2020 has been a year of struggles for all of us. The same has been the case for my small family too. Thankfully the issues weren’t pertaining to our health but rather, our career.
Ours is a small family. Our team comprises of my husband, Sarath, our little lady Vedhika and myself. The sole breadwinner is Sarath who is a Commercial Photographer and Cinematographer and I support him with whatever freelance work I can find for I am a freelance writer.
Covid-19, in the blink of an eye, snatched away our jobs, the rented house we had been living in and everything in it. We had to head back to our hometown empty handed and with no hopes of getting back to Bangalore where our dreams had just begun to bloom.
As was expected we were cursing every bit of everything that was going wrong until that moment when our mentor pointed out to me that our perspective was wrong. That we should be looking for the blessings hidden beneath the surface.
So that’s what we did. And here’s my Ten Things Of Thankful for 2020. (Looooong post alert!)
When we got back to Sarath’s hometown, we were expecting to hate the place and wanting to run away for both of us are equally horrible at socialising and maintaining relationships. Given how the entire locality around his house was teeming with relatives, it was definitely not something we were looking forward to.
But God had other plans. Since the two of us are introverts, he decided that our daughter should be an all out extrovert who shows and teaches us that relationships and interacting with people is not half as scary as it seems.
Once we got there, for 5 months she kept running all over the place, barging into households and winning hearts, simultaneously dragging me along putting me into situations I would normally hide from.
She made me do what I have always avoided doing.
She made me “chit-chat”.
She showed me how beautiful it is to be a part of a big family full of aunts, uncles, cousins and so on. Being born and brought up in a nuclear family, the last 5 months have been a revelation of sorts for me and we have loved every bit of it.
Thank you for showing us the importance of Family and maintaining relationships. It is something we tend to forget while on the rat race.
- Family (again)
When my cousin (whom I had met for the first time in my life only last year) told me that we may use her Grandma’s flat in Bangalore sans rent for job hunting, because we are “family” I had no idea what that meant.
Now I realise with immense gratitude that I am surrounded by so many people who consider me to be “family”.
People I barely even know.
An aunt who let me use her house for quarantine, the uncle who offered to let us use his apartment till we can find a job and settle down, aunts and a grandma who have been a constant support to me for the past 5 years, this cousin and her family who have not only let us use their space but have ensured that we feel at home here, in every way possible. Our godfather, who makes sure he is there at every juncture of our lives with such kind support. A friend who offered to share his home with us when we were in need of shelter. Another dear friend who keeps ensuring that she does anything and everything she can to help us in any way she can. The list goes on.
All these people could have easily considered me to be just another stranger. Yet, they have, in the toughest stages of my life, chosen to embrace me, embrace us, as “Family”.
Thank you… Thank you… Thank you…
Yes, we lost our jobs and are still on the lookout for new ones. Finances are down and it’s basically a mess.
But then again it is only because we lost our jobs and got desperate that we sold whatever we could to make our first independent production. A film called Aranmula Kannadi – The Reflection of an Alchemist.
Hopefully it will get us that elusive big break once it’s published. Even if it doesn’t, we are happy for the film was a labour of love and a beautiful experience in itself.
We are now back in Bangalore, staying at my cousin’s place temporarily. Not a second passes when I don’t thank God for the roof over our heads. Returning to Bangalore would’ve been next to impossible if this space hadn’t been offered to us. And such a beautiful, vibrant space it is!
I have always fretted over never having had a “Permanent Address”. No place to call home. Just a long, never ending list of rented spaces. But now I am slowly beginning to realise that Home isn’t really in constructed houses. Rather, it is in the people you cherish most. Home is where the heart is. And mine is right here, with me, in my amazing husband and wonderful daughter.
Thank you ever so much!
- Freelance work
Ever so grateful for every single work that comes our way.
Proud to say that Covid – 19 has taken away from us only the least important of our assets. The material ones. Ones that we can and will rebuild from scratch, one day at a time, as a team.
Being jobless has shown us how important even the smallest of work can be for that’s what puts bread on the table.
Today we have around us, in our tiny social circle, a handful of people who are embodiments of empathy, compassion and kindness. People who are teaching us so much every single day. People who may never even realise how profoundly they have touched our lives with their kindness and affection. So much to learn. Lessons in humility, empathy, kindness, generosity….
Thank you 2020 for reminding me of the good in this world and how often in life, it is the worst of adversity that brings forth the best of blessings.
Overwhelmed and so so grateful…
In the face of an adversity, instead of being obsessed about money my daughter’s school has given more importance for her education. Thank you.
More importantly, Thank you to my cousin who goes way out of her way to ensure that my daughter gets the right guidance just as her own daughter does, when it comes to schooling. 🙂
It hurts when your husband, is your biggest critic. But then that’s what makes mine all the more special. I can trust his feedback and compliments for I know he will never sugarcoat his words.
In fact, writing for his films is by far the most challenging work I have ever taken up in my 6 year career as writer. Which is why I enjoy working for him. He challenges me and does not accept a draft till he is sure he likes it.
2020 took away my job and for the first time I don’t have freelance projects lined up. In fact, I don’t have any at all in hand right now. That is depressing and very very demotivating.
This situation has shown just how important his criticism and supportive presence is. It is he who keeps pushing me to keep working on my craft, to keep writing, to keep reading. And when he gets tired of pushing me all it takes to inspire me is the passion with which he works. The way he doesn’t let a single day pass without reading and learning more about his craft. The way he puts his heart and soul into every work he does.
Thank you 🙂
- Good health
Thank you 2020 for teaching us how the most important of the assets we have is good health and our loved ones. Nothing else matters. Thank you for showing me that no matter what, life has to and will go on.
We take so much for granted in life don’t we.
I know I do even when I try each day to make sure I don’t.
Having to wear a mask daily has shown me how I used to take every breath of fresh air for granted.
In fact everything around me right now is a privilege.
The laptop and technology I have access to. So many children around me are losing out on basic education owing to lack of access to Internet and devices like mobile phones and laptops.
A car. I see young mothers carrying their little ones in one hand and luggage on the other, hurrying through Bangalore traffic struggling to get on board even more crowded buses and see how fortunate I am to own a car. In the covid scenario we were able to commute with our daughter safely only because we own one.
The roof over my head, access to clean water, electricity and food, warmth during this winter… EVERYTHING is a blessing.
Thank you 2020 for showing me just how privileged I am in every sense of the word.
A majority of the people around me are not half as fortunate as I am. So many people have lost their loved ones and are struggling to survive. My heartfelt prayers to each of you… This too will pass. Have faith.