Spring is in the air. The weather, the clouds and the breeze create a symphony of life. But, there is an eerie silence all around. It is as if the world has come to a standstill. The traffic lights and the escalators function flawlessly. But there is no movement, except for the occasional shrill siren of the ambulance piercing the silence. The once vibrant roads wear a deserted look. Like a beautiful maid not willing to get adorned. The city and the parks call out to people and children, there is no joy without them.
On the streets, mannequins and dummies stand tall, posing in front of the passers, almost mocking, as if saying, though you created us, you can perish, but we cannot. This little virus can slaughter you but not us. We are immune and thou of flesh and blood are susceptible and vulnerable.
The streets witness few people and fewer vehicles. An elderly couple, holding hands passes by a teenager. The sight of another human on the erstwhile crowded streets brings comfort, a comfort that is hardwired in all species. We are birds of a feather. But as the other person approaches close, there is fear and suspicion, what if he spreads the poison. What an irony, what a confusion.
People are surprised when they realise that they long for going to work. When they realise that internet and TV are not real happiness. They want to meet real people and shake hands with them without fear. Something they always took for granted. That may take a long time now, they know nothing is for granted.
The virus has broken too many walls, barriers and borders. Foes have become friends. Kings and paupers stand exposed and vulnerable in front of each other. However, it has also brought out biases of people and their prejudices are being proven correct or they are filtering facts to convince themselves. People are reading selectively to reinforce their beliefs, faiths and pre-dispositions. They now know more strongly whom to hate and whom to blame and who has caused this situation. Something they always knew.
Asto ma sadgamayam
(O Lord) Keep me not in (the Phenomenal World of) Unreality, but make me go towards the Reality,
But somewhere deep down the conscience a new reality is also dawning. That perhaps the human kind has gone too far in trying to toy with the nature. Perhaps few people control a bit too much. We are forced to believe as what we read and see may be regulated. We get to know only what some want us to. And maybe a matrix of falsehood is being spun around. Some hope to control the future of humanity and our blue marble.
And while we fight over minor issues, some decide whether a few score people would see another dawn. Perhaps, this is a wakeup call. A call for more accountability.
Tamso ma Jyotirgamayam
Keep me not in (the Ignorant State of) Darkness, but make me go towards the Light (of Knowledge),
In these trying times, a subcontinent is showing resilience. It re-realises the truth, something the people always knew, something they may have left far behind. The tehzeeb of Aadab and sanskriti of Namaste and the culture of respectful and courteous social distancing is the new world order. Their own way of life and special principles and values, which the natives had lost in the shimmer and mirage of materialism, are being embraced again.
Keep me not in (the World of) Mortality, but make me go towards the World of Immortality (of Self-Realization)
The world is experiencing nothing new. This has been happening for eons. It is the proverbial Law of the Jungle as Kipling called it which is old and true as the sky. It is Natural Selection taking form in front of us. Those of us, the fittest of all shall survive. And pass on the resilience of the human race down the line.
Spring is in the air. Time for new life to sprout. The virus has challenged the human race, a species which has seen and endured and survived and thrived. The world is rising together against the challenge, taking the bull by its horns. Its only a matter of time, when the virus shall be history, something not to be forgotten, but kept alive as a lesson.
Virus the countdown has begun. Your days are limited.
We shall overcome. We shall prevail. We are humans.