Thursday, December 31, 2020

If you’re reading this…

 ….congratulations! You made it!

2020 has felt like a test of patience, and although the upcoming year doesn’t look like it’s going to be sunshine and daisies right away, at least we’re moving on from the one that started it all.

The coronavirus ended up being a dark horse of sorts, pushing past every other catastrophe to emerge as the victor. So many protests, marches and fires around the world and at home, but with the virus always looming in the background.

During January, I was back in Riyadh, mourning a vacation I had made the most out of. The weeks had flown by too far for my liking, but the fun had to end at some point. And as I waved my parents goodbye and rolled my suitcase away past the gates at the airport, I’d consoled myself with the thought that I’d be back when the semester ended.

A couple of months later, after we had our college fests and wrote a couple of exams, everything abruptly shut down. At the time, an unexpected break from college life was a small blessing, and we had gone home cheerily. 

Even as the month came to an end, rumors already swirled of there being an extension of the lockdown. We found ourselves still at home the next month as well, and that decision was also welcomed warmly like a lost family member. The number of cases worldwide remained below a million.

Yet, no crystal ball could have predicted that this would be a regular occurrence, that the hospitals would keep filling and filling till they overflowed. 

We’re missing out on our college experiences, but I’m glad my friends and I got at least an entire semester with each other. I feel bad for the freshmen this year, who’ve been thrown into a new era of their lives through Google Meet and Zoom meetings. 

I’ve also not travelled to Riyadh this whole year, which is a first. It’s incredibly disappointing to not be able to go back, but I’m hoping things will clear up again. My friends feel the same way, and we can’t wait to see each other again.

There also has been a baby boom, with a lot of celebrities giving birth. It’s weird. I couldn’t scroll past Instagram without somehow stumbling upon the news of yet another pregnancy.

As every country slowly slips into the beginning of the next 365 days, after losing close to two million people to the virus alone, a lot of families are missing members and grieving over their losses. Nearly eighty-three million remain afflicted with the disease. 

Here we are, on the last day of 2020. Let’s hope 2021 treats us better.

P.S- keep scrolling because the next post is veeeery interesting :)

To All The People Who Made 2020 Slightly Better

This is probably the first time that everyone (and I really do mean everyone) can unanimously agree on how bad the year’s been. Unwelcome surprises, roller coasters that have gone more down than up, classes on Teams everyday while trying not to fall asleep.

This New Year’s, instead of making a resolution I’ll never keep, I would like to give some shout-outs. For years, my blog has helped me record every detail I’ve wanted to be able to revisit, and this post will be dedicated for this very purpose.

First of all, I would like to Taylor Swift for the Miss Americana documentary, the City of Lover concert, the music video for The Man, two new surprise albums, the Long Pond sessions. My ears have remained blessed throughout the year. 

I would also like to thank my school friends for always being ready to trade gossip and nostalgia (also Sauda is an aunt now! Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!)

Now, moving on to college:

  • Sreya and Sesha taught me a lot about K-pop musicians. They also adopted a cat (and named it Danger)! It’s all very fun. I got to see their dog, Scotty, when I went over to their place for their birthday.

  • Sreelakshmi bought a ton of fish for her aquarium. Only two have made it so far, and I wish them the best of luck and hope they’ll live to see February. 

  • Emmanuel called me up when I had already tucked myself into bed and had fallen asleep like I was in a coma. I couldn’t understand a word of what he said. All I heard was words words words, and something that sounded like a question. He said some deadline was in fifteen minutes. I said I’d get back to him the next day. The next morning, I had no recollection of the conversation.

  • Ananthakrishnan fell off his bike a few times. Or maybe he fell off once. Either way, It feels like a million times. He also introduced me to Among Us. And gartic. He also said the only way I’d ever come back to college was if I had a hazmat suit on. Jokes on him, that’s actually a pretty useful tip.

  • Nidhin says he doesn’t know anything in any subject. I don’t believe him. He wants to know if they’ll cancel the third semester exams too. I said they won’t. He’s a quick learner but won’t admit it. We also discovered he has two doppelgangers. He hates both of them. Once, he tried to be really cool and text “only a few people have this ability”, but chose the wrong moment to replace this with dis.

  • Joel went offline for a whole day, which was something incredibly unusual. Nigin and I called him a bunch of times. He didn’t pick up. We proceeded to freak out, and I honestly thought he had been kidnapped or something. We later found out he had relatives over and was on babysitting duty, and had left his phone on silent. Joel has since then promised to not go underground again. Side note- Nigin probably has high blood pressure now. 

  • I have decided that Vargoose is more of a better name than Varghese. Goose disagrees. But he also disapproves of the notion that he is a nerd despite securing a high gpa so he’s not the best person to judge.

  • Arathi’s cousin is getting married! Arathi draws like Picasso! Arathi says friends shouldn’t have to say ‘thank you’ or ‘sorry’ to each other. Arathi then thanks me the next day.

  • Pavithra called a cat jobless. I asked her if she knew any employed felines.

  • Nafla is one of the reasons I attend classes on time. But sometimes she falls asleep or has a really weak internet connection so is late herself. I’ve never played a proper game of Among Us with her because she gets disconnected right in the middle.

  • Rachel got a gorgeous new haircut. She looks like a movie star. I have chosen (chosen!) to retain my original potato look.

  • Lakshmi is a huge fan of BTS. BTS scored a Grammy nomination this year! Lakshmi also said cats remind her of me.

  • Nayanthara and I send each other photos every time we paint our nails. She also has some lovely rings. And some bunnies. And a few puppies.

  • Amar’s Instagram account has over thirty thousand followers! You can find it as @amxr.mp4. It’s really cool. 

  • I made some stickers of Anjana. I have sworn to take them to the grave. 

  • When I can’t understand a concept, I lean on Akshara for support. Thanks, praanthi.

  • Nimiya told me my project was great, and I am very thankful for the moral support.

  • Kevin is excellent at video editing, so I went to him for good app recommendations. Then I passed on the knowledge to Kunjunni, who used this knowledge to make Kunji Chechi a video for her birthday.

  • Abhinav said I was an excellent class representative (even though the only thing I did was boss people around).