Ok, let’s face it – this situation – “Covid-19 situation” they call it at my workplace, is something we (including a couple of generations ahead of us, at least) have never experienced or been in. It took us the first few months to realize its diabolical potential and when we finally did, well, it gave us TIME! “Ononto oboshor” as we call it in Bangla. Time to do all those things I mentioned in my last post! And now that a week is over and we are tired of all the things we did during the first week and we still have more TIME, there occurs a phenomenal rise in the number of #challenges on Facebook.
Ranging from sarees to relationship dares to throwbacks and memories to no makeup looks to pets – you name it and it is there. All we need to do is pick one, more or all. Oh, and did I forget perfectly captured “Dalgona coffee” cups – everybody does it so perfectly, just like that, except for me that is! Yes, these #challenges were always there, but with the lockdown and more and more productive people sitting unproductively at home, there has been an exponential rise in the number of participants for such challenges! No hard feelings, I have been there and done that too, but the sheer number in which these challenges are increasing – is almost at a competitive level with Corona positive cases!
And then when Mahabharat, Ramayan, Circus and the rest fail to hold our attention beyond a week, and we try to switch over to the India Pakistan world cup matches to fleetingly catch Arnab Goswami howling “the nation wants to know” we get to a point that brings out our best! And we embark on an unending voyage of what we do best – criticize!
Much as it was during our pre-independence era, the verbiage has now ironically changed from the much-coveted “Swaraj is my birthright” to “Criticism is my birthright” – after all, it doesn’t cost a penny! It doesn’t matter whether we do anything productive or not, but we must criticize those who have not. It is not about how much we have contributed to any relief activity but we must bring to answer all those who should have but haven’t given any updates yet! It is a shame how authorities fail to consult these critics before formulating policies considering they have the most ingenious strategies that can ward off Corona, China, Tabligh, Tirupathi, Trump…you name the threat and they have the solution! What a pity such geniuses are never consulted and so they vent on Facebook and Twitter!
Thank god there are people who can keep fueling our insatiable craving to criticize by being stupid, meaningless or simply there. The topics? Well, just about anything that the leaders and politicians of the country are “messing up” – PM’s call for asking half a nation full of nincompoops to clap or light a candle in solidarity, Police forces singing songs in open spaces to motivate people to stay indoor, CM’s bid to try and stop creating panic (read, by hiding the true numbers), Intellectuals and celebrities not contributing to the various funds, the stupidity of the electrical fraternity to be worried about power grid failure, and the list is endless! And this list, mind you, is not mine – it is a compilation of what appears on social media.
God bless all those morons who take out a “Thali Bajao” procession and burst firecrackers galore or burn their mouth trying to light the fire within, at the PM’s “Light a candle” call and offer an ironical sense of comic relief! Interestingly, the netizens have devised a term for such people “Covidiots” – people who ignore the warnings regarding public health or safety during the Covid-19 situation. But remember, you can also be criticized for calling a Covidiot “a Covidiot”.
And I was almost forgetting the huge number of memes (again mostly criticizing or making fun of somebody, anybody mostly either the State or the Central Government) people churn out every day. Do people get paid for coming up with such ludicrous jibes or if they get it for forwarding or posting them on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter? I wonder how bitter we must be as a race to be able to criticize at the rate we do!
Do we, at least for once, even realize that no country in the world, however powerful it once might have been, was prepared for what the world is facing today? Everybody is devising their mechanisms, through almost a trial and error policy and some countries are successful because they have the infrastructure, a more sensible and of course much smaller population. If not, the USA (apparently, the smartest bully of the lot), as well as European countries, should have fared better than most. But they are not! ‘Coz Covid-19 like the elusive Cleopatra, who no matter what claims people lay, is still a mystery! One we don’t ever want to revisit even in our most horrible nightmares!
And then when we are left anxious, depressed, sorry, scared, angry, disgusted and so much more, the gorgeous “pink moon” smiles at us from behind the clouds healing a tired world with its beauty and grace. And yet again makes us believe in the true power of nature and the eternal belief that “All will be well”…and soon!