The Best (and the Worst) of 2021

Another year has come to an end. We saw a lot of ups and downs in 2021. It started with the inauguration of the forty-sixth US President Joe Biden, replacing Donald Trump, which was followed by a disastrous and horrifying second-wave of covid-19 in India where nearly everyone lost some of their kins. After that, Neeraj Chopra made India proud by winning gold at Tokyo Olympics, and the year ended with India becoming the first Asian nation to win a test match at Centurion, as they registered a 113-run victory over South Africa. These are just some of the moments of 2021. There were many moments that defined the year. Here’s my list of the best (and the worst) of 2021.

Book of the Year

Before declaring the winner of this category I would like to tell dear readers, that book(s) that I am going to mention is the best I have read in 2021, and not necessarily published in the same year.

So, there’s a close tie between The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford and Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein.

The reason I chose them is that both books relates to our life. Tim Harford has been simplifying economics for many years now. He writes about some of the most intriguing topics such as why you can’t buy a decent second-hand car, in his book. Whereas, authors of Noise tell you why human judgments are not perfect but filled with noise. They show, for example, how judgments of law courts may differ if the temperature outside is hot or if the favorite soccer team of the judge had won the previous night.

Web-Series/Movie of the Year

Although I didn’t watch many movies or web series last year, from whatever little I watched, Family Man Season 2 has to be at the top spot.

Image Source – IMDB

Season 1 left the viewers in humongous suspense. We had to wait for almost a year to know what happened after the gas leak in Delhi. The plot shifted its focus from North India to South India in the latest season. In the second season as well the suspense was never-ending. It’s a must-watch thriller.

Cricketing Moment of the Year

I would be a little biased here and NOT choose Mathew Wade’s sixes off Shaheen Shah Afridi to take Australia into the final of the T-20 World Cup, or Australia winning the T-20 World Cup for the first time, or New Zealand winning the first-ever World Test Championship, or Pakistan beating India for the first time in an ICC tournament, or even India’s win at Centurion…

Image Source – The Print

But, India’s win at Gabba would be the best cricketing moment for me this year. India’s so-called ‘B-Team’ winning against the very powerful Australia in their ‘Fortress’ was an astonishing moment. Pujara defending like a wall even after getting hit multiple times, Rishabh Pant taking India to a win, India’s third-tier bowling unit playing magnificently, and most importantly that partnership by Shardul and Sundar, was a delightful treat to Indian fans.

The Worst Moment of the Year

The worst moment of the year has to be the second wave of Covid-19 in India.

Image Source – Financial Times

The pain that we Indians went through, the loss we suffered, is unforgettable. We witnessed thousands of deaths and millions of cases in a single day. Many could not even get basic treatment because of the lack of beds in hospitals. Shortage of oxygen and delay in vaccination cost us the lives of many. Those who were taking the credit of defeating the first wave were nowhere seen for months during the second wave. The numbers could not tell us the propensity of pain and misery.

Moment That Made Us Proud

Neeraj Chopra won the Gold at Tokyo Olympics while Avani Lekhara, Pramod Bhagat, Krishna Nagar, Sumit Antil, and Manish Narwal grabbed the gold at Tokyo Paralympics surely made all of us proud.

Image Source – ESPN

Astonishing Fact of the Year

The fact that I was so surprised to read was there in Easynomics newsletter written by Vivek Kaul: “…since the beginning of 2020, the Fed has printed more money in absolute terms than it did in its more than 106-year existence before that.”

The money printing spree by The Federal Reserve has had many effects on our daily lives. (As I told in my piece here)

Stand-up of the Year

Stand-up of the year, no doubt, goes to the Ten on Ten series by Vir Das. A special collection of stand-ups which everyone should watch.

Writing of the Year

I wrote around 30 pieces this year. And it was not possible to choose any one out of it. So, there’s a tie between Sunday Read: All That is Wrong With India’s Education System and Should You Buy Christmas Gifts?.

This is by far the longest piece I have ever written (around 2300 words long). Also, as a student, this is a subject with which I am very familiar. But, to go into the details of it was a fun experience for me.

Why I choose this topic is because I always wanted to add some humor to my writing, and this was the one in which I was able to do something like that (whether successfully or not that only the readers can tell). In terms of viewership as well this piece has done quite good. But, the thing is, you can’t add humor into writings. It comes by itself. This is something that I have learned through this piece.

Ending Note

So, this was my list of the best (and the worst) of the year. If you think I missed something, you can tell me in the comments. Wishing you a very happy year ahead. Stay safe, as the third wave has arrived, and do read my pieces. Cheers!

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