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Apocalypse, a Catastrophe or a Cautionary Tale?

Apocalypse, a Catastrophe or a Cautionary Tale?

For eternities, the human race has been entangled in their own labyrinth of thoughts, avenues and actions. We’ve put ourselves under constant pressure
to be essential to everyone; ensuring that we always set the right foot forward. From a third person’s perspective, have you ever pondered about your existence — are you a human ‘being’ or human ‘doing’? We’re always in the pursuit of being important, competent or needed. We’ve etched a silhouette in our minds that one has to be perfect to excel in life. In doing so, we chase momentary pleasures in this temporary world while fighting battles in our minds regularly. 

Ever thought as to why? Perhaps to avoid the harsh reality. In the process, we have captivated ourselves in our own prisons and the absorption depletes us. We disregard the importance of balance in our lives. With the pandemic causing a standstill in the entire world, does one perceive this situation to be the end of our existence or a cautionary tale that preaches the wise to slow down and breathe? Life until now had been demarcated as weekdays and weekends but how about we deal each day as they are?

Every day, the sun rises and sets down just as we fail and rise towards our goals. However, there’s a subtle difference that we forget to appreciate. 
The sun doesn’t compete with the moon or the stars; it shines even on a cloudy day. Whereas we humans, drown ourselves in an endless, self-defeating rat race with the fear of being left behind. We relate happiness with our daily achievements despite knowing that there is no finish line and the wheel keeps spinning. We live tiresome days through mundane ordeals. But is it worthwhile to exist as a slave of our own minds?

To break this cycle, there are a few aspects that we need to first understand and then appreciate. We as individuals, need to instil some discipline in our lives. Time and again, we have been getting glimpses of a bleak future that awaits us but we have been so preoccupied in the process of creating an ideal life that we have forgotten that we may not live to see the face of tomorrow. When we didn’t mend our ways, Mother Nature had her sweet revenge planned. The weapon, unleashed in the form of a virus, came as a brutal reminder to everyone about how fragile life is. 

From hovering in the streets, we were trapped indoors overnight. With the situation worsening each passing day, all we wish or hope is to be with our loved ones and the welfare of humanity. With all non-essential things coming to a halt, we also realised what truly matters and how most of the problems that we face in our daily routines are so trivial. One does not have to attain massive personal victories each day. We should focus on what one has to do and not essentially ‘make something out’ of everything that one does.

Productivity is not always quantitative; it is rather a qualitative introspection of our own thoughts and actions. Living in a world of capitalism, let us
face capitalism head on and refuse to monetise this quarantine. Treat this as a long-forgotten promise you made in terms of self-care. Devote this time
for self-introspection and unveil a newer version of yourself that will be stronger and not easily manipulated in chasing targets. You don’t owe anyone
but yourself to feel alive again.

Look around, the flowers have bloomed and danced, the birds are singing melodiously like never before. Trees are standing tall and green in their
stance, the roads demystified their peace in galore. The sunrises and sunsets are a delight to watch. Appreciate the beauty around you, in things and people. Cherish little gestures; do not underestimate a handshake or a hug. Hold on to the people who love you and value people who care for you.
Be grateful, be kind, because these days too, are numbered.

Sometimes adversity comes with a blessing to make one understand the beauty in its verse. Let this turn of events be pious magic disguised as a curse. Remember, even if one wins the rat race, they’ll still be a rat. So, respect the life you’ve been bestowed upon as a beautiful journey; it isn’t a destination that you’ve to reach in a defined time frame. Another essential aspect that needs to be highlighted during these arduous times is to aim for sustainable living. Integrate yourself to a lifestyle that helps in reducing our ecological footprint by committing to minimalism.

Above all, my heart aches for those countless innocent lives lost during this turmoil. No joy can mask the sorrow of seeing your fellow through the
last twitch. One may certainly feel helpless in such unpleasant situations but sometimes, you’ve to let the universe govern you. Let us not forget to
recognise the unsung heroes who are relentlessly responding to the onslaught of this pandemic with professionalism and courage. The people who
are our safeguarding us and trying to contain and mitigate the virus. From doctors, nurses and paramedics who are the frontline caregivers to the food
service workers who are delivering basic necessities.

The healthcare workers are performing a task which is not just physically demanding but emotionally taxing as well. They are living with an inherent
fear of spreading the disease to their loved ones, who are beyond exhausted without an end in sight. It is imperative that we appreciate the field researchers; the scientists who are tirelessly working behind the scenes to better understand the virus so that they can develop and deploy vaccines
to combat human race’s biggest threat. Hand in glove, let’s eulogise these heroes who are giving their best to give us a tomorrow worth living.
Lastly, do whatever that gives you joy because to survive a pandemic, is an achievement in itself! 

Article by: Simerleen Kaur Ghai
Artwork by: Simerleen Kaur Ghai