2020 DIARY by Swathy Sivakumaar
This year, if it’s got a theme, it would be self – realization!
I hope for most of them, this year has changed their lives forever just like mine.
The year started well! Nithanth & I although newly married, took a short break and returned to the office by December last week so that we would get settled in our new home by January 2020. We were booked full with classes and projects. January, as usual, was the month of rejoicing and new vows. We had our own dreams and plans to accomplish that year. We started pretty well. We were happy 🙂 February on the contrary was even more rejoicing for we accomplished our most no. of student joinees in sketchcareer and was flooded with projects like never before. It was like, we finally got on track after years of hard work.
Over the years, Nithanth & I had made it a point that we are going to be 0ur Boss. And we are going to be a service provider for the audience and not for money. It sounds fancy. But to be the same, it’s not a piece of cake. Nithanth & I chose a field that no one really understood except both of us. Hence, we had to groom and grow ourselves. Although Both of us were from well off families, we were not able to start a business with a proper investment like we wanted to. Because they never really understood what we were up to… But thanks to some good souls. Feeling rich is very subjective. But this year had changed my point of view once for all. Now, My idea of being rich is to meet my daily needs and just be happy. In that way, I am now super-rich! There are times when Nithanth & I sacrificed our own needs so that we can invest in our business. Our love story started with a lot of financial struggles. I guess that’s what has made us stronger as a team.
After the glorious January & February, we were excited to step into March. We had batches set and our projects intact. Corona Virus got familiar to us from December 2019. But no one really took it seriously. It was in February end when Bangalore recorded its first covid case. I always have a gut feel in me that guides me. When March started, My gut feel was filled with the thoughts that something bad is going to happen. But we kept going with the flow. Slowly, schools & colleges were given holidays. March 16th is when our courses would commence. There was no sign of lockdown at that time. But we had students who are from far places. We didn’t want them to get into any sort of risks. Nithanth & I had to make a decision. My gut feeling came true. We decided to close the office until things get back to normal. Our idea of closing was only for 1 or 2 weeks. We announced our decision and put up a board in the office saying we are closed due to a coronavirus outbreak. Although at that time, we thought its just a 1 or 2-week break, My heart was very heavy. Leaving my office for so long had not happened even during the time of the wedding. But now We decided to do so because we didn’t want our students to suffer. We decided to spend those days with my mom. We were then scheduling our projects and batches in April.
March 24 is when the first lockdown was announced. We were shattered. For Nithanth and Me, our business is not just our pride but our daily bread and butter. If situations get worse, it is going to become a matter of survival for us! We can not pay our staff anymore. We had to let them go. Aruna, our once student and now admin had been with us since 2018. She is with us through all our high and low. I never really thanked her enough. But she is like family to me. March, April, and May had gone. Lockdown rules were loosened a bit. We decided to restart. Things seemed to be normal. But June & July is when Bangalore recorded its peak number of cases. Once again, we were pushed to a huge loss. We had to close on more time. But this time, it had to be a strong decision. We decided to vacate our home. That was a home that Nithanth and I liked so much. We had no other choice except to let it go. But above all that, We had to leave our office. The very thought of leaving my office gave me shivers. Words can not describe how numb I felt! The Reception chair of my office is my favorite. I can just sit there for hours together. I sat on the same spot not knowing what to do. Being a composed person on the outside, at that moment, I could not hide my tears rolling down. That one moment still gives me chills when I think. I walked around my office. And when I walked around, My only feeling was that it should not be my last walk here. I adored my office space so dearly, Thanks to our landlord Mr. Umesh who had been very kind to us. Because of whom I’m able to again sit in my favorite corner and write this blog.
Another new entry to our family was Mr. Biju Mathew. Biju sir joined us to handle our Multimedia section of courses. When we had to again leave Bangalore, We decided not to close anymore. Biju sir ran the show for us. We haven’t thanked him enough. But he is like our big brother. Office was going on. We were in Wayanad to spend time with Nithanths side of the family. It was fun to be with them. I did a lot of Photoshoots in Wayanad. I was enjoying myself. I even wanted to be there forever! But deep down, I was still worried. Because I hadn’t seen my mother for 4 months at that point. Alongside, there was the thought of my office always. That had been very hard on me. Amidst this, we had a lot of students who wanted to learn Photography online.
Online Learning is something I never tried before. Especially about Photography, I was confused about how it would work. But Thanks to technology and thanks to covid because of which I did my first ever online class. It was a different feeling to connect with so many people online. Covid wasn’t that bad after all! Nithanth & I have surely become a better team because of Covid. We realized how thankful we should be for everything that is happening to us. God had been merciful. Covid did leave a positive impact on us! Most of all, we realized what constant support we were to each other. If not for such support, we would not have been able to cross the tough times with smiles. With help of our families and our willpower, we decided to get through this. And guess what? Our Business survived this pandemic! From times when we were thinking of only going ahead, we became people who were thankful to have what we had.
We went to my mom’s in august. Wow, what a joy it was for me to see my dear after 4 whole months. Covid made me realize how important she is to me. Without her, I would not be able to do anything. I never really thanked her enough. But she surely is my God in disguise. As a single parent, she had gone through a lot of troubles to bring me up. Although she could not help me financially, she was determined that I should always stand on my legs. She has simply been my pillar of strength. We spent August, September & October with her. Gosh, that’s really not enough. I just want her to be with me every minute.
Like most of the world, we were also thinking to restart from 2021. As if Corona will expire on December 31. Hahaha. But again, the gut feels in me urged me to go back to my lovely little office. Nithanth & I decided to go back to Bangalore. But this time, it was strong like never before. We don’t know if a business will happen. We are not really sure of our survival. But we decided to face it. November 18, we shifted to Bangalore. Things were a little different this time. We decided to stay nearby and work extra time to compensate for the loss. Things were back on track once again. We revamped our office to get extra space and to add in some colors.
It was my greatest joy to see my students once again. Some new enthusiastic students also joined in. It was a lovely scene to see my dear students. Once again, project calls had come. Business surely isn’t flourishing like before. But we have learned to be thankful for what we have. It has surely given Nithanth & Me the strength to tackle situations no matter what. There are 2 more people who joined our Sketchcareer family by the end of the year. We are a happy team of 6 now.
Looking back at 2020, It has been a tough year. But the fact is, it has been so tougher for many others. And we are in a good place. Few Life incidents from my childhood had always made me an angry child. Being a short-tempered person, I realized how much it would have hurt Nithanth and my Mother. Covid gave me the time to think of how will I feel if a person reacts like that to me. I am thankful to Nithanth and my mother for always loving me dearly no matter what. I am thankful for every moment that happened this 2020. I am thankful that My family and I are hale and healthy. This has surely paved a way for me to learn more and become a better person. There is a lot of self-realization that happened in this 1 year than any other years together.
Thank you 2020!
I am thankful for everything that I have in life!