By Athira Saji
Remember how life was back in February? Ah, sweet memories! It all started going downhill mid-March, when board exams got interrupted and when what started as a 21-day lockdown led to a lazed out lifestyle which, now, seems like it’s here to stay. Six months (of Netflix, pseudo Masterchef sessions, pretend cardio-workouts, Dalgona coffee, cutting your own hair, black and white photo challenges, intense social media activism and entrance exam tension) later, here we are; left to listen to ‘Unlock’ strategies every time we make a phone call (which, let’s admit, very often, takes up more time than the actual phone conversation), watching spicy drama unravel in the world of Bollywood (which, again, let’s admit, is a tad bit more interesting than actual Hindi movies.
God bless Arnab Goswami for lighting up our 9pms) and convincing ourselves that 2021 is going to be so much better because, after all, it’s evil twin year, 2020, to be blamed for everything gone wrong.
Speaking of things gone wrong (cue nervous laughter), how many of us were naive enough to think that there would be no exams conducted this year, whatsoever? JEE and NEET 2020 aspirants sure had their work cut out for them, didn’t they? It went from mass tweeting to emailing the PMO and NTA office to virtual hunger strikes to prime time debates on news channels, and then, of course, from making the Union Education Minister a meme celebrity to praying for that one beautiful repose that is ‘postponement’ to grumbling while downloading admit cards to, for a few of us, grumbling some more while loading exam centres situated 100 kms away.
All in all, these few weeks prior to exams taught us that students, with enough unity, can move court but will still be told off by adults.
Anyway, now that some of us are done with exams, this superficial relief that is currently in the air needs to be made the most of. It won’t be long before results come crashing down and make a mess of all the sense of calm that’s on our faces right now. Watch all the movies and be done with all the unproductivity before D-day.
Speaking of unproductivity, isn’t it awesome how night life has taken on a whole new meaning during the lockdown? Before exams, it was all about the grind, staying up till 3am studying with everything you’ve got. A good six months and damaged circadian rhythm later, you still end up sleeping at 3am, but after watching a whole season of Friends.
Come to think of it, the Class of 2020 might just have a whole section of heaven reserved for it; the things we’ve endured! As if two years of toiling in high school wasn’t enough, the year everyone was supposed to finally attain pure liberalism, people get masked and locked up.
And while we’re on the subject, don’t you think it’s wonderful how coronavirus gets blamed for everything that doesn’t go our way? This means that the next time someone asks why you’re not in college already, you could easily get away with a ‘Oh no travelling for me this year’ instead of admitting that you didn’t surpass the cut-off marks. Glass half full, people, we can use this to our advantage.
Another rather interesting observation I’ve had the honour of making is the fact that my mental health has improved ten times since the lockdown started. This is definitely contradictory to what psychologists say about the global population but I just might be the lone exception here because as it turns out, all I needed to become happy was to stay away from my relatives for a few months! (There are still phone conversations, I’m not dead inside okay) But seriously, the social pressure that comes along with explaining every life decision you’ve ever made to nosy relatives may be enough to make even Dwayne Johnson cry.
But oh well, as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Along with the collective wish that each of us have to do away with the virus, it’s also my personal wish that we never forget this time (not that doing nothing important for months is something easy to forget).
If you think about it, this will be a time that future generations will talk about (provided that climate change doesn’t get inspired by the famous 2020 chain of disasters) and this is our chance to build a solid bed time story/ history chapter for them. Again, glass half full, my friends.
On a serious note, we’ve come a long way and still, have miles to go. We got through six whole months of being around a virus; that’s a pretty great achievement, if you ask me. It hasn’t just been six months of ‘nothingness’, we’ve witnessed more compassion, more prayers, more humanity in these six months than we ever would’ve noticed in the past. We’re human. And we’re human for a reason. I hope we never forget that.
And with that, I shall get back to my 2 am Friends binging session.