“United we Stand, divided we Fall”, moral of many famous stories that we’ve heard so many times. The spread of Covid 19 reversed the moral. Now, it’s “Divided we Stand and United we fall”. No doubt, The Janta Curfew and the 5-o clock gratitude event brought all Indians united on a common platform. Our technological advancements and global connectivity have changed the moral of many such stories. The rapid pace of Covid-19 spreading across the globe has had its share of learnings, relearning and unlearning’s.
Starting off by learning a new word – Covidiots. Words like Quarantine, Anosmia, Comorbid, formites, epidemic followed by pandemic etc. gained prominence. All these words were not picked by any of us preparing for our SAT/ GMAT but it was the news items wherein these words appeared and forced us to look for their meaning. Probably, fear teaches you best. Many words in the same period lost their relevance– Malls, Hang-out, Playdates, Get-togethers etc.
Sanitizers taught us Sanity, at last. There seems to be a sharp drop in the population which just leans over others and gets too close. Without any ‘toka-taki’, safe distances between individuals cropped up automatically. All the basic civic sense that we were supposed to maintain in public life but were unable to do so at all geographically humanly populated locations came into being without any Gazette notification. All of a sudden people became so courteous that recently on one occasion we all looked at one another for pressing the floor button in lift. Off late, the Lucknow culture is back at every social place, “Pehle Aap” – May press your floor button first and oblige the others too.
What about Year- end sales Targets? The spread across the globe has spelt one thing clear- Targets don’t matter. Life Does!! How could you imagine sales people, their bosses and Corporates sitting at homes and seeing the markets disappear and revenues drop? No one at the start of the last month of the financial year could have thought that the last fortnight would not be on roads but at homes doing some excel, power point work with no actual sales. The intangible blessing is to learn that Living a life for our near and dear ones is the biggest target worth achieving. Most of the other things are perhaps momentarily. Loss of sales, revenue, profits, economic slowdown, Bearish stock markets etc. all exist as long as the human do. They probably come next, subsequent to our own survival. This is what we have learnt this FY.
Welcome turns Adieu – Coming from foreign wearing Tomy outfits, meeting friends and sharing Godiva chocolates. Unfortunately, our friends would have been welcomed a few days ago getting us Duty free single malts. How fast did the welcome transform into an adieu today?
We learnt that common sense clubbed with education is a must. Those who spoke in fluent English were probably the most difficult to quarantine and had their share of grudges against the hospital and system. The poor with nothing was seen beating the Thali and expressing his solidarity. For a change, this time, Mother nature struck the globe trotting entity first though in most of the societies, the thermal scanners were pointed towards the poor first.
Life without maids was accepted by our households. Also, CEOs, Country heads, Regional heads, Consultants and the Who’s who of the corporate world discovered how much washing soap was to be used for washing the lot of utensils after lunch. As per reports, VCs and conference calls done by senior management guys post lunch had the juniors running for shelter. Some poor soul was in the firing line for no fault of his. Radha Bai’s mandated absence was Ramesh’s bad luck!!
Together we have forged a sense of gratitude for many professions that we seemed to care less about. Apart from the Medical fraternity, that we have always been indebted to, we rose to the occasion and expressed our gratefulness for our maids, delivery boys, sanitation workers, security guards etc. A new sense of pride and honor has erupted for the Police that in spite of all the warnings are managing the crowds in this lockdown. Their only weapon against this monster virus being a surgical mask…. A sincere acknowledgement to all.
The world and its leaders have been investing in nuclear programs, arms and what not. However, what brought the world, its global citizens and policy makers to scare shit is the Nano sized virus, not visible by the naked eye.
Sant Kabir Das had stated centuries ago-
(Never underestimate a small particle … when it enters your eyes, it makes your life miserable)
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.