It’s been long that I wrote an article for “Ponderland“ menu, maybe because lately, I was unable to think of any topic which would inspire me to write. But I am back again to my old but indelible love.
An unforgettable and one of the most difficult year we had ever seen is finally coming to an end. It is an undisputed fact, that this year will leave many bitter memories and posed next to impossible challenges in front of all of us. On January 9, the World Health Organisation declared that a deadly coronavirus has emerged in China. Within months, this virus caused a crisis all over the world. The Covid-19 Pandemic is the worst that the world has seen till date, affecting billions of people globally. The world’s biggest democracy first time faced a lockdown and not just India, but the entire world was closed down and came to a standstill. Parallelly, the stock exchange saw an unprecedented crash. Many people faced a severe financial crises, that people never even dreamt. Unemployment rose to scary heights. All the economies of the world faced slowdown or recession. Moreover, there was no solution in the vicinity. Small scale business, small retail owners, daily wage workers are just a few to name who were worst hit by the lockdown.
Moreover, amidst all these crises of the pandemic, China’s thrive to become the global superpower is causing a big threat to India. In fact, not just India, China is seen as the most potential cause of worry for many nations globally, right from the US to Japan and other Southeast Asian countries to its recent rivalry with Australia. As India being in the immediate neighbourhood, it faces the brunt of its aggression and unfriendly attempt to win the ugly global race of power. India is trying its best to combat China on border and trade as well, certainly, this is going to be anything but easy and with the situation created by this pandemic, problems and issue have been magnified and multiplied.
Not just politically, this year also gave some shocking demises in the film fraternity, which were hard to digest. Rishi Kapoor and Irfan Khan were the most notable of all, and the nation mourned over their final exit from the film called life. But the mysterious death that shook the nation, and united it against one single cause was that of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. However, the uproar could not hold for much longer as nothing substantial was found.
Amongst all these grave issues, the common man was still struggling with the “new normalcy” of work from home and home-schooling. Managing kids at home, keeping them engaged productively, taking care of their academic and still keeping up to office work was difficult. Not just that, household chores without any help was also challenging for the lady of the house. As we were learning social distancing, and hearing about cases in distant acquaintances, when the Covid-19 virus started entering our immediate family, the situation became bitter and ugly. Fortunate were those who got good medical attention at right time and recovered, but not all families were lucky enough. Many children lost their parents at an early age. Many families lost the only working member. Many families lost 2-3 member at once, leaving the remaining members devastated. Many youngsters who lived abroad for work or education could not meet their parents for the last time, rather, could not even attend their funeral. A tough time that nobody had ever seen before had taken everything into its clutches. This year not just brought the deadly virus into the air but also brought restlessness, uncertainty, fear and agony. After the lockdown opened, the New Normal Life wasn’t easy as well. The common man had new set new challenges as stepping out of the house. Just when we started accepting that everything would be fine sooner or later, a new, more dangerous and deadly streak of Coronavirus was found in the UK. It feels like Covid19 is in no mood to leave us so soon!! However, I will not elaborate more about this, as we have discussed and to some extend cribbed about it many times earlier with our friends, family, colleagues and so on.
Amongst all the negativity, there are many positive stories that we all must have come across recently. The foremost positive side of the pandemic is that the vaccine is now approved by WHO. It is a significant and notable development in the field of Science, that within a year formulation of a vaccine was successful. The UK became the first nation to approve vaccine and widespread use. First time in the history of biotechnology a vaccine was formulated on such a fast track basis. The invention of the vaccine promised us a better tomorrow. Although there is a possibility that many of us will not receive it till late next year nevertheless, the disease will come under control, which is the need of an hour right now. This difficult and gloomy year has indeed brought some very positive changes in all of us. We have become more sensitive to health care workers and public servants. We owe our gratitude for them. Everyone in their capacity wants to lend a hand of help to the society. I read a post on social media a couple of days back. It inspired and moved me from within. It was about a kind deed of humanity. During the phase of Janta Curfew, the stray dogs faced a tough time, as they did not get enough food. A couple initiated to take official permission from the municipality to feed the stray dogs in their and nearby areas. Also adopted an entire dog family of mother and two puppies after a couple of months. Unfortunately, I do not remember names and their social media handles so unable to cite them here, but this act of humanity will stay in mind forever.
Another such inspiring story that we all witnessed was that of Mr Sonu Sood, who did everything possible in his capacity to ensure daily wage workers reach their native place safely. However, each one of us cannot perform such a noble act for society. However, what we can do and what we all did was also noteworthy. During the time of social distancing, we came closer to each other virtually. Everyone must’ve recorded surprise video messages for their near and dear ones. With the help of technology, we celebrated virtual birthday parties, virtual weddings, virtual aartis during Ganpati and Navratri festivals and what not!! Not just celebrations, be it work from home or workout at home, we accomplished everything with a little help from the technology. When life forced us to stay apart physically, we chose to come close emotionally. One such beautiful love story I want to share here.
This love story is that of mother and and a child. Shubhra, a mother of 9 month old girl child was infected by this deadly virus. Unfortunately, she had to stay away from her child for coming few days til she was undergoing treatment. She was admitted in hospital for the treatment for a week to 10 days. Those 10 days were not just challenging for mother-daughter but also for the caregivers. The child had to stay with her grandparents. The child was naturally missing her mother touch, feel and love. She was unaware and unable to understand why suddenly she cannot find her mother anywhere in the vicinity. This sudden, unforeseen change in her life made her cranky and difficult to handle. At the same time Shubhra was feeling helpless that she cannot be there for the child. Finally the Sun rose to the re-union of mother and daughter. That moment was priceless. Their happiness had no bounds, tears rolled down her cheeks when Shubhra was touching her baby and lifting her in arms again. As a mother I can’t even imagine how difficult it would have been to stay away from your infant. But only a mother is blessed with a heart as soft as a flower and yet as strong as the diamond.
Initially when lockdown was forced on us, we immediately resorted to our phones and tablets for entertainment. But soon we realised, this cannot be a long lasting solution. It was really inspiring that most of us got back to our hobbies, those hobbies that we had almost forgotten about. Art gave a beautiful escape from the dark and dismal weather of the pandemic.
This tough time taught us to value the person we truly love and care, especially our family. Initially, staying or being house arrest with family felt like a penalty we were forced to pay. Gradually, we became empathetic to each other as now we could closely see the efforts everyone was putting for the family and its well being. Initially, parents were forced to engage kids in some productive activity later, most of us started enjoying the quality time with our kids, spouse and parents. Life always gives many reasons to cry or crib and stay in despair, but you will always find a reason to be happy, and that reason is love, compassion, care and gratitude. Showing some love to yourself will be rejuvenating, and acknowledging the efforts of the family will bring us together. Showing gratitude for this life and welcoming 2021 with an open mind will bring us contentment and unforeseen happiness! In the new year, things will not change immediately nonetheless, we will find another reason to smile!