Archive for December 31st, 2020

31 Dec 2020 2020 – the year that changed the world
 |  Category: Personal  | One Comment

Every year, I spend some time to review and appreciate all the good things that have happened over the year. This is year is no different, and I would like to share my thoughts with you. This year has been difficult for most people, and all of us have gone through hardships due to circumstances beyond our control. The world was brought to its knees by a virus, but humanity grew in response – we helped people, we raised our standards, we fought back. The global economy went into a tailspin, but new ventures came up, we found new avenues for growth, we persevered.

Personally, the year had a lot to offer; some of the important ones being:

1.       Family Time. I was in London when the global lockdowns started; and while the lockdown was not as strict in India, offices were shut down and all of us were working from home. I saved time from my commute, we had all our meals together. Breakfast was a leisurely affair, instead of a sandwich on the train; lunch was eaten in peace with family, instead of on a desk with a computer in front of you. Instead of spending the evenings in packed trains, we spent our time walking, cycling and skating in the parks. We were able to appreciate the small things in life, that we had somehow missed in the hustle and bustle of life. We started a habit of reading books aloud to each other, and spent many enjoyable hours of quality time. I moved back from London, and was able to spend time with my parents – it was after many years, that I was able to stay with them for months, instead of days.  

2.       Healthier Lifestyle. We cooked a lot more at home, ate healthy foods, went for walks (still don’t exercise regularly though, and that’s on the agenda).

3.       Career-wise; I have grown over the year and am extremely lucky to work with professional team members

Globally, the world has gone through a transformation, and people have started realizing that there are different ways – maybe not better, but definitely different:

1.       Digitisation has played a huge role in the New Normal – things that required face to face meetings, and travel; are being done over video calls. Teams, Zoom, etc. have become a boon for most companies. Not only has collaboration and productivity increased, costs have come down as well. Working from home has become a part of life, even in cultures where being in office was always “required”. While some jobs cannot be done online, many people are saving time and money by not travelling. Whether it’s an hour’s daily commute or frequent business meetings around the world, that travel time adds up and can now be spent on more quality pursuits.

2.       Health – new ways to provide basic healthcare were found – telehealth, video conference – again technology led the way here. For the first time in the history of medicine, multiple companies pooled their resources to develop a vaccine. The speed with which the vaccines are being developed is nothing short of miraculous. Mental health challenges have reduced as it has become easier for people to communicate and reach out; a new mindset has developed where people don’t think twice before helping out.

3.       A greener earth – reduced pollution and carbon emissions, cleaner waterways, expanded green areas – all are leading to a greener, healthier world.

4.       Many people lost jobs; but turned this into opportunities that they would have never thought of otherwise. Innovative thinkers, no matter their education, came up with business plans at every level – whether it’s new apps like the ones from, or business selling tea and homemade food . People were thrown out of their comfort zones, but rose to the occasion.

5.       Even in our industry, we have had time to think back and reflect, to look at different ways things can be done more efficientlyHygiene and Safety have come to the forefront, smart workplaces are the need for the day. We have had time to upgrade systems that would have been impossible to do earlier.

It wasn’t all fun and games though, there were many difficult days as well – worrying about the future, recovering from COVID, dealing with meltdowns, leaving friends and colleagues behind; but those are things we don’t need to dwell upon. One of my favourite books by author Sir Terry Pratchett mentions an ancient curse – “May you live in Interesting Times”; unfortunately – or fortunately – we are living in interesting times, and how we deal with these times will mould our future. The year ahead would bring more challenges, and consequently more opportunities – we just have to be ready and willing. We need to be right at the forefront of innovative thought; we need to be ready.

It’s very easy to dwell on the negative aspects of life, but seeing the silver lining is more important.

Wish you a happy and blissful 2021