2021, The year everyone was praying to start. The year of new beginnings, of a new start, the saviour, the harbinger of ‘normal’, the one that will bring an end to this long cold winter of a year called 2020, but what is ‘normal’ anymore?
2020, A year that started as any usual year, same old new year resolution, same old wishing “Happy New Year” to our loved ones over phones, going out to parties, and doing everything that we wish we could during the 2021 new year. It’s funny how everyone wanted to live an ‘extraordinary’ life but in a span of a year started craving for the ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ life. How the regular plain old pani puri became the luscious Turkish delights from Narnia. How the seemingly ‘normal’ oxygen, the one thing mankind would have never fallen short of, at least not in a million years became harder to achieve than a Hermés handbag, which for the record takes years to grab a piece. And how even a king-sized bed failed to amass the popularity that a hospital bed comparatively smaller in size owned. All of this happened in the span of a year, just a year. It took mankind generations to get where they are today. To build this advanced infrastructure in order to enjoy the luxury (which they have without a thought reduced to something ‘normal’) that they have today. But all it took was a small rudimentary being, a virus to be precise to bring us all back to square one and make us realize how extraordinary our ordinary lives already were.
The year 2021, brought with it all the childlike wonders, that no one thought they will relive again, as after all, they were always ‘normal’ or ‘ordinary’ and why will one pay attention to that? How many times had it been, since the start of the relaxation on the lockdown rules, that you entered the shop and didn’t buy anything but just smiled and came back… Happy that you could go out, at least somewhere. How many times had it been that strolling around inside the mall with an empty shopping cart gave you more joy than an Amazon-filled cart ready to be shipped with just one click? True, online shopping has its own perks but the feeling of holding an object right before you buy it and just getting out of the house, in general, will forever remain incomparable to the former.
And yet, 2021 didn’t come alone, it brought with it traces of 2020 too, as the cases rose now and then, with everyone fearing the worst. And with schools, colleges, and offices starting again in offline mode, everyone feared the worst. It’s quite intriguing to see how going to school, college, etc. which was considered normal up until last year, became the ultimate terror of every man alive, this virus seems like a true queen indeed, for she managed to generate fear in all of her subjects. But apart from that, she is a true queen because she taught us what being human truly is. She taught us how ungrateful we have been to all the beautiful things this human life has bestowed on us. She was the one who pulled us out of this rat race of materialism to make us realize that at times of need even money can’t buy you the essentials that Mother Nature provides in abundance like oxygen unless you start appreciating its value. She taught us how ‘normal’ is not unidirectional, it never was and it never will, as quoted by Morticia Addams, “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos to the fly.” So, no matter how much we try, your ‘normal’ will never be exactly the same as mine or anyone else’s and if it is, I think what one must be asking is, “Is it truly normal for me or did I just think it to be?”
So, today as we rejoice over the nearing end of this long dark winter, let’s take a moment to appreciate this queen named “Corona” who taught us how extraordinarily ordinary this life is. How it’s actually our thoughts that take the extra out of the ordinary. True, her ways were not nice, but when has mankind ever yielded to nice? And as we bid farewell to this queen, we must remember to pay our gratitude to her too, as much as we may loathe her, we have much to be grateful to her as without darkness light loses its meaning. It’s indeed true, that it’s hard to appreciate the grass on your side until you see the famine on the other. And she was the famine we never knew we needed. So now that you know how extraordinary you have always been, don’t hide away that sheen anymore.
Accompanying a sharp tongue and a flair for writing Alisha Das is never afraid to express herself. Being an avid reader, she began writing at a very tender age and majorly used her writing as an escape from her day-to-day life, as for her, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and her writing starts flowing.