A letter to twenty-twenty

Ginni Khatwani

Ginni Khatwani

The year 2020 has been like no other year. Lock-downs, face-masks and sanitizers have become the custom, even as we strive for normalcy. What if we were to write a letter to this year, expressing our feelings? What would be the contents of such a letter?

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Dear 2020, How are you? Just wanted to check-in. I see how we are all blaming you, perhaps for the things you haven’t even done. Sometimes, it’s easy to blame a common name than bare the shame. Does it hurt? Or are you the bigger person here who has forgiven us fearful ones. I have a story to tell and you seem to be a good listener, taking in all that is thrown to you. Containing it, without complaining about it.

Uncertainty and fear crept in through my curtain today, disguised as sunlight and I woke up at once. My changed morning ritual felt different again, the old-different. Why now! I was finally blending in. My eyes drank the skies in as usual for early hydration but they also saw seven cars instead of two. My ears greeted the singing birds’, “good morning” but they also heard the long-lost honking sounds that they wished no-one ever found. The roads that rested had suddenly gone back to work without any notice. I saw foggy footprints again. The familiarity freaked me out. Was it time? Maybe some things never leave us? Or maybe it’s a choice we all have and can make?


Now that things seem to be returning to ‘normal’ I hope I can tweak it a little (lot) bit. I want to pluck a few things off my new-normal as we time-travel to the old one. I want to retain these baby cuts on my fingers for they’ll become memories of the conversations I had with my knives. My dry palms that have befriended the dishes. The music I play for my plants. The calls I make to Nani and my niece whenever I feel like abusing you, “2020”. You taught me that all actions have consequences. Thus, when mother nature was finally breathing because of the actions forced upon us, I didn’t complain about the maple-syrup not being in stock. You taught me that it was most difficult to keep things simple. But if I tried, I could achieve anything I wanted. You taught me simple is beautiful. I can finally make good dal rice and jeera aloo. My rotis have gotten softer with time, I have earned a better grade for my patience. I have learnt the craft of giving and taking time. I have had to courage to love and to let go. I’ve found people I know will be my anchor and have lost anchors I thought were my people.

There are times I look in the mirror and just smile at this new version of mine. The transition has been cathartic. I hope, like me, everyone keeps the creative child that suddenly came to life, alive. It’s more colorful to sustain. Solidarity has never been so strong. Everyone is pushing themselves to help others in their own tiny ways. Little things have finally received the attention that they deserved. Everyone is scared but the warmth from home has kept us all sane. It’s hard to see our loved ones leave us in the name of duty, but it’s rewarding to feel the joy of contributing and surreal to see the loved ones return, tired yet satisfied. We’ve become more responsible as we have begun to fill the used chai-utensils with water until we finally wash them. We have learnt to express for the art around us has liberated our souls. We have empathised with those who still seek to go back to their homes and reached out with our capabilities to be a temporary one for them. We have danced and laughed at how we look, we have sang in our garbage voices and still shared it with our friends and we have celebrated birthdays far apart together. We have let the day pass without taking a shower and not judged ourselves. We have realised that even Netflix can be too much. We have given ourselves the breaks we need and explored into the territories of absolute crazy. All of it, with a hope. A hope to return to the normal.

But today, when normal visited as a guest hinting that it’s going to move back in soon, it pinched me. Could we customize the normal and pick the best of both worlds? What if we forget all of this and go back into a world where no one stops to stare. What if we pull the oxygen mask off and put Nature on ventilator again? Dump all of her recovery into the trash and live mindlessly. What if the self-love and the self-care that’s finally transpiring takes a back seat again? What if the abnormal race becomes normal again? The fast overcomes the slow? The slow that taught us to live, reflect and breathe. It’s a paradox, isn’t it?

Maybe if the universe were listening (it always does) and sent a Genie my way and grant me three wishes. I’d wish for-

1. The nature to breathe eternally and continue to enjoy the freedom that is rightfully hers.

2. Humans to stop, stare and care. Because we are capable and we have seen and known it now.

3. You, dear 2020, to be acknowledged because you taught us that vulnerability is strength.

They say a transition teaches you things. While we transition back to our semi-old lives let’s not transition back to our all-old habits. Let’s keep the new learnings intact and tailor something that fits and preserves all. Let’s keep it real this time and not screw it up and then conveniently blame it all on 2020. We’ve got this!

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Shwetha S Rao

    Wonderful Read!!! Brought on some hidden feelings in me! Thank you:-)

    1. Ginni

      Thank you so much Shwetha 🙂

  2. N


  3. Palak

    This is so beautiful ❤️ I’m out of words ❤️

  4. Poorva Ajgaonkar

    Amazing Write up!! Good work Ginni!😍

    1. Ginni

      Thank you so much, Poorva 🙂

  5. Priya

    It was an amazing read. I could relatee a lot! Its worth a read. 😀

    1. Ginni

      So glad you could relate! Thank you, Priya 🙂

  6. Nikhil Vaddadi

    Beautiful man! ❤️❤️

  7. Payal

    Great read! You are amazing with words, Ginni. You’ve given a beautiful voice to your feelings.

    1. Ginni

      Thank you so much, Payal di 🙂

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