Writer Richa Tilokani
Writer Richa Tilokani

A break to reboot self and society

I feel like I am stuck in a Hollywood movie.

CHENNAI: I feel like I am stuck in a Hollywood movie. The plot is well-known. The world is infected with a mysterious virus and the future of humanity is at stake. Scientists are racing against time to find a cure and the villain is the only one with the antidote. But the only difference is — this time the movie never ends. There is no instant cure, no known villain and no suave hero coming to our rescue.

However, there are many real-life heroes — members of the medical establishment, delivery personnel, helpers, journalists and all the essential workers who are working tirelessly to serve the nation. We owe them so much and we must always keep them in our prayers and hearts. We must help out wherever we can and however we can — make a start by helping our maids, security guards and cleaners. We must do our best and wait for the pandemic to end. We have to be ready for the new normal. A word that feels so strange. In a world that seems incomprehensible. Can we ever go back to our normal lives? 

The lives that we took for granted. The lunches, coffee outings, mall visits, meeting friends. None of that seems possible now. We have been in quarantine in Chennai for five weeks now. It still seems unbelievable. Every day is merging into the next. Sometimes it feels like a bad dream. But we can’t just snap out of it somehow. Imagine if somebody had suggested such a thing — of a virus bringing the world’s mightiest nations to their knees — last year, we would have probably laughed our heads off. But here we are. No one is laughing for sure. 

There is no cure, no vaccine insight and even the most developed nations with the best healthcare facilities are struggling to handle the scores of patients filling their hospitals. And yet we must try our best to remain positive. To continue to do the regular things at home. To bring some semblance of normalcy in our life. Walk inside the house, cook, clean, exercise, try spot jogging or yoga. Speak to friends and family on the phone. Remain socially connected. And to stay away from negative thoughts.

It’s also time we stopped and realised that we should not have polluted the earth and depleted our resources for short-term gains. We had so much and we still wanted more. We should have been more worried about the next 40 years, but we were busy plundering and planning for the next four months. I hope we can all learn from this experience and emerge stronger and wiser. 

Our resolve needs to be steely — only if we work together can we beat the virus. And when it ends it will be a beautiful new beginning. Hopefully, we will be more grateful, more compassionate, less self-absorbed, more inclined to love and to share the world gracefully with all other living beings. Just the way it was always supposed to be.

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The New Indian Express
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