The Quest...! The Lockdown Effect)
The Quest...! The Lockdown Effect)
Merriam Webster's dictionary gives the meaning of this word as 'a journey made in search of something'!
What are we going to search for?
Which journey do we want to take?
And what else we need to know? Lots of puzzles and confusing thoughts!
I settled on the bed, staring at the roof, thinking about my life during the lockdown. A lifeless, brainless, heartless tiny bit of a lipid-coated RNA turned the lives on the earth upside down! Even the hyper-intelligent wizards of the medical field were not able to contain those nano monsters! What an irony!
I turned my gaze through the window. The raucously swaying trees on the way of relentlessly blowing wind, the cloudy sky forecasting imminent rain like a stock market veteran vaticinating the movements of the market and the silvery moon peeking through the dark clouds, all are telling something about the small stretch of our time on this earth called life, during this covid19 time-warp.
Our world is like a house, full of outlanders, some amidst them become friends and few become foes and one more time, all vanish into the throng when trying to find each one's unique path.
Humans are hardwired social beings, and it’s difficult to refrain from seeing family, friends, and the people we simply pass on the street every day. If we are not connected with others, it will be against evolution and we will sense stress inside. So, the main and first reason for stress during lockdown was not being connected with others. I really missed my friends. I missed my morning walk. I missed chatting with them over a coffee. So, first, what humans seek? The connection with fellow humans! The connection may not necessarily be physical, but, for the time being, even digital would be enough to reduce our stress.
Suddenly, a loud scream from the next apartment interrupted my thoughts. I immediately rushed there. Ramakrishnan sir was repeatedly hitting his wife!
It was unbelievable! The usually polite, humble, soft, and empathetic guy was acting like a beast. I grabbed him by his hand and whisked him from his house. I pulled him into my house, made him seated, and gave him a peg of whiskey which he gulped down at once, and smacked his lips. He seemed somewhat calmed down.
"What the hell you were doing with your wife? Don't you know it was inhumane?", Since he is very close to me, I took the liberty to ask such a question in such a way.
"You won't ask this question if you know what my wife did", he replied with annoying anger in his voice," She shopped online with the money, I was keeping for giving salaries to the workers"
"Oh, what will you do then?"
"What to do? I have to pledge some of her jewels"
Since the initial anger started to subside, he stood up to leave.
It's better not to do anything during the initial phase of anger, since, it is the time when our logic brain is hijacked by the emotional brain. Evolutionarily, the emotional brain called the limbic system developed very much earlier when our ancestors were reptiles than the neocortex, the so-called logical brain which developed very recently when we became homo sapiens. So, whenever an event takes place, the part that immediately gets into action is our brain subserving emotions. The logic brain usually slowly creeps into action later.
I also followed him to his apartment. I saw his wife preparing dinner in between sobs. I politely asked her about the purchase. She told it was made cash on delivery only. I explained to her about the other important expenditures and asked to cancel the purchase, for that, she immediately accepted and did so. I turned towards Ramakrishnan and instructed them to apologize to his wife. He was happy and hesitantly said sorry to his wife, understanding that his frustration and anger were due to the hijacked neocortex by the overwhelming power of the limbic system.
I trudged back to my apartment. Since I am a doctor and was assigned to the covid19 ward duty, I sent my wife and two children to my parent's house in the village. I actually am staying in a hotel. I should work for a week straight and I should get myself isolated for one week. Then again I should go to the ward. Today I completed my isolation period. I came to my apartment to collect a few of my things for my usage next week. Tomorrow, I should be in the ward at eight in the morning. This is how my life is moving on in this covid19 time-warp.
Last Friday, when I was returning from duty, I saw a frail-looking elderly couple huddled under a tree inside the hospital compound. It was seven in the evening. Wondering what were they doing at this hour, I went near them and enquired. When I heard their story, I was very much shocked and my heart was broken. That fragile man but who had a strong heart, pedaled his bicycle with his wife on the backseat for nearly two hundred kilometers to get drugs for his wife who was a cancer patient. It was unbelievable! It was affection blossoming with its sweet fragrance! What a magnificent couple they were! Sometimes, God takes human form also. We provided them the necessary drugs and sent them to their home by ambulance.
Of course, covid19 have created turmoil in everyone's life and disrupted every couples' established routines. But, whenever we have arguments in the family, let's think about the fragile couple huddled inside the hospital compound.
I am not able to sleep tonight.
My thoughts were wandering aimlessly. Being a tiny atom in the vast cosmos, I was wondering what would be in our control? I think 'being in control' really gives us a false sense of security. The clear understanding of 'nothing will be in our control' probably gives us real freedom!
From the moment the sperm takes the long journey and seeks the ovum and the zygote forms, it started seeking whatever it needs!
From the cradle to grave, humans' quest is a never-ending thirst! Very few know how to quench it!
A frog's eyes only detect the outline of a moving object. What a pity that it will not see and savor it's mom's appearance. Nature has given them some talents that are necessary for their survival. That's all!
Likewise, humans are given something by nature for their survival only. We are destined to think everything in terms of cause and effect' only.
We are not allowed to think beyond that.
Snakes, mosquitoes, and some fishes rely on their infrared vision to feed themselves. They 'see' body heat and use the temperature signature to locate their prey. Bats see the world through the ultrasound.
Each and every species is given a distinct talent by nature and has a distinct way of seeing the world.
To put it in different words, God in different forms experiencing His marvelous creations in different ways.
Freudian theory concluded 'I think, so I am!' Is it true? How merely thinking makes me? Am I the owner of my body and soul? Did I create myself? I surely didn't create myself. I'm created by some superpower, unknown to humankind, via my dad and mom. So, neither myself nor my ancestors are the owner of myself.
Then, who is the owner of this functioning body? Who is thinking about the thoughts of this mind? And what is the so-called 'mind' itself? If these are the biological processes, who started this process? Here comes the so-called supreme power!
So, the supreme power started every action in the universe! The supreme power created you, the supreme power owned you. You are the supreme power! For the reasons only known to the supreme power, you are not given the chance of knowing that you are the 'supreme power'! If we know and feel that we, ourselves are the 'supreme power', then, we will be liberated from the never-ending fears!