In this strange year of pandemic upheaval, where life has been upended and kept us largely confined to our homes, I received two memorable gifts.
One, was a set of masks made by a friend. She made it from a saree. The light cotton mix material, double layered, with pockets for filter stitched meticulously by my thoughtful friend to show off the pretty pattern. She made seven of them
Science and religion are on a collision course again in this pandemic, with news about God’s faithful congregating for worship and defying lockdown orders. While not all the religious are blind in their faith, a vociferous minority seem to believe that God will protect them from the virus because he is bigger than the virus. There can be no doubt that God is bigger than the Covid-19, because He created the novel Coronavirus just like He created us. Hence, it is logical to assume that the Creator is bigger than the creation.
It is all over the news how Bill Gates predicted the current pandemic some years ago. The man is not an epidemiologist or a doctor, but one of his many charities focuses on pandemics. Therefore, he has become a Nostradamus for predicting this pandemic and the ones in the future.
I wonder if he foresaw how the Trump presidency would turn the greatest democracy on earth into a banana republic, because the federal government’s efficiency does play a critical role in controlling the epidemic.
Today, I read a news headline about how the world has been brought to a standstill by COVID-19. This type of news headline is not uncommon in times of great calamities, where planet Earth and human beings are used interchangeably, as if these words are synonymous, as if we are the world.
I find myself using these terms interchangeably and bite my tongue as I realize my ignorance stemming from the arrogance of being human, because as grand is the human ego, we are not the world. We are just one species on this magnificently intricate planet and as such we belong to the Earth. The Earth does not belong to us.
Therefore, the world has not come to a standstill because of the novel strain of the Coronavirus, humanity has come to a standstill which is actually a good thing for Mother Earth and our sibling creatures on this planet.
I grew up in small communities, where everything was within walking distance, where most faces were familiar even if they were unacquainted. Moving from one such small town to the neighboring Chennai city was a new, unexpected experience.
To go from an idyllic life to the noise, the traffic, the crowd and the sheer size of the city took a little getting used to. One curious scene that held my attention were the public buses during the morning rush hour.
My little world is populated with friends — spanning continents, religion, age, ethnicity and other social fragmentation that exists. They give me strength to soar to the skies, because I know they will catch me, should I fall.
My friends also come from a large extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins and second cousins
Immigrants — People who move from one nation to another for better prospects or they are just fleeing for their lives.
The land of the immigrants has turned against migrants. The current President of the immigrant nation, who has married two foreigners, denigrates migrants at every opportunity while the Republican party leaders protest feebly as they watch him spew pernicious lies. The devotees at the Trump rallies are exultant. They revel in this topic more raucously than any other subject at these fanatical events where blind hatred and lack of reason is celebrated with singular fervor.