Secret Santa: Neeraj Meghani
The title is a half-hearted attempt at humor. In my defense, I was very sleepy.
Christmas is usually weird for my household. While I do not (and can not) speak for all the Christian households in our country, my house has never played host to the whole hiding a present in socks shebang. Socks have a short service period which starts in the cupboard, goes through on our feet, and ends in the washing machine. Retired socks end up as cleaning rags at the most random places in the house, and we just relive and enjoy those memories whenever we see one of our shoe-buddies around. We have never come around to calling chips as “crisps”, biscuits as “cookies”, or “Ma, close the door on your way out, for God’s sake!” as “privacy” but then we aren’t really that modern, anyway.
I am stuck at home with good reason (couldn’t have done this without you, China), till I go to university later next year and all I’ve heard is how this year was a blessing in disguise. Personally, my mind believes in the glass-half-empty school of thought, and I really don’t think things could be worse than they are. Things would actually be better if people stopped talking about how the lockdown was a learning experience, and how they can do the dab now that they’ve taken online classes for the same.
It wouldn’t be justified to shame all the internet, even a place as scary as it has some nooks and crannies that aren’t life-draining and Dementor-ish. Sitting at home with way too many people indoors isn’t always easy for us introverts, and the internet is a good way to escape that thought for a while. It’s true that I made Dalgona coffee like everyone else, baked banana bread for no reason, and tried an ungodly number of fitness regimes on YouTube as if my abs were just waiting for this fickle sense of accomplishment to come up. Being at home used to be so easy when all extroverts used to be outside, leaving us introverts alone to self-deprecate in peace. I loved re-running five-year-old arguments in my head in order to fill the void that’s my brain, but then now I just have new ones with my mother about how we should cut breakfast sandwiches (what are you psychopaths doing if you’re not cutting them diagonally?).
Meals are probably the most mundane things now that eating out (or food delivery) is at an all-time low. Earlier, my parents and I used to have a fairly lengthy discussion about what we’d eat for the next meal, and now we’ve all relegated ourselves to eating anything between last night’s leftovers to last night’s leftovers over bread. I cannot count the number of times I have eaten food while watching random stuff on Netflix, without realizing what I’ve been putting in my mouth all along (Netflix and chill, please get the joke). As of 2020, the average user spent over three hours on the service daily and yet, being the typical overachieving Asian kid as I am, I’ve done much more than the average person.
All I wish to do now is to end this passage that started with Christmas with some wacky statistics because sticking to the word limit is a good habit for any tired writer, and also because good figures are always attractive.
All of us had comprehensive plans for the year that were terribly foiled, but such is the magnanimity of the human spirit that we got through nonetheless, albeit with dangerously excessive screen-times that our digital wellbeing will hate us for. Learning new things, experiencing new feelings, and trying new hobbies make us all unique, and that’s important.
After all, even if you’re one in a million, there are 1350 of you in this country.