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-Rajeev Kumar (Editor-in-chief)

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Beware of the urge to ignore the surge…(TOI)

I am writing this on April Fool’s Day — and feeling like the biggest fool myself! COVID-19 has fooled us all! We were trusting enough to believe the worst was behind us! But look — the second surge is here, folks! It’s official. Accept it! And start thinking of the best available options left — how do we hang on to a semblance of our freshly tattered sanity? Beating thalis from our balconies clearly didn’t scare off the deadly virus. Nor did lighting diyas, singing bhajans or chorusing ‘Go Corona Go!” We had dramatic flypasts honouring frontline workers, and the entire country saluted their heroic efforts. Then came the big announcement — we finally had the coveted vaccine! Hurrah! We rejoiced and cheered and felt reassured — take the shot and all will be well. Ummmm — not really, as this past week has shown. No amount of ringing ghantis is going to help this time. The numbers are escalating at an alarming rate, and we have no choice, but to wait this one out and hope Covid 3.0 isn’t waiting in the wings to make its demonic debut on the world stage.

Exactly this time last year, we were all coming to terms with unfamiliar concepts, wondering how we’d cope with lockdowns, social distancing, WFH, home schooling, no travel — you know the list. But human beings being as resilient as they are, rapidly found ways to keep themselves amused. Dalgona coffee and banana bread, anyone? But once again we are back to being paranoid after a welcome lull, during which everyone and his/ her chhacha rushed to the Maldives and posted hazaar beach pictures specifically designed to generate unbearable envy and longing. Every minor and major TV/ Bollywood star jumped on that Maldives flight ready to flaunt beachwear that nobody actually wears except on Insta.

The truly fortunate (read: woke) folks quietly slunk off to their private villas in Alibaug and stayed put. Most are still there, reluctant to come back to their city lives, having discovered a far superior existence less than 20 nautical miles away from Mumbai. The exceptionally efficient/ convenient RORO service has made it possible to enjoy the best of both worlds. Most of the clever Alibaughers make it to Mumbai only if they absolutely have to, and sensibly rush right back.

Since food delivery became the new restaurant experience, it was possible to stay home and eat your favourite cuisine without bothering to change out of comfy PJs or kaftans. COVID-19 freed us on multiple levels — I haven’t bought myself a thing during this past year, and frankly, what did it matter? I gave away a lot and that overdue exercise made me feel so much lighter. I certainly don’t need new clothes — in addition, so many of my friends say they don’t need new or old friends! They’re spending precious time with themselves — and delighting in the many unexpected joys of their own company. Ladies of a certain vintage (mine!) have actively embraced old passions — painting, writing, pottery, gardening, music, cooking.

Once all of us were done with binge watching shows online and treating ourselves to more wine than was good for us, we came to terms with so many unresolved issues we hadn’t invested sufficient time to figure out earlier. Slowing down the pace of life was far from the nightmare we dreaded — if anything, it was therapeutic and healing. Speaking for myself, I actively reached out to people I had not been in touch with for years, but who were once such an intrinsic part of my life. It felt great to reconnect and share precious memories like we once did.

Who knows what the ‘New ‘New’ Normal’ is going to be, now that we are once again facing a bleak future, with fresh Covid restrictions. I was surprised to hear a group of young people saying they preferred the total lockdown of last year to the present state of uncertainty. “We hate being caught in a limbo’, they lamented. My children urge me to watch documentaries and listen to ‘serious’ podcasts, participate in lofty webinars and random Zoom calls. Rubbish! I am so done! Give me mindless fluff any day — something breezy and beautiful, with fun music and lots of dancing. Seriously, it’s time to revisit all of Govinda’s past hits. There’s nobody like him! Male actors today focus so much on their abs, one hardly notices anything else. And female actors look like they have emerged from the same mould — totally indistinguishable. And yes — their abs are on permanent display, too. And emote far better than their faces. Bring back Govinda! He’s the only one who can see us through the surge.

Courtesy - TOI


Help Sampadkiya Team in maintaining this website

इस वेबसाइट को जारी रखने में यथायोग्य मदद करें -

-Rajeev Kumar (Editor-in-chief,


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