Once Shakespeare said “What is the city without people?” Indeed, while we are on the 40th day of the nationwide lockdown, we cannot help but wonder what happened to the great metropolises of the world!
All the residents are cooped down inside their homes; the motor wheels have not assigned any meetings with the roads in a long time; the malls have not shown off their wares to the prospective buyers; the parks and the movie theaters have not been witnesses to the romantic liaisons of young couples; and the exhibition centers, with their empty galleries, are waiting eagerly for their patrons to reappear.
Even though we are spending quality time in the comfort of our homes, for the needy and the destitutes, the situation is dismal. They are waiting eagerly for this global pandemic to reduce its deadly grip, so that normal rhythm can return to the society – they can go back to their work. Deep down, probably all of us are missing the cacophony of traffic, congestion of roads, crowded public transports. Apparently these aspects will create a picture of the ultimate pandemonium.
But on the other hand, isn’t it the picture of a healthy economy? An economy, where everyone is hale and hearty, going in search of livelihood.
Simply put, we are missing our old life – where facing a road accident was the only fear we had while going out. We had to be careful of taking only our wallet and phone. But now the new fear inducing agent is Corona. Mask is the new shield that we require.
Sundays and holidays have lost their charm. People have started missing Mondays, which, again is an incredible thing to think of.However, “all is not lost”, as Milton says, this global crisis has inculcated in us some good habits.
Within the span of a few months, the lifestyle of the entire world has changed. People have developed hygienic behaviours and have learnt forced savings. It has also succeeded in cleansing the environment, which was, otherwise, almost an impossible feat to achieve.
River Ganga is cleaner, air purer, the Arctic Ozone Hole is reportedly healed, the Himalayan peaks can be seen from various parts of Northern India. We understood the true meaning of freedom. It was kind of a reality check for the humanity. We forgot that we are not omnipotent, nothing but puppets in the hands of Providence, thus even a microscopic virus has this weakening effect on our existence.
Thus, it can be assumed (and hoped), when the crisis will finally be over, we will emerge as an even stronger species who will not only take care of themselves but will also help to maintain the health of the earth. It’s not far when the now eerily calm streets will again be flooded with people, vehicles will carry passengers and normalcy will be restored.
Rtr. Poulami Sengupta,
RAC-East Calcutta, RID 3291.
Image courtesy. PP. Rtr. Shayan Dutta,
RAC-East Calcutta, RID 3291.