A letter to 2020
Calling you “dear” is an elite form of rebellion. You are everything but dear to me.
Parley said: Write what will stop your breath if you don’t write.
So here I am, staring at this blank piece of paper, trying to form words from all the grief you have given me. I am not an optimist. I see that the glass is half-filled but not filled enough to quench my thirst. This is to say I have trouble separating happiness from pain.
But because of a miracle, in January of 2020, I decided to say goodbye to this pessimism. I made a list of all the things I wanted to achieve this year.
But life doesn’t go according to our plans, and it has its plan. And you don’t get to choose what happens. I didn’t get to achieve any of my goals this year. I don’t want the same things anymore too. What I want is closure. What I want is to let go of everything you have taken from me because, let’s be honest, for a minute, even if you, 2020, weren’t damaging, I still wouldn’t have been able to achieve these goals. Only psychopaths accomplish all of their new year’s resolutions. And my high empathy says I am not one of them.
Noshi Gilani said,
Ab kis sy kahein or kon sunay
Jo Haal Tumhary baad hua
But I will try, try to tell people what you have done to me.
2020, you have been ruthless. You forced me to see the injustice in the world. You opened my eyes to the very same world I don’t want to be a part of. Millions of deaths, people fired amidst a pandemic, empty grocery stores because of hoarders, hunger in its proper form. This is the earth we inhabit, and sadly, we aren’t leaving it anytime soon.
But this is also the same world where doctors spent 72 hours in the ER, where two lovers stuck by COVID-19 came back to life together, where people gathered on rooftops in Italy to sing with each other. This is the same world where Karachi Kings won PSL 6; if you told me that in 2019, I would have never believed it.
2020 you are deadly. Not the kind of deadly that kills in one swipe. The kind of deadly which fills every inch of your body with fear until you are nothing but; fear. But we will get through this. You want to know how? Well, now we humans see the value of a single touch, a handshake, a hug, a gentle caress on the hand, a reassuring arm circling your arm, a pat on the shoulders. We took human connection for granted, but this is the only thing we need to survive: that and a good plate of pasta.
Thank you, 2020, for telling me that even someone with a feeble heart like mine can survive this.
With a promise to never miss you,