These are strange times indeed! It’s almost like the human species is being cosmically positioned at the brink of a life-altering crossroad. Like we are being asked, nay, told by the universe to excogitate to the next level mentally, emotionally, spiritually and materially. The time for cosmic requests and gentle omens is probably done.
Each day is unfolding in an alternate macrocosm kind of way – unprecedented and grandly imbibing the nature of all the apocalyptic sci-fi plots the celluloid and literary worlds have regaled us with all these years. Like Aldous Huxley’s “A Brave New World” meeting Orwell’s “1984”; like all the Hollywood and J-horror pestilential and malefic microbe-driven, world decimation plots unraveling in real time! To those able to take an existential (and somewhat empirical) view of the current crisis, we are now residents of a very peculiar, almost alchemistic world. Collaboration, sharing and compassion, rather than geographic, economic and political oneupmanship are the ironic catalysts to see this through; and the inevitable gamut of similar Sui generis global debacles that our planet will face in times to come.
Our current state of affairs, what we call living a successful life, is now more than ever, worth introspection, cogitation and transformation. Our ethical and moral compasses, our belief systems and our very humanity are all up for realignment. We have known this for some time now, but the unrelenting bustle of our “regular” lives has served to make this intuition hazy and peripheral.
Maybe it’s Nature’s way of telling us to re-harmonize ourselves with our world at large, or be subjected to a brutal all-pervading culling, followed by an entirely contradistinct evolution of body and mind. Maybe the virus is the Last Prophet explicated by most organised religions, come to offer a final call via a master plan we are likely to understand- a Doomsday scenario playout- to get our “intelligent species” act together. It is conventionally deistic too, in that it is indiscriminate and all-encompassing in whatever it is doling out (full of brimstone and fire to boot, in an apt salute to the sinister overtones of all self and institutionally appointed custodians of faith these days). Any which way, the Corona will probably quite permanently change the way we interact, assimilate, empathise and connect across social and political divides.
In ending, these old lines come to mind with new pertinence: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way” – (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens).
De khudai pe aman