Syed Fahad Ali
Sitting in the balcony of the first floor of my house I could see roads being absolutely quiet. The Joggers park, which is very close to my house, has never been so deserted. Shops closed, nobody on the streets, no children playing around, no traffic, nothing. This now seems to be the new normal. For now, at least. It’s like, the usual hustle bustle of the city was never there. Every thing has come to a halt, to a standstill, even the Time. It seems that somebody has taken a scene out of a Hollywood sci-fi flick and has turned it into a realty. This stillness or pause from our daily lives helps you look at the finer things in life. This is perhaps after a long time that I have heard the chirping of the birds looking for food, seen squirrels dancing around on the trees ,bees sucking nectar out of flowers. Even the nights seem to be different now. I don’t remember when was the last time I saw so many stars on the night sky.
I grew up listening to the stories my grandad told us as to how it was during the Partition days and during wars with Pakistan and China and how absolute quietness engulfed the town whenever a siren was blasted across the town warning citizens to go hide because an air strike by some enemy plane might take place .How difficult it was to get two square meals a day during those days because of limited ration supplies. He always told us about how difficult and uncertain life had become during those times. Perhaps , back then I could never relate with whatever he told me. But now, after witnessing this lockdown, I can say, with hand on my heart, that situation is not very different from what my grandad had told us in those stories. The only difference this time around, for the worse, is that we are facing an invisible enemy with no certain end to this travesty in sight.
This quietness, stillness works in mysterious ways on a person’s mind. On one hand it gives you a certain amount of relaxation from the stress of daily life but on the other hand, and ironically, it floods your mind with questions. Questions such as How did we come to this? Will we ever be able to get out of this? What will the world be like when all of this is over? Times like these gives you an opportunity to become close to your loved ones again, to spend time with them and listen to their problems and whatever they have to say. This lockdown has allowed me to bring a little perspective in my life. It has allowed me to sit back and take stock of my life, my ambitions and my goal of pursuit of happiness. This would not have been possible in an otherwise robotic lifestyle I was accustomed to.
Though we are surrounded by the dark clouds of uncertainty but there is a ray of light beaming through those clouds. It is the light of the indomitable and unrelenting spirit of human kind to survive. It is that no matter what, we will find a way out of this calamity. WE WILL SURVIVE. It is this spirit of human kind that has made them spend hundreds of thousands of years in evolving and getting rid of the anomalies in their anatomy to attain a body which has the ability to survive and prosper even under the harshest of conditions. We have always found a way out of our misery and have come out of it stronger than before. Surely we have faced losses and have suffered but at the end of it ,we always manage to subdue our adversary. It was this spirit which had led our ancestors to believe that for them to survive, they would have to live together peacefully and co exist. This is what gave rise to them living in groups and then in societies and then eventually building nations. This is the law of Nature. Only those species survive and thrive which work together towards a common goal. Look at Ants and Bees for example. They have been on this planet since the dawn of age and have survived every calamity since then. It is only because of their teamwork and dedication towards a common goal that has made them live past some of their contemporaries which have gone extinct. The need for such co operation has never been felt so strongly as it is being now. We realise that each and everyone of us has to do our bit towards achieving the common goal of defeating this invisible enemy and I am sure, human beings, as I know them, would certainly rise up to the occasion and overcome this hurdle as well.
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