It was 6th of March that I went to the examination centre to appear for my political science examination. India was alerted about the virus by that time, yet there was a nonchalance about it. I remember it was the last day I went out of my home, after which like an abrupt quantum jump the world took to the disquiet. Initially I was highly apprehensive and wanted to simply barge out of my house, however the gravity of the circumstances set in with passing time.
It’s almost three months of the quarantine quietude and it feels that our adapting mechanism has become used to it. It is amusing how the spread of the contagion has produced a gnawing fear, at the same time, it has kind of shaped itself into the crux of worldwide culture. Isolation has led to a unanimity that probably nothing could bring about for a long time. A few days ago, I was reading an article on a newspaper which stated that terracotta artists are responding to the pandemic through their artistic mediums. The portrayal of figurines masked and gloved intends to address their importance in present times.
The world of literature has also risen to creatively express and ventilate individual experiences of the lockdown. While the pandemic has brought in haunting pieces of news, there is this broth of anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and dysfunctional schemas enveloping the mind. And its needless to say that the future appears to be as hazy as a shroud of fog, though no one can deny how it has led to people voicing their opinions about inequality, the chasm that prevails in the economy, and there has been a rising awareness about mental health.
Also, there have been some phenomenal steps taken by governments around the world and other organisations to control the spread of the novel corona. Recently I heard that a special kind of sweets are being made with a myriad of herbal ingredients including honey, by a renowned shop in Kolkata, in the urgent need of strengthening the immunity of people! Everyone has been and is developing ways of coping with the pandemic.
The other day I was reading a poem called The Tent, by Rumi. The last few lines contained a message that has impacted me a lot. The poem concludes with the lines-
‘The news we hear is full of grief for that future,
But the real news inside here
Is there’s no news at all. – Rumi
I wonder how lockdown has taught me to ingeniously introspect and explore myself. I have been feeling quite cathartic over these days by penning down my thoughts in the form of ornamenting poetry or simply scribbling in my diary, which I would have never done if it were the daily hustle bustle of life. How I have also admired the ensconced radicles of the bonds I share with my family and my friends!
With nature revitalising, and a broadened vision of empathy, I hope the world will enlighten and restructure itself – as Sarojini Naidu writes in one of her poems about the resurrection of the world ‘on new anvils of peace.’