“CAN it be that it was all so simple then, or has time rewritten every line…”, as the Streisand song goes but there is no time for sentimentality here. It has been said so many times by old folks, one cannot bring back the past. But this has really gone way past ridiculous. Truly, in just a span of two years and a few months, the irredeemable quality of that past they have loved to talk about, the one that had consistently been crooned on us by our elders as being a time one cannot return to, has now completely been sealed shut.
Of course, the “past” pertained to here is the lost lifestyle that we have been shut out from when the pandemic hit. That old lifestyle has certainly been shut from us by what seems to be a brick wall. It’s as though you were locked out of that one door and left with no other choice but to face the uncertainty of the unfamiliar room laid out before you.
At the outset, we have called this new and unfamiliar condition as the “new normal”, sating our inborn thirst at name-giving, as our way of whistling in the dark. Then a few months later when the whole pandemic thing got really real, brutally marked with rising deaths and increased positive cases of Covid-19 slowly creeping right at our very own doorsteps, we gawked at the slowly changing world before us and prayed for whatever miracle and the promise of whatever form of vaccine.
Of course, with knowledge only now available to us, a lot of power play had indeed gone on behind the whole dynamics of curing the world. What else would we expect from powers-that-be, a freebie? As the virus raged, it only seemed natural for all the nations to close their borders and protect their own. That had been expected. Then, when the advanced countries, done with research and able to develop their own vaccines, that mindset of putting first their own people, still held true, their priority unchanged. Despite all these, we still are glad that the vaccines had reached our shores, relieved that because of these and our preparations, we have survived and come this far. Yes, despite a huge detriment to some of our people who have not been as lucky (as though luck had anything to do with it).
So, here we are at last. Surely, a look at where we used to be, two years and many months ago, will not turn us into a pillar of salt. While some may still view it with a lot of hurt, regret and yearning, enough has already been said about moving only forward. The way we were will always remain as it is, frozen in memory. The way we will be, will largely depend on how well we fare in this present that we tread. Changed forever by the reality of this virus, the unfolding landscape cannot anymore accommodate those old dreams of days gone by.
HONORING MY MOTHER
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