2020 – a personal review of the goDiscover family
Nightmare, unfair, unpredictable, strange, evolving – these were the words used by our goDiscover family to describe the year 2020 in one word. Like so many people around the world, our team members dealt with unprecedented challenges, worries and conflicts – some very personal and some together as a team. Concerns about elderly parents’ and grandparents’ health, dealing with closed schools and kids’ education, fear of job loss, the plight of the poorer sections of India’s society, the overall economic situation. All these worries heavily weigh each for itself, let alone in combination.
Despite all the burden that 2020 put on us, the goDiscover family can be proud of their humble contribution to ease the situation for a few people at least a little bit. Our educational products can help to enable kids, parents and teachers across India to cope with the new situation of home schooling. And on a more personal note, we are very happy and indeed proud that the whole team stood together, continuing goDiscover’s success story and nobody had to leave the company for economic reasons.
Following, we’d like to take you – our friends, clients, partners and supporters – on our personal journey of 2020.
2020 began for us with lots of hopes and dreams. We were going international, launch online sales and introduce many new products. In February, we welcomed many new faces in our team and were eager to know each other. And even little things like an increase in the lunch plate size could make some colleagues happy 😉
While our bosses were at the world’s largest toy fair in Germany taking the international leap for us, the new goDiscover team members were getting their welcome with the special ‘cutting chai’ at our favourite tea stall outside on a gloomy but beautiful winter evening. There is no better way than bonding over chai, right?
Then that day in March, we were sipping morning coffee prepared by Sushant bhaiya. Suddenly, Swati asked all of us with concern: “did you see the news about a virus that came from China is now in India too?” Like from all over the world, the pandemic had come into our lives!
Initial thoughts that this would be just another infection slowly faded. Then came the day when our management told us to not come to office for the next whole month – what a strange feeling. That day, after preparing everything for work from home, we ordered dinner at office and it turned into one of those evenings that we used to have as kids talking about this and that, ranging from favourite dishes to ghost stories. It was the last time we all ate together in 2020.
Toilet paper scarcity, social distancing, lockdown? After some time, we realized that it’s worth appreciating benefits in life while you have them. Meenakshi put it this way: “I realized value, value of friends, value of family, value of time, value of loved ones and most importantly, value of resources. I am sure I am not going to take it for granted ever again.”
It’s fair to admit that at some point everyone in our team was either panicking, overthinking, sometimes exaggerating, or simply being scared. During our zoom meetings, Sonia often had to calm everyone down, growing into the role of goDiscover’s mother.
Many companies and start-ups had to close down during 2020 and everybody heard of friends and acquaintances losing jobs. goDiscover also took a hit with not a single sale for a whole month. But we stood together and managed the situation.
Rising infection and death rates, worries about our parents, elders, and other family members, being inside all the time. Everything got very gloomy. And to make things even worse, some great talents of Bollywood who had given us hope and positivity for many years, passed away during this time.
It’s among us!
It still came as a shock when we learned that one of us had caught the virus. But Tarun recovered quickly and is happy that he came out stronger after beating COVID.
But sadly, one of us lost a family member to the pandemic. Priyanshi who lost her mother-in-law feels that she will not be able to get over it. While she worries about her other relatives, most of us are also in constant fear as the pandemic really entered our lives.
August brought us some smiles as our sales soared and a huge part of our worries seemed to be going away. We had adjusted to working from home and the overall difficult situation. Retail shops were opening again and we received particularly positive feedback from our customers combined with demand for more new and innovative products. Times were getting promising again.
The ease of tensions also became obvious during our regular zoom meetings where everybody was more relaxed and even joking again. We were finding out new things about ourselves or getting hitched to new habits. Swati is now an avid reader even though she misses going to the gym. Vipul realized that keeping the family smiling and yourself happy is the key. Priyanshi is an expert cook now. And Nidhi got a new family and is getting hitched soon while Rajesh got himself hooked to online games!
The new normal
With the US elections dominating Indian media, a major shift in Indian tradition seemed to take place during fall: People were getting married in small, intimate gatherings for the first time ever. And a lot were taking advantage of it! Most of us attended zoom weddings as well.
And for Diwali? Nobody was seeing any new place this year. Remember business travels? Now deeply missed. So much so that Nidhi, Swati and Priyanshi were changing their display pictures to previous year’s travel pictures. Last year, it took Rajesh a month to plan this years’ cancelled family outing to Manali – he will not plan another vacation in advance now!
We celebrated the Diwali pooja on zoom, an integral part of our lives by now. And seeing the office temple and surrounding after so many months was sweet nostalgia. It felt like things were normal after a long time. It felt like things were fine for the first time.
Come December, we had an epiphany – with a blink of an eye the year passed! We have been inside for almost this whole year. Laptops and screens have truly become the new normal now. And with the vaccination start around the corner in 2021, hope is catching on.
What could have been!
What a roller coaster year 2020 has been. So many plans we had – to travel, explore, meet new people, buy a house, move to a new place, we had to postpone them. A small price to pay, thinking about everyone who did not get through this year so well.
Life has been most unfair to those who were anyways struggling for basics. Sonia shares that she is happy that a whole new set of people have emerged as good humans and those who care about humanity and strangers at large but it’s also sad that a very large number of people have traded for their personal benefits with the lives and peace of mind of the ones mourning, too.
What kept us going throughout 2020 was talking and sharing with family and friends, and especially the support among our goDiscover team. It was the empathy and the relatability that we shared that brought us together. We are determined to go and discover 2021 with more energy than ever.