Some of you might have got my letter (daak) in these extraordinary times when we are uncertain of what will we able to do, and when and for how long? This was mostly a social experiment (of course with hardly any scale!) to learn of how we are feeling and how do our feelings change as we witness some of the rare conditions in upcoming weeks. And here goes a shout out to all my lovely ladies and a few good men who sent back their love, the Daak.
Before I begin, I must also say that my letter was sent a week and a half back, somewhere around the 18th of March; when the Government had not yet announced the lock down and when I had not seen some of the heart breaking videos of atrocities and struggles of the migrant labour from across the country. A part of the conscious dies every time you witness this, and you feel helpless for not being able to do anything about it and you live in the same world where another life just doesn’t matter, will never matter. There cannot be enough words and there cannot be a smaller heart for the ones suffering for our safety. If as a society, we have been successful in anything, it is of eroding empathy and eroding sensitivity. Everything else doesn’t matter, will not matter.
So here is the attempt to sum up all that I heard over the last one and half week from you!
So almost every second daak I received, where nature is telling us that she has been here 22,500 times longer than you, petty humans! Telling us, the she doesn’t need people, people need her. When she falters, we falter, or worse. (Check Julia Roberts Mother Nature) This is not a surprise but perhaps a way that nature made so that she can BREATHE! Just as many people were also worried about loosing their loved ones. Feeling a sense of unpredictability and wondering whether we will ever return to old times, for good or worse. A couple of you predicted, what is now true, the ill impacts this virus prevention will have on the poor, something that we all are witnessing from our comfortable couches.
Are we feeling SAFE or STUCK or SERENE at home? It goes to a complete stretch. And I can easily say, the grass is seen to be greener on the other side. People at home, are feeling the extra brunt of their mothers telling them what a useless adult they have grown into! And the ones who are not can only hope that they could get some of the home sarcasm and the feeling of safety? Some of you are trying meditating – I wish them all the very best. The world needs it! (:
Everyone just wanted to be out, merely for anything. A lot of us wanted to be closer to our loved ones. Typical coffee spots, street food to something as tiny but significant – dressing up for the day! The strange times are making us miss Rajeev Chawk and the sweaty metro travels – are you kidding with me? Nostalgia is one thing, but another is to be human. It is not just the Delhi Metro which is not the same. Much has changed. Like someone has put it, “We slept in one world and woke up in another. Suddenly, Disney has no more magic, Paris is no longer romantic, and in New York everyone sleeps, and the Chinese Wall is not a fortress anymore. Suddenly hugs and kisses become weapons and the not visiting parents and grandparents becomes an act of love. Suddenly we realized power is not that valuable and money is not that powerful.”
And these times will be over, but as one of my friends put it, the Corona Goddess has opened a tremendous window for humanity to re-think many things. What is going to be the new normal? Will Corona make us value our household labour and other tasks that we would be doing on our own – more? Will we increase their wages when things get back? Will the migrant labour be able to forgive us and get back to the cities that left them isolated in the centre of a catastrophe that they couldn’t even see? Will we become care giving economies that prioritise health over arms and weaponry for mass destruction? Or will we just get back to the same old normal – the one at thee micro level – we all are craving for!
And as my friend Ruhi, reminded me of Khushwant Singh quote in his book Delhi which is worth the context here,
“Once through this ruined city did I pass
I espied a lonely bird on a bough and asked
What knowest thou of this wilderness?
It replied: I can sum it up in two wonder:
PS: Here is now a time for some shout outs!
Shout out to all of you who wrote Daaks to me! Yes You – Isha, Ruhi, Nitya, Kavya, Farhan, Jyoti, Vandana, Sanyukta, Medha, Suhani, Harshini, Nitya Chibber, Shymalima, Krishna, Neha, Ankit, Srishti and Saubhagya!
Here are some dedicated season awards!
For the colorful positives:
For the most sadistic of all
For the Freak in You!
For the balanced one 😉
For the most elaborate run though – Artist Doings (:
The Neat and Crisp One
And to kudos to few more sketches:
That’s all that I am toiling to upload this time. And also to give you a reason to put down your artistic heads around as we go to the next round!