Monday, March 30, 2020

Life in the time of Corona - Corona Series (Part 1)

Turned off the TV, a little disturbed, after watching "Nosedive", an episode in Black Mirror.  What if this becomes a way of real life. that we rate people basis their behaviour and interactions with us, cumulatively affecting everyone's socio-economic status. People with 5 star, only interact with people with 5 stars and everyone else aspires to be a 5 star, hence is on their best behaviour, which is basically not who they are. It shuddered me to live in such an artificial world. From that day, I feared what if this comes true and becomes a way of life. Not long after, I came across this news, where a country has come up with a social credit system. Your rating affects your home, transport and social circle. I didn't think I would live to see that day, not so soon at least.

Currently and strangely as it may sound, we are living a potential episode of Black Mirror. It seems surreal. Corona-that word which has been the part of all our telephonic conversations, Whatsapp forwards, Instagram stories, Facebook posts. Suddenly all my Whatsapp groups have become alive. Those groups, which were buried in thick dust of time and had cobwebs all over, have got a whiff of fresh air. What were we even talking about before corona came to our lives! And what will we even talk about when it goes. Like it will leave this emptiness and vacuum, where conversations will have intermittent awkward silences, Whatsapp group will go back to the sleep mode, Instagram stories will again be about amazing someone's life is or how self-righteous that person is (btw since when did Instagram turn into Facebook), and no one would care about Facebook any more.

Moms have called multiple times suggesting "kapoor saath mein rakhne se virus bhag jata hai", "garam pani peene se andar hi flush ho jata hai" "giloy khane se immunity badhegi, virus paas bhi nahi aayega". She even said, "Ramdev ji ne bola hai yoga karte rehna". Every time she calls and asks me this, I said, yes I have done it all and for her peace of mind, I tell her that I have told all my friends to do it as well. She is happy, I am happy. For a change, everyone has suddenly found a common enemy to fight against with the same amount of intensity. They are beating thalis and bajaoing talis in front of their balcony in solidarity as suggested by our PM. That guy is one hell of a salesman and marketing person, btw. Who sells curfew packaged like an amazon gift coupon and leads the entire nation into 15 instead of 5 minutes of frenzied celebration in a depressing time, rich, middle class and poor, alike.

I, also, didn't think I would live to see this day. Pandemic, epidemic, endemic. Had read about these words in history books or news, like when we were reading about Spanish flu in WW 1, or ebola in Africa. But finally I realized that when shit hits home, it is not a good feeling. Who would have thought that we will be trapped inside our homes and it will almost be like a ghost town. Worst of our fears have come true or may be we haven't hit the worst yet. The future is in doldrums but lets us make the best use of this opportunity in our lives. Like I read somewhere, that look for any unfortunate incident as an opportunity or a story you might be telling in future.How would you want that story be told in future when you tell it to the coming generation? Do you want it to be a grim story or do you want it to be something that changed the way you look at certain things positively. Embrace your difficulties and work towards them.

The blogs following this one will be about various facets about our lives and how Corona has influenced them. I will pick up each one of them and would write about my observations from a distance. Till then stay safe, stay healthy!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Elections 2019

Elections are over and junta has given its verdict. It is funny that my feed is filled more with angst from my left friends, than the show-off from the right-wingers. One section that particularly doesn't seem happy is that of leftists. I won't call them liberals as I call myself a liberal, and I clearly don't agree with many things they say. There is a lot of concern around hate politics becoming a winner, that minorities, esp Muslims, will be suppressed, which is actually funny. Since BJP won with more votes than the last time, then either the minorities, for whom all this concern is, didn't vote, or they voted for BJP. Either way, they deserved BJP at the centre. In Muslim dominated areas, where BJP didn't win last time, it won this time.
Also, BJP winning with more votes this time, clearly means that the millennials and the rising middle class want democratic politics and not a dynastic rule. The silver lining and what is heartening to see is that, the population of the country has rejected the handouts promised to them by Gandhi, and wants a foolproof plan to come out poverty. That would be the real NYAY.
It wants to give opportunity to a party that allows sewaks (Vajpayee and Modi) from the non-privileged background to become the leaders of the nation. With Smriti Irani winning against Rahul Gandhi, may be now Congress should re-evaluate the idea of running the country as a family business (Bollywood is another culprit).
Modi wasn't my obvious choice, but for the lack of better, my vote went for him this time. I dislike him at more instances, than I would like to admit, but the disgruntled voter inside me, had to pick the lesser evil, a plight I share with most of the voters. It is unfortunate that in a country of 1.5 bn, we have to choose between a narcissistic prick or an unworthy descendant of a political dynasty. It was not Modi who won, but it was the lack of better leader at the opposition, which lost this time. BJP should be given one more term, at least, before we reject them outright. If we could survive 60 years of Congress' nepotism, we can survive 5 more years of BJP's intolerance. 
Many people said that this is probably the most important election, the most crucial one. Well, I feel it was the safest bet this time. Either "hate" politics would have won or Rahul would have become the PM. No matter which party we voted for, we were doomed, anyway. ;)

#Elections2019 #narendramodi #Vajpayee

Life in the time of Corona - Corona Series (Part 1)

Turned off the TV, a little disturbed, after watching "Nosedive", an episode in Black Mirror.  What if this becomes a way of real...