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The joy of waiting

Anticipation is about enjoying the journey, knowing the destination will come in its own time. It’s like a child marking time day by day as it waits for its birthday.

Published: 17th January 2021 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2021 08:27 PM   |  A+A-

waiting

For representational purposes

Anticipation is about enjoying the journey, knowing the destination will come in its own time. It’s like a child marking time day by day as it waits for its birthday. The excitement starts sometimes a month or two before b-day and spurts forward, in little peaks and troughs. A birthday means new clothes, yummy treats, and most important, friends bearing gifts. And of course, there is excitement in the plans being made at this end. The invitations to be written on paper or email, the birthday clothes to be bought, with matching shoes and socks perhaps, the return gifts and buntings and balloons; each signposted with a heightened sense of the approaching treat.

Anticipation is about enjoying the journey, knowing the destination will come in its own time. Giving each moment its share of joy and an awareness that its passing brings the goal just that much nearer. Any journey implies movement from one place to another, one state of mind to another. And inherent in any journey is the risk of hurdles, or even a possible mishap or accident that can have far-reaching effects. But the trick that any happy person knows is to not dwell on what can go wrong, but just take precautions to minimise risks and set off. 

We are poised at the start of a journey. As we prepare to start the process of protecting India’s considerable populace from the virus, a flurry of activity rustles through the comparative inertia that the year-that-was had bound us, and most of the world, into. Halls are being requisitioned, lists being drawn up, names and occupations cross-checked, personnel deployed... what faces those in charge of planning the immunisation and prioritising of the segments of people to receive it is a mammoth task that should challenge the administrative capabilities of any but the best.

But for a country that holds elections that ensure the remotest village in Nagaland and the tribal in the Andaman can cast a vote, it’s a path that has been already laid out and walked many times before. And just as every house with a child below five received protection against polio, with an army of paramedics visiting and marking every single home across the country; so too the vaccine will reach all those who need it. Slowly perhaps, but surely.

The thought should light hope in every heart. Yet, knowing there are shots for every arm should not be enough reason to put away the masks and the other precautions. Avoid a crisis that has been avoided so far, and drive through the tunnel towards the light. Doubters need to check into the possible pitfalls and make an informed choice. The journey has just begun. Anticipation should light the way till the goal, when masks can be slipped into the back drawer; and we can rub shoulders with friends and strangers without fear. Sit back. Enjoy the journey. We’ll get there. Soon.

Sathya Saran  saran.sathya@gmail.com
Author & Consulting Editor, Penguin Random House



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