COVID-19 Lockdown: Day 7, Kochi…

As I sit here writing this piece, I am oddly reminded of a dialogue from a post apocalyptic movie..

“My name is Robert Neville. I am a survivor living in New York City. I am broadcasting on all AM frequencies. I will be at the South Street Seaport
every day at midday…
… when the sun is highest in the sky.

If you are out there…

If anyone is out there…

… anybody…”

I remember the first few days before the lockdown, sitting in Bangalore, convinced that this would soon blow over, dismissing my mother’s constant appeals to come home before things got worse. I remember a week later, scrambling to find a way to get back home to Kochi, the mixed feeling of shock and amusement at seeing everyone but me, wearing masks at the airport in Bengaluru. I remember the huge relief at being cleared upon entry (I almost expected the thermal scanner to start beeping wildly when it touched my forehead ), the desperation to reach home, hastily throwing all my things into the laundry and taking a shower, I remember the feeling of being clean and then.. relief. Relief at being home with my family.

Two days later, the PM announced the lockdown..

A 21 day nation-wide lockdown being enforced through sheer willpower. We have seen unflinching commitment from the medical community, a stoic response from the government and the brute strength of local law enforcement.

Kudos to them all, for giving us a fighting chance.

It’s hard not to let fatigue get the better of you. People love and need interaction and sitting cooped up in the house is certainly depressing.

But, imagine if this was 30 years ago and ‘social distancing’ was measured in miles and not bandwidth. We are not really distanced or isolated, are we? We can still talk, message and even see each other over the Internet. It’s not all that bad or at least not as bad as it could have been.

Haven’t we all at some point complained of not having enough time? If only we had time to get healthier.. if only we had time to read more... if only we had time to learn to play the guitar... If only we had time…

Everyone has a choice.. You can chose to take this time to get angry, to complain, to scorn the gods ( or any other entity based on your religious disposition ) that led us on this path, or you can take this time to reflect, to find more about yourself, write more, pick up that hobby that you always wanted, watch that movie that you never got time to and more importantly, appreciate what you have.

Doesn’t the mere fact that you have the leisure to read this piece tell you that you are privileged? Think of all those people who would consider their prayers answered if only they had what you had now.

Maybe this is ‘that’ time.. the time where you re-discover your hobbies.. where you spend more time with family than at your job.. the time where you have fun playing cards or boardgames with your children. Maybe its that time that you have always asked for .. maybe it’s that time where you finally understand that happiness and grief are just perspectives. You only need to look at it right.

I leave you with this quote.. it’s one quote that has had profound impact on me. It’s something that I revisit often when things go wrong. It is a simple message yet one that I find most people ( including myself) need constant reminding of..

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..”

John Milton, Paradise Lost.