A famous quote by the Writer, Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption says, ” Get busy living or get busy dying.” is kind of relatable to what we actually did as humans. We got so busy living our monotonous lives on temporary basis that we forgot about the actual living, our duties towards the nature, our very own human responsibilities to protect and enhance nature for our future. We were so much living in present, we forgot to take care of our future. Nothing was going to be same. Everything that we had yesterday has altered in such a magnitude that will never be like yesterday.
Sitting on my window balcony I was admiring how everything looked similar yet not the same; the coconut trees acting like a fence to our society garden making it more beautiful, the freshly bloomed shoe flowers plants waving around and our old lady as usual coming to pluck them up for her spiritual offering for her prayers. I wondered if her god loved shoe flower because I have never seen her offering anything else. Her daughter in law called out loudly to return back and she can go for walk evening walk some other day since we are not allowed to step outside now. She seemed too furious. Meanwhile our neighbor’s cat Lucy, was stretching on my father’s car.
I could see no one outside, not even a single person. It was 6 in the evening, the sky turn orangish grey and purplish red rays spread over the outskirts making it one of the most beautiful sunset but I couldn’t go to the beach to witness it. It was like the sky was in a mood to create abstract. it was beautiful yet It felt sad and fearful as if these evenings would never be same again. The wind was audible yet evening felt evidently silent. I could hear the birds chirping a little louder. Never in my lifetime, had I felt so caged and restricted. Not even when my parents grounded me for weeks. This felt discrete. There were no children playing in the garden nor cycling or running around. Looking at them, I missed my days of cycling with bunch of my society kids of my age, every evening at 6:00, post school, ready to go out of our society premises and explore the world outside. I was hardly 12 and outside the society fence meant adventure to me, apart from the time I used to walk to my school just 100 meters afar from my place. So cycling was the only time, I could cross the barrier set by my parents and see the world around. Those unknown streets, different heights of buildings and constructions, the trees planted across the streets on both sides and also people walking around for different reasons around assumed me.
It amazed to the fact, “Life is so different for everyone at the same time.” I used to return post sunset or sometimes even late. to which my mom used to kept scolding that it isn’t safe for the girls outside so late and it used to be hardly 7:00 and that time I never understood why it isn’t safe for the girls? But Today, It isn’t safe for the boys too, or say the entire human race. I am not glad about it but hope this situation made them feel how we girls feel everyday, every time, we walk on the unknown streets past regular hours.
So, it was a regular day, yesterday; the streets were full with honking vehicles, the shops were open, people went to work, children went to school and I had gone for my prewedding photoshoot and everything was working out as a usual day and extremely difficult to halt. Everyone was minding their own business. No one had time to stop and acknowledge the other human being. everything was the same. Until the big announcement was made. And suddenly, just like that, everything paused.
And just like that our life changed, for forever. Maybe we would never go back to complete freedom of walking down the street’s during odd hours without being afraid or having second thoughts about it. Maybe we would never go back to walking in the crowded mall, markets without masks glued on our face and gloves on our hands. Maybe we would never enjoy the festivals which once were made to bring people and communities together like Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Pooja-Navratri and Deepawali and Christmas here in India and also everywhere around the world. Maybe, festivals will be just eating delicious home-made food without our extended families or close friends. It will be just sitting inside decorated walls and thinking what the others might be doing. Maybe it will be less polluting, less noise, less crowded and less of air pollution around but we would never go back to appreciating these things.
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” — Oprah Winfrey
“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”– Soren Kierkegaard
And as the cycle continues, so does life…
A day that will always be remembered!
“Janta Curfew” Date:22nd March 2020; Day-Monday; Time- 6:00pm; Place- Mumbai, India.