Adieu Annus Horribilis

Truth to be told, if I do have to speak about myself and narrate my experiences of holding on and sailing through 2020, I wouldn’t be expressive of too many jargons and negativity. Now, this headline churns out, post-reading the editorials of two renowned publications. These were being published on New Years Day, and what else could one be expecting edits to discuss rather than how brutal the year was. Colloquially called “Annus Horribilis”, the publications went down the memory lane that helped them recapitulate the horrid past. Even though, the optimists discover several reasons that highlighted that 2020 wasn’t as horrible as we’d deem, clearly we all know that wasn’t good enough.

Not many of us beg to differ, isn’t it? But what’s tormenting now that no amount of pleasant memories could help erase the torturous visual of the mass exodus of the migrant labourers, or the lives that COVID has snatched from us, and even now the mere fact that the farmers are battling this biting cold, putting up a brave fight for their rights, only to be water cannoned.

Even though I might sound like a hypocrite talking about all of this stuff from a position of privilege, yet these sights have left behind an indelible mark that refuses to wither. While all have been engaging in the blame game and passing on the buck to others, can we proudly declare that we’ve been doing our part? Could we whole heatedly say that rather than posting pictures of ourselves cooking, cleaning, or making Dalgona coffee, have we at all spared a thought for the benefit and upliftment of the society as a whole?

I know I haven’t, and I wouldn’t be staying mum about it. Possibly, this was because my beginning lines mentioned that 2020 for me would be sans jargons, yet to the ones at the gruesome receiving end of the same would be “horrendous, unforgettable and brutal.” Majorly, we’d prefer sticking to terms like “unprecedented”, be it working from home, working remotely or working from the office.

As I proceed towards the concluding paragraphs, a thought strikes, concerning the headline. Is it really bidding goodbye to the Annus Horribilis? Have we, in reality, learnt enough? A certain scan of social media says that we haven’t yet, possibly because we are too smitten by the “Thirst Trap” bug, that we are gradually becoming oblivious to the world that exists outside of us. A world that really needs our help, our assistance. We might be ready with our counters, as to how, what and when. In that case, the answer lies within, requiring just a little amount of exploration and a spark of light. They say that just a flicker of light is capable of disappearing years of prevailing darkness.

Adieu, Annus Horribilis? No, not yet. And, mind you, it’s just not about the years, and we all know that numerics are just mere figures. If we don’t pull up our socks, then it might be a never ending vicious circle.



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Gairika Mitra

A writer embarking onto a journey into spirituality, it has literally changed my life overnight! I write twice a week and would love to keep y’all abreast.