How I Spent Year 2020…

It’s end of the year 2020…finally. Most people will celebrate not because the new year is starting, but mainly because the horrendous year 2020 is ending. It seemed like an eternal year. There was nothing memorable about 2020…for most of the people excluding me (or people like me). It doesn’t mean that it was a good year for me. It was as bad as 2016, or 2017 or 2018 or 2019. However, it was relatively better because the year was most horrible for others.

I wrote it few months back that the lockdown, per se, was not a bad thing for me. In fact I enjoyed it! It suited my personality and my preferences.

This is the year in which nobody is writing “the Best XYZ of Year 2020” e.g. movies, books, holiday destinations, sports events, other memorable and joyous events and so on. The overall sentiment was so down and gloomy that even if there were patches of good things during the year, one would feel guilty to talk about them.

Anyways, that’s why instead of sharing the “best of…” list I thought to myself how I spent year 2020. And the answers were very interesting. In fact, 2020 is the most defining year of my life so far!

So here is a list of various things I started or did in big way in 2020.

  1. Regional Movies: I discovered and explored regional Indian cinema in 2020 in big way. Especially Mallyalam (I am Marathi speaking. So apart from Marathi and Hindi, I’ll talk about all other Indian languages). I absolutely loved Fahaad Faasil. He is not only my favourite Mallyalam actor, but favourite actor in any language, including Hindi and English! Some of the Mallyalam movies I watched this year are:
  2. Web series / OTT contents: I watched some really good web series/shows in Hindi and English such as The Queen’s Gambit, Shark Tank, Paatal Lok, The Raiker Case, Special Ops, Criminal Justice (Season 1 and 2), Bandish Bandits, Your Honour
  3. Podcasts: Most of my time was actually spent on listening to podcasts. More than movies or web series or reading books. I have subscribed to several good podcasts on Spotify and listen to them every night while going to sleep. The Seen and the Unseen, The Time Ferriss Show, Freakonomics, Paisa Vaisa, Naval’s Podcast, Econ Central (now defunct), The Knowledge Project are really good. There are many one off episodes on other podcasts which are really informative.
  4. Online Chess: I spent several hundred hours playing online Chess on Chess.com, chess24.com and Lichess. I have reached decent rating on all three platform (1800-1900, with highest rating of 2000+ for few days). I most played blitz (5 mins) or at times 10 minutes games. My goal for 2021 is to play at least 1 classical game (60 mins+) every week and then study it thoroughly.
  5. Books: I read several books this year, but not as many as I would have liked (given that I was locked inside during the lockdown). I re-read few good books and left many books halfway through because they were not quite engaging. However, following are the six great books which I read in 2020:
    • Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson
    • Mind Master by Vishwanathan Anand
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
    • Economy of Truth by Vizi Andrei
    • Naval’s Almanack – compilation of Naval’s thoughts, quotes

Then there were many stimulating concersations with many friends, loved ones…and myself! I also renewed few relationships – rekindled old and lovely friendships, and developed some bitter enemies/grudges.

Most importantly, I strengthened my will power like never before and also attained some internal calmness necessary to pursue unfulfilled dreams, wishes and aspirations in 2021!

So it was not a bad year afterall…many bruises, few setbacks, but lots of positive developments and some hopes!

Let’s see what 2021 offers. I’ll write about “How I Plan to Spend 2021” tomorrow, on the first day of the year…

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