When 2020 started I remember having innumerable plans. My second book’s (The Cutting Edge) launch was the most exciting thing to look forward to right into the second month of the year. And thankfully that happened as scheduled because though the virus had started to wreak havoc, the world was awaiting the signal from the WHO, which seemed on China’s leash and we were going on with our lives as if nothing had happened.
Thus, the new day of January 2020 had started with me making my plans for travel, for starting some exciting courses of collaboration with friends, of looking forward to everything humdrum and ordinary. Sitting in July the word – “ordinary” has acquired an altogether new meaning. The transition to unreal started way back in March and as I write this, I have a faint recollection of having a showdown with the immigration officials as I returned to Hyderabad from my trip abroad, as they asked for an irrelevant piece of paper information about travel from Wuhan. I recall telling them in exasperation that I would like to catch them if we had even one single case of the virus in our city because their argument was not based on logic. Today proves that then, we all were naïve!
With ‘lockdown’ becoming the new buzz-word, with devastation of communities and health care infrastructure worldwide, with a huge toll on human psyche and routines, with the economies tumbling over, with there being no place in the world which remained unscathed, I like many others went through my life almost like a robot. After a while shutting away everything which seemed unpleasant and sour. Saving my state of mental peace became the need of my mind and focusing on all things which lifted spirits became my new mantra.
A cards campaign, some storytelling relay, fun times online with friends, a few webinars and I had my silver linings amidst the bleakness and the morbidity. Then came an imminent shift of residence and it seemed the most insane thing to do in the middle of a virus but after further postponing was not possible, shift we did. May became July and I remained mired in the cartons, the bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, and relentless décor ideas for our new home. My absenteeism was noticed by all good and dear friends. Soon messages started to pop up as did the mails asking about my well-being. I was expected back. My other silver lining!
Life as we knew it, may take an eternity to get back to us but we need to yank our lives back from the current situation. I refuse to become a slave to fear, to uncertainty, to chaos, to turmoil. I shall choke the fear, impede the advance of uncertainty, impede the onslaught of chaos, ascend the turmoil. I am also restoring my life to possibilities, to desires, to hopefulness, to wishing, to optimism, to buoyancy, to silver linings!