Subdued Poila Baisakh, Vishu, Baishaki
New year of Bengali and Malayali communities - Poila Baisakh and Vishu - remained a subdued affair as people remained indoors and prayed for the safety of those battling with COVID-19 pandemic. While the Malyali community felt that this year’s Vishu was unlike any other in their life, it was a family affair for Bengalis who celebrated their new year, Poila Baisakh, at home. The community celebrated the festival by preparing delicacies and offering Puja at home. They wore new clothes and prayed for end of pandemic. Similarly, Baishakhi was also subdued this time.
A sombre Easter Sunday
It was a quiet and sombre Easter Sunday this time in City of Nawabs. Though the lockdown forced families to celebrate the festival at home, the spirit was not subdued. From attending virtual prayers to singing holy songs or dishing out special lunches, it was limited to families as a low-key affair. Instead of thronging the churches for midnight mass, Christians lit up candles in their homes and prayed on the occasion. With Church services going online, many tuned to YouTube channels to attend prayer service. Beginning the live streaming of Easter service from St Joseph’s Cathedral at 8 am on YouTube, senior clergy of the Church, including Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lucknow, Reverend Gerald J Mathias and spokesperson Father Donal D’Souza remained present at the church. The livestream service received 942 views.
Literary exercise to beat distress
Everyone is trying hand with animations, videos, literary and satirical pieces to sensitise people about COVID-19. CDRI technical officer Pankaj Prasoon has penned a satirical piece on how poetry by famous Urdu poets Majaz, Nida Fazli, Mirza Ghalib and others would have changed in the time of corona pandemic. Prasoon says if Majaz would write today, his famous lines ‘Is aanchal ko parcham bana leti to achchha tha’.. would have changed as -- “Tujhe aati hai khansi ye bata deti to achchha tha... mera tu isolation kara deti to achchaa tha... tere maathey pe ye aanchal bahut khoob hai lekin, isko katwa ke tu mask banwa leti to achchha tha.”
Helping the men in khaki
Lucknow University (LU) has taken up the task to help the police cope with stress and anxiety and stay motivated as they work round-the-clock to enforce lockdown guidelines strictly to arrest the spread of COVID-19. The initiative follows a memorandum of understanding signed with the UP Police recently. The university’s psychology department will be working with on-duty policemen to help them handle work-related stress better. Professors will be in contact with officials, who are assigned duties 24x7 to provide emergency services.
Our correspondent in Uttar Pradesh