Little more than a century ago, the world had halted to the onrushing march of war and a pandemic. Men and women fought hand in hand, first against each other and later against a virus, unseen, uncouth, and far more lethal. Millions perished, millions more suffered, traumatized by an unending tempest.
Yet, as humanity has shown time and time again, resurgence followed every devastation. Every hushed voice heard words of hope. Every near-death leaped back to life. Sportspeople joined the army, while celebrities volunteered to become nurses. Entertainment was geared to entertain the sufferers and the fallen many.
Every attempt made to disintegrate humanity failed to a human bondage, infinitely stronger and encircling.
A hundred years later, the horrors of those years have revisited the planet. And while the rest of the world strive to come out of the quagmire, India like the boy in the burning deck are neck deep in agony. In utter isolation. Begging for help.
Let me spare the rhetoric. They will sound ugly now. Quite simply men and women are dying in heaps. Burning ghats are consistently burning. Fundamentals like oxygen tanks and life saving medications are missing. Panic grips every household. A hint of death hides behind every closed door. News anchors are screaming at their panels. Politicians are doing what they do the best. Throwing mud at each other.
Yet in the same capital city where thousands are infected every day and hundreds die by the wayside, a game of cricket is being staged. Twenty-two men, decked in rainbow colors, clash tooth and nail, day in and day out, in a carnival display of joy and ecstasy where cash prizes are traded for the best six clobbered, for the best catch held and for every match won.
Mind turns into a gel to think that happiness can be extracted from such money squandering exercises, staged in frightful regularity in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi and some other venues, when death, despair, and a wild whirl of anguish surround the stadiums of the same cities.
All intellect freezes at a spectacle where a country screams for help to the entire world and yet parades in shameless, graceless pride, in a cash frenzy game.
If we talk about one nation and one family, how can suffering and desire reside under the same roof? Is it insensitivity, or nonchalance?
Or is it a very Indian trait?
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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