The Change4 mins 43 4 mins 43
The Great Change
When my children flew out of my nest, I was left devastated mentally. I used to cry everyday. Firstly, I missed them. Secondly, I felt I had left them all alone amidst insecurity, uncomfortable environs and unknown risks. Thirdly, I was reminded every minute that this was not a temporary situation and the company of my children will no longer be as before. They will only be temporary visitors/guests in my life henceforth. The third one was the most hurting feeling.
We spend hardly 17-20 years with our children. Only some of us are lucky to live with our children till our death. Our previous generation was the last generation to have been lucky to get to spend all their lives with one or other child, but for a few of them. In our generation, very rarely do people get such comforts. When I used to express my concerns and cry to my son, he, who was just 17+ then, would say, “Amma, why do you think physical nearness is the only way to stay ‘close’? First learn to enjoy your own company. Love yourself and do things that you never got to do because of the rat race that life was until now.” Gradually, I adjusted to my life without children but waited eagerly for their occasional visits or our visits to their houses or our trips together. After each such meeting, getting back to our lonely life is very painful for a few days. In the interlude, we enjoy our social outings, tours, literary meets and cultural evenings.
Bang came Carona into our lives. We were just reading about this strange virus causing havoc in China and sympathising with the victims, little realising that we were very soon going to be in the same situation! On 20th March all our lives changed totally. We knew very well that a one-day lockdown was just to test the waters and the beginning of a long-drawn battle against a most dangerous enemy which nature had unleashed with vengeance.
In the beginning, I did watch the news channels for considerable time and got disturbed by the sufferings of helpless people all around the world. I gradually realised that there was very little that I could do to change things except for helping the poor people around me and praying for the welfare of humanity.
The first major change that happened was that I could no longer pray for specific members of my family or my friends. My prayers are now for the entire humanity and planet. I can think of nothing else but good health for all. All minor issues which used to bother me took a back seat. I now only wish that everybody, including my own children stay safe, healthy and peaceful, wherever they may be. Though my daughter and grandson are just two kilometres away from me, we meet very rarely because of the fear of infecting or getting infected! What a strange mental agony!
The second change in me is that I have lost interest in going out of my secure home, Even my occasional outing to the nearby grocer or vegetable shops has become a great plan to be executed with so much care. I used to love to buy fresh vegetables and fruits everyday during my evening walks until 20th March, 2020. But now I buy stuff for at least 7-10 days so that I need not go out often! Yes. That is also advised by doctors and the Government. But that innate interest that I had earlier to go out, meet people, breath fresh air and relax, has vanished!
I have learnt to enjoy really small little things now, though even before this unusual phase, I believed in enjoying small pleasures of life. Just spending a few minutes in the bright and soothing morning sunlight in my small backyard, observing every little flower that has bloomed in my garden, watching the few fish enjoying the sun rays in the lily pond and listening to the varieties of birds that visit my garden, gives me great relaxation. Chatting with my neighbour for a few minutes across the wall entertains me and reassures me that there is hope of normalcy returning some time in the future! My long telephonic talks with my kith and kin and friends makes my evening walk in my small garden interesting. The few minutes that I get to see my children, mother, siblings and friends on video chats are great moments for me and I feel convinced that they are all safe and fit.
I was always a nature lover and I did not need this catastrophe to learn a lesson. I only wish this is a lesson to those greedy people, who abuse nature and this planet to amass wealth, little realising that even the richest man on this planet today is no match to the smallest virus. I am well aware that I am a mortal and death is an inevitable truth. But the kind of stories that we hear today has created this fear of death of not only myself but everybody around me, which keeps haunting me every minute, however much I try to distract myself. I cannot take even a minute of my present for granted!
Everyday I go to bed with the hope of rising out of a nightmare and waking up in a normal world where I can count days for the arrival of my children, siblings and friends at my forlorn house!