The Day When This Will Be Over
Have you made promises to your loved ones that you would make sure to embrace each moment you spent with them post lockdown? Have you equipped yourself with a list of things you would do, once this quarantine comes to an end? I am sure you have. If not, let me talk about the vows that most of us might have taken in the quarantine period. We might have mentioned to ourselves that we would spend each day in gratitude rather than in ranting about the big things in life (I did, which I don’t see happening anytime soon!). Honestly, I used to crib about the education system I am being forced into, my dada used to crib about the price hike and politics in the world, my mom used to be upset about the westernization, and how things during the older days were much better, my brother used to crib about the competitive exams that he has to give, my friends used to rant about career and how opportunities are diminishing, my neighbours used to fight with others for spilling water in front of the gate, many uncles in the metro used to spend their entire journey talking about how our country’s politics is flawed, and some young men near the park talked about the economic fluctuations and the diminishing work-life balance.
The recent crisis that I confronted before the pandemic, revolved around the CAA and NRC protests, and disputes between political parties and citizens of the country. People were killing each other, and then suddenly, someone pressed the PAUSE button. And then, to top it all, came the pandemic. Millions of people around the globe got terrified, and still are, by a virus. Did you ever think that our lives will be stalled like this? Like a standstill. I never thought that the things that used to be my everyday concern, would become secondary and survival would supersede it all.
Survival was a primary concern even before, but the means to attain it were conceptualized in a different manner for different individuals. Somewhere, there was an unaccounted disparity that existed. Some people sought survival through job, education or success, but today, survival has become equal for all. We all are together, fighting against the virus, which is astonishing, and at the same time, bizarre- the fact that a simple force could bring all of us together, as equals. It was a while ago, before the corona epidemic became the pandemic, that things were not going too well, when the US President Donald Trump, with his delegates, visited India. Many citizens were protesting, and people were living under curfews in various localities.
I remember the sight of people being deprived of the essentials before, and various localities being sealed. My friend was not able to travel to college and was feeling helpless because humans were killing humans in the name of religion. Here, the victim and the accused were humans, who were rationalizing political statements, and being naïve to the situation.
Rhetorically, today, the accused is a virus and the victims are still humans. I hope that once this pandemic is over, no one would take human lives for granted, and we would become more conscious about our actions. It is time we realise that every life matters beyond identities.
In the initial days of the pandemic, I had been observing the news headlines. A few stories from India and around the world, simply put a smile on my face and revisiting them is a must. The first one that touched my heart is the story of Vishnu and Noor, Vishnu, a Hindu man in Kerala, drove 150km on his bike for a four-year-old Muslim girl Noor- a cancer patient in need of urgent medication. Vishnu and the girl were complete strangers, but he ensured that she gets the required medicines in time. Another story is of the two women who managed to walk 10 km from Darya Ganj to Friendicoes in Jangpura, carrying a cat in a basket, as no one offered them a lift. The stray cat had fainted after delivering two stillborn kittens, while the third was still inside her. Doctors attended to her, but the kitten, unfortunately, did not survive. The cat recovered and was sent back in an ambulance with her human friends.
Getting to hear about such incidents of love and kindness after all that had been happening in the country, made me feel that the humanity within people, which was long lost for the all reasons known and unknown, has been revived. I am not sure if this kind of love and affection for fellow beings will be carried forward till the days after this lockdown comes to an end, but I am sure we will remember these stories every time we chose to harm any being for any reason- political or apolitical. I hope we reflect on our actions and words, and delve on them, looking beyond the temporary agenda.
Over the weeks, I have been fiddling with a routine (illusion), which is switching between doing nothing to doing a lot of things at once, and wondering how the days have become so short and how prior to this, I used to do so many things in a day. In the backdrop, I still hope that this soon comes to an end. Not trying to be preachy at all, but I ensured to tell all my loved ones that I miss them, and made promises to meet them soon, and with that, I have taken out this moment to be more conscious about sharing love and hope with the entire humankind and spreading the idea of peace and harmony. I am sure it is not too late for us to realise that together we can make this world a better place to live, love and laugh!