Dear 2020,

I can’t really say that I didn’t see this coming last November, because my cousin, a bioscientist, said that they could see certain unusual things happening — people were getting some sort of a flu, lung infection, or pneumonia, which was very unusual. This was in America. Of course, I say this in a very simplistic manner, unlike my cousin. Recently, a digital memory popped up on my phone, and it was about this advertisement with Shoojit Sircar. I was shooting for a film in Chhattisgarh, and I mention this because of the travel involved, which I cannot imagine this year. I had to come to Kolkata, and my flight got cancelled, and had to literally travel for 27 hours from Chhattisgarh to Kolkata. I had to take a flight, a car, went to a station, and missed a train, and then drove eight hours to Bhubaneshwar. All of this happened exactly one year ago, and I cannot imagine doing this in 2020.

This year, there were plans to shoot for Four More Shots! Season 3, and multiple films, and obviously, none of that happened. However, a lot of other stuff happened — I did multiple projects and a Netflix show, and campaigns. All of this, from home. I had three releases this year, and they did extremely well, because they came out during the lockdown. I wouldn’t call this a silver lining, but there is an upside to a lot of things, and one has to look at that. However, I had plans to travel a lot, especially to Japan, and it’s so strange because this year, I’ve had so many nominations like the International Emmys, and we qualified for the Oscars, and we’re having a proper release in LA and New York for this short film called Shameless, and we won’t be able to go. That sucks.

I met my family during Holi, and that was the last time I met them. I can’t be selfish and say that “jo hua acche ke liye hua” because millions of people are still suffering due to the pandemic, and if you didn’t have the means or savings, or were from a certain stratum of society, you are literally in a very bad space. It’s not envious at all. 2020, you peaked the day Trump lost the US Elections, and that was pretty much your best day but now, you’re plunging down again. That day was good for democracy around the world, but I’ll leave it at that, and let time takes its course.

To be honest, the overall feeling where certain sad events in our film industry are concerned, is a feeling of despair. Every day, I see something or read something that boggles my mind and I cannot fathom how we got here. There were days during the lockdown when I would wake up sad, angry, and hopeless. But, again, nothing lasts forever, and my only hope is that this too shall pass. Because otherwise, there is no end to feeling hopeless. If you were a person, 2020, I’d slap you really hard. Or maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe, I’d say “fuck off and don’t show your face”. Or, actually, now that I think about it, this is what I’d tell you: “Enough done. Now, go away, and don’t ever show your face. I forgive you on behalf of other people”.

Bye,

Sayani

Also Read: Letters To 2020: The Year I Realised My Privilege