BENGALURU: So Sunday came and went. And the world has not come to an end. Or has it? As doomsday prophecies continue to float about, with various theories taking different spots on the wide spectrum of beliefs and cheerfulness, it doesn’t take long to chance upon someone on social media saying, ‘Yes, the world has ended. At least, the one we knew and lived in until a few months back.’ Or even, ‘Let it come to an end, and fast. Who wants to live masked up and locked in for who knows how long to come’.
An elderly acquaintance had told me during a phone conversation a few weeks ago that several senior citizens are now saying that it’s the Kalki avatar of Lord Vishnu that has descended upon the earth as coronavirus. Most of us may laugh off such talk, of course, but it’s tough to shrug away the lingering feeling that the pandemic has indeed changed the world, even as we fervently hope for it to be an ephemeral challenge.
And this past weekend did bring about this realisation more than any other day — yes, perhaps with greater force than even the first day of lockdown. Any other time, and the day would have been marked with celebrations -- and poses — of different kinds. There would have been rows and rows of track pants-wearing people huffing together to do 108 surya namaskars early in the morning. Yoga Day rituals out of the way, many of them would have wrapped up the day in a noisy pub, shaking their aching bodies to the latest tunes to hail World Music Day.
Thrown in somewhere in the middle of the afternoon, would have been a hearty dose of family bonding happening at a fancy restaurant over a special brunch to ring in Father’s Day. Instagram feeds would have bubbled over, with selfies of people puffing and pouting, enjoying healthy lemonade in the morning, and rich, silky risotto and wine a few hours later. But instead of bustling bars in Indiranagar and CBD, the occasions were celebrated with quiet introspection at home, with asanas being practised in the drawing room instead of crowded stadiums, and dreamy quotes taking the place of glittery outfits. The solar eclipse too played its part in keeping people indoors, and as if WhatsApp wasn’t already brimming with exchange of Covid-banishing home remedies, we got a fresh onslaught of know-hows to ward off the ill-effects of the grahana.
For once, even many Bollywood star kids chose to lie low. Some of their names did trend on social media, but the hashtags drew attention to their family ties and ‘father’s influence’ on their lives for a completely different reason. There were no loud advertisements luring diners and buyers with special offers, no conspicuous consumption of, well, anything. And in that manner, not just this Sunday, but the last couple of months have quite been as if we are all playing a waiting game. Not for the world to end. But for it to begin afresh.