because most economists like to talk in jargons. I don’t know why.
As I said, 2020 has been a unique year. Some people enjoyed a quality time with their family while others lost their beloved ones. Some enjoyed a new dish every day while others travelled thousands of kilometers on foot without food or water. Some got extra time to study and read while others were deprived of education. Some stepped up in this tough time to help underprivileged while others were limited to criticize the luck and the time. This year brought out the disparities in this world. It is tough to say whether this year was a net positive or negative, but surely it taught us to be thankful in our life.
Zindagi Kaisi hai paheli, haae Kabhi to hasaaye Kabhi ye rulaaye - Manna Dey, Salil Chowdhury, Yogesh in ANAND starring Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Sumita Sanyal