The lockdown has finally lifted. Life is slowly getting out of the oblivion after almost three long months since the COVID outbreak. The initial panic has subdued, and a sense of surrender and acceptance has set in. The new "normal" of work, business, travel, and life, in general, is being written each day while the economy is slowly limping back.
Our struggle for these past few months to emerge strong has taken its toll. While we make efforts to cope with the new normal, thinking about the basic survival going forward in this changing world that looks completely different in a matter of just a few months!
Amidst these extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic, we all have changed in our outlook towards life; in the way we perceive, act, and respond. We may not realize, but we are witnessing an epoch-making moment; a history in making, a turning point that has altered our lives forever!
Who would have thought that simple, routine tasks like venturing out to buy essentials would feel nothing less than an adventure! With the masks and gloves on, fingers crossed, and our hearts filled with trepidation, this is how we would go out henceforth in this "new" world.
One feels a bit of anxiety about maintaining a safe distance during interactions. A sense of unease is evident in the eyes of people as there is an awkwardness about not being able to extend simple courtesies like shaking hands and hugging. The pandemic has pushed these very basic human gestures into a "danger" zone, and we have no option but to adapt and change the way we interact and socialize.
The normalcy of the past is quickly fading away. As the days blur into one another, laced with all-pervading anxiety, it gives a sense of living in a time warp. Having lost a sense of continuation of the time, we are losing track of the calendar.
The streets have opened but are bereft of their soul. There are few people on the roads and the rhythm of life on the streets seems to have lost its balance. That quintessential, fascinating hum and din, that constant clamour, the strong smells that assail all the senses, all these features that serve as the background and look like neverending scrolls of life have gone blank!
While we struggle to come to terms with our new reality, there is a deep longing for our seemingly mundane, old routines and simple joys of life like;
taking a walk on the beach with bare feet,
inhaling the smell of the ocean,
visiting art galleries and museums and witness art that grows over you,
moving about freely at the public places and smiling at complete strangers,
spontaneous conversations that forge new friendships,
take a stroll around the city for street photography,
long drives with family on the weekends,
travel to different places,
visiting the spa,
meeting friends for lunch and gossip,
a warm hug from a special someone on a date,
lying on the grass, covered with fresh dew, just because
sitting on a park bench, exhausted, after a long walk and observe people passing by
being part of a crowd,
going for a movie, play or cultural event,
words that warm your heart,
lines from the books that stay with you,
music that keeps playing in your mind,
making a list of "things to do' for the day and fussing over it...
Yes, what would one not give to resume all that we love doing, just like the times before the COVID paralyzed our life?
As we adapt to the "new normal" and heal ourselves from this experience, let's not forget that life is driving this monumental shift as a sign of something bigger, much significant for us to realize. We are given this rare opportunity to pause and reflect on who we are, where we are headed, and reconnect with our inner self and life and find our true purpose.