Wednesday 6 May 2020

Lockdown: The Questions Unlocked

The lockdown continues. Unfortunately, the uncertainty also continues – of our lives, our health, our jobs. Fortunately, the majority of us have started thinking positively, as evidenced by the social media, perhaps because we have no other go. Those of us who have a little something on our platter have learnt to count our blessings by looking at those who are, sadly, left with nothing. I belong to the former group – at least to date. While I am counting my blessings, this lockdown also poses countless questions in my mind. The answers, we already know.

It all began with a visit to the hospital. The outpatient waiting area, which used to overflow with patients and their families, wore a deserted look. What happens during lockdown to all those patients who would otherwise throng the OP waiting rooms of hospitals? At least some of them would have recovered without a medical consult? Maybe what they needed was just a bit of rest after all? Perhaps it’s high time that we dig up the homely remedies that our grandparents taught us but we refused to learn? Perhaps we have finally learnt our lesson?

My wardrobe – the one for my ‘better’ clothes – has not been opened for a long time. That could be the case with a lot of people. This leads to another question. Just how large should our wardrobes be to keep us looking ‘decent’ and ‘appropriate’, while maintaining the ‘image’ that we think we have so carefully put in place? Who cares about this image anyway? How many times do you look at yourself in the mirror nowadays? So we have, and we always had, enough to give away (at least a few) to those less privileged than us?

That leads to another question. How much shopping do we actually need to do? And how much food, healthy or otherwise, do we actually need to satiate our hunger or craving for indulgence? So we have, and we always had, enough to feed (at least a few) who are needy and hungry?

The skills, the talents we were born with – how much time do we spend to nurture them, considering they are also our blessings? Not everyone is born a singer, dancer, writer, artist, or sportsperson. Haven’t we all ignored our inherent talents in our rush towards the so-called success? And at last we realise the success that we built up over years can be wiped away by a tiny virus in a matter of days.
And what about that holiday we so badly wanted with our family, but we saved the money instead? And the time we could have spent with our loved ones, but we worked instead? The questions are umpteen. Of course, there are reasons why we did what we did. But there are some things that we could have done a bit more and some that we could have done a bit less.

Finally, we find that today nature is a better place, with the human beings properly locked up and the rest of the beings let free. We find that the flora and fauna are thriving, but not humans. Perhaps we are wrong there. Humans are also part of nature. Humans belong to nature. This is something that we forgot in this long journey of existence. If the plants and animals are happy, surely we should be happy too? Surely we should be thriving too? Have we missed something here? Perhaps we have. Humans are a thinking species. They are able to think and make their choices. It’s up to us to think, very deeply, and make the right choices. It’s up to us to review the three S’s in our lives – the surpluses, the savings, and the sacrifices. What exactly is ‘less’ and what is ‘more’? What are we saving for? Who are we sacrificing for? Perhaps this lockdown has given us a chance to think about the fourth S – about living in ‘sync’ with nature. About living in sync with who we truly are. 

[As published on Indus Scrolls:]

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