Symbiosis4 mins 261 4 mins 261
Lockdown, a phenomenon that froze everything on earth, bringing everything to a halt, as though the operation of a factory was suddenly stopped. As though human race was wiped out from the face of earth in one go. Poof!
The result of the pandemic and the lockdown was startling, it ripped our veil of superiority, behind which we had hidden our weaknesses. It showed how vulnerable we humans are, how our lifestyle has done no good to our immunity. While we were spending a fortune on arming ourselves against fellow humans beings who are divided from us by borders and religions we ourselves made, this silent invisible enemy of the entire race crept stealthily into us, mocking at our foolishness. We never took immunity as seriously as we should have. The virus has successfully made a mockery of the century long arms race. How stupid everything seems now isn't it?
The impact of Lockdown has been varying from person to person. Although it was imposed countrywide, it's effects manifested the most in the cities. Cities that once were bustling with activity and businesses, now resembled abandoned ghost towns. The drastic change in lifestyle has taught us many lessons for life. One of such lessons is symbiosis.
Symbiosis in other words is, co-existence or interdependence. This unanticipated isolation from the hitherto vibrant everyday life has exposed the complex inter-dependence within our society-The cobweb of symbiotic relations on which our world rests.
When the three weeks' curfew was declared by the government we saw ripples of panic spreading in our society leading to utter chaos. When the wealthy rushed to stock up provisions for the following months, the poor had to stare at joblessness and hopelessness. It's the natural instinct of us humans, to rush to safety at the site of danger.
What could be safer than being home, with our family? Hence started the long journey to reach home. When the day laborers faced unemployment, for them it meant loss of livelihood, and inability to sustain their lives in the cities. The landlords too played their role in driving them out of the only temporary safety they had. I saw the story unfolding in all the news channels, sitting within the comfort of the apartment, wondering why are people moving out when the government has clearly instructed to stay inside? Little did I empathize with them. But gradually it dawned upon me, the bleak future they were staring at. A wave of shame filled my insides. How could I be so ignorant? The realisation hit me harder when slowly the effect of the exodus of migrant labourers was felt in my life. Construction business all over the cities were stalled, cash inflow started to dwindle, which meant the day was not far when I too will be looking at the same future.
Inevitably, the salaries of the "white collared" workers were cut, jobs which dealt directly with migrant workers became redundant, layoffs and furlough became everyday words. The burdens of debt and personal responsibilities were to be seen etched on everyone's faces. The absence of migrant workers started to strain our lives.
Bringing an outsider home had become equivalent to risking life, let alone visiting friends and relatives. Everyone was forced to do the chores independently without any domestic help. This again displayed the dependence of our lives and comfort on others, on the underprivileged. One can surely say that the Lockdown was an eye-opener in many ways.
Have we ever realized the fact that the people who work tirelessly, struggling every day for a living, have been in some way bearing the burden of the lives of so many of us? Have we ever paused in our fast-paced lives, to acknowledge their presence and importance in our lives? The way they are dependent on us for their living, we too are dependent on them for our living and comforts. In the absence of one, the other can't survive. Hence, our world is like a complex machine that runs smoothly only when the gears mesh correctly with each other, if one gear goes faulty the whole machine comes to a grinding halt. Every gear has its role and that is what makes it valuable.