The most ridiculous thing I heard today

Migrants went home because of emotional reasons and not because they didn’t get basic facilities in Delhi.

– Chief minister of a state in India

Someone please tell this kind man that lakhs of families won’t risk death just because they are driven by strong emotions to be back to the place they once left for better lives.

#MeTooMigrant?

I have always found the twitter hashtag trends amusing. Well most of the times. Sometimes they are worth their while. And sometimes they are too crude to be deemed serious.

I had never understood the significance of the word migrant until now. In a country where most of us move between cities or states for studies or job, a migrant is as common as a ‘middle class’ guy.  However,  some of us did a little better than others. We are well sheltered, watered and fed. We don’t live in constant fear of going hungry or harassed by house owners , or beaten up by police for no fault of ours except for our existence.

Yes, we are migrants too. But we are nothing like those who are struggling right now for a moment of rest and assurance of next meal. So I believe those who are glorifying themselves as migrants should stop diluting this serious issue and instead let the focus be on those who are actually suffering. That might force the authorities to take note and act on the ground rather than just advertising their shallow policies.

Addiction

That is how I define it.

Years back, I happened to get Rabindra Nath Tagore’s ‘Chokher Bali’. I was so fascinated by the fact that a man could read into a woman’s heart and mind so clearly that I read it again. And again. So much so that it was my constant companion during all the trips. And I had many those days. I never seemed to get bored of it. Every time I read a line, it gave me a new insight into my own thoughts and character.

Another such book was ‘Pratham Purush’ that I read during college days. That is what got me interested in Hindu Mythology and trying to understand if those myths had any science behind them.

And then there was ‘Gone with the wind’. It had so much that I liked and hated, both at the same time. But what stood out was the wit and resolve of the characters.  Every time I read this book, something inspired me to look at my own problems and shrug them off as being nothing at all.

A few months back, I read Devdutt Patnaik’s “Shiva to Shankara”. And I am addicted again. It is a well written book and presents interesting explanations to various ‘facts’ as presented about Lord Shiva. And so I read it again last week. And guess what, I think I might read it again today. Somehow I am not able to get over the words and presentation of this book. I guess I am addicted to it now 🙂

Life in the times of COVID-19

 I have been working from home for a long time now. Initially the reasons were to do with being able to spend time with my daughter but soon it became a compulsion due to certain unavoidable situations at home. Thankfully the companies I worked with (past and present) have been very supportive and placed enough trust in my work to let me work from home. Barring a few stray incidents and comments, I never had to face any unpleasantness due to this.

But. And there is a big “but” here… It is not easy working from home. No matter what they tell you. No matter how ‘lazy’ it looks. And no matter how glamorous it sounds! I don’t want to sound gender-biased here. But the fact is that women have to really struggle hard in order to maintain balance between work and personal life ESPECIALLY when working from home. One has to learn, and make others in the family learn as well about how to say NO to that request for cooking an exotic dish if it falls during your work hours. And trust me, it is not easy at all. “But you save on all the hassle of commute to office, and so should get extra time in hand’, they say. What they don’t know or understand is that the extra time goes in to take up the extra learning or build and extra skill which is so needed in today’s rapidly changing IT world. If I look at my own self, I have been working on so many new technical ideas (at home and at work) and working such long hours that my parents have started to get concerned and my daughter called me a ‘nerd’!

That brings me to the reason why I thought of writing this post. It is about how things are and how things look like to be in future. The pessimist in me says that this virus is now here to stay, just as our common cold and various other Influenza strains. It is practically impossible to make it disappear from the face of the earth. We can insist and pressurise the Government and the administrative bodies to ramp up the medical facilities in our own towns. But that won’t be enough. We would have to change our lifestyle completely.  The immunity building measures would need to be adopted, extra hygiene (to the point of being labeled paranoid, as in my case), and the barrier methods of avoidance would need to be followed stringently. Most importantly, our kids would need to be taught and groomed to be stronger physically and mentally than we have ever been. After all, their world is going to be much more challenging than ours.

For now, all those of us who are fortunate enough to be getting paid, work in supportive environments, can take the opportunity to be doing things together with the family, for which perhaps earlier there wasn’t either enough time or opportunity. 

(But then there are some who are being dragged into deep by this whirlwind of crisis. There is a need to pull them out. Also, there is a need to start working on plans to get the future back in green for our future generations. )