Every time I sit down to write a round-up for a year going by, I realise that no matter the highs and lows, every year is a mixed bag of feel good and feel bad moments. So while 2020 however obviously go down in our lifetime as one of the most tumultuous and panic-inducing years, was it all that bad? Call me overtly optimistic, but is there no silver lining of hope, love and mush to make us feel good about this year? There were job cuts, pay slashes, lost opportunities and alienation of the great outdoors. Many people lost their loved ones, some of us had to go without seeing our parents and siblings for months at stretch. Almost everyone developed an obsession with sanitisers and masks. But amidst the havoc that this year wreaked, we found a saviour in social media.
Now this may be a debatable claim, considering all the hate and misinformation that was spread through the digital medium. But since it is the festive season and I am ODing on all things cinnamon and chocolate, we are going to put our blinkers on, well at least for the time it'll take you to read this piece, and praise social media for all the good that it did fo us this year.
So here's my list of five feel-good videos that brought a smile to our face this year:
Kerala woman helps visually impaired man board bus: In a year marred by hostility and selfishness (still cannot forgive people who hoarded masks and sanitisers during lockdown) this viral video of a woman from Kerala stopping a bus so that a visually impaired man could board it, is a subtle reminder of how we are all capable of being good to others if we want to. As IPS officer Vijayakumar points out in his tweet, "kindness is beautiful".
This was a small act of care and generosity on behalf of Supriya, a good samaritan who works as a saleswoman in the town of Tiruvalla, but it is a huge lesson in humility for the rest of us. Supriya took out time to help a man, going out of her way in a situation where most people would have turned a blind eye to the plight of a special-needs person and moved on. How many of us would make a similar effort? How many of us would spare those precious few seconds from our life to help someone out, without expecting anything in return? Fortunately, Supriya's good deed was caught on camera earning her accolades on social media. Later, the company that she works for awarded her with a house as a token of appreciation for her deed.
Sisters dancing after conquering COVID-19: In July a video of two sites dancing in the street, after the elder of the two came home fully cured of COVID-19 went viral, and how! The siblings have identified as Saloni Satpute, a 23-year old Pune resident, and her elder sister Snehal. Saloni took to dancing in the street as she wanted to “relay a message to her neighbours who had shunned her after five members of her family tested positive."
Just Loved the #SistersDuet!❤️— Dipanshu Kabra (@ipskabra) July 19, 2020
A worthy welcome of Elder Sis, returned after defeating #CoronaVirus.
No Pandemic can reduce a nanometer of smile, of any family that cherishes such Warmth, Love & Energy. pic.twitter.com/cTkUGT8RPw
Packed with energy and sheer joy, you can feel the relief and sense of conquering adversity in the way Satpute sisters dance. We can't escape the pandemic, but we can own such big-little moments our life, COVID-19 or not.
Rasode me kaun tha: You knew this was coming, didn't you? I think why this video by musician Yashraj Mukhate went beyond viral was because apart from being absolutely catchy and delightful, it was well-timed. In the moths building up to Rasode me kaun tha's debut, social media was packed with animosity and fear. I would dread opening my Twitter because I knew there wasn't going to be a single tweet or news that would uplift my sullen mood.
But Rashi, Gopi and Kokila's antics made social media do what it is best at; spreading laughter, inspiring hordes of memes and cheeky rip-offs that would keep you scrolling through your news feed happily for hours at stretch ( I do realise how unhealthy it sounds).
Hula Hooping on Genda Phool in sari and sneakers: Instagrammer Eshna Kutty made our jaws drop the floor when she hula hooped to the tunes of Genda Phool from Delhi 6 with much ease and grace, all the while wearing a sari and a pair of sneakers.
From businessman Anand Mahindra, to journalist Smita Prakash, people from all walks on social media couldn't stop raving about the 23-year-old hula hooper's skills. In the Instagram post accompanying this viral video, Kutty wrote, "the intention was… to feel so comfortable and happy wearing it without the pressure of being a delicate lady… Theres so much diversity in our cultures and even in our sarees that I hoped this trend would add a very unique twist to a global art form. Or visa versa- that you’d want to get yourself a hoop because you secretly want to dress up to goof around."
While Kutty may not have inspired me to embrace the nine-yard, I can watch her grove with her hula hoop on the loop for sure.
Taapsee Pannu's Biggini shoot: Okay, so if I had to pick just one social media post from celebrities in India that was worth resharing and watching during chai breaks at work, then it would be this video the Pannu sisters. Amassing over two million views, shot in Maldives ( which according to an Instagram story of a colleague is the new banana bread) this video makes you long for a holiday with friends and all the stupid fun you indulge in with them.
While the original composition and video for Biggini shoot is the brainchild of Mukhate, it is Pannu's camaraderie with her sisters that makes this video with watching on loop.
The views expressed are the author's own.