“Lessons from Stay-at-home” By Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

Stay-at-home order has been lifted in Michigan. I am certainly going to miss the experience of confinement to some extent. I avoided the tension of attending lavish marriages, buying new clothes, attending parties with condescending folks and going on inconvenient vacations. We were planning to buy another car but now we have learned to live with one. One thing for sure, I saved at least tens of thousands of dollars badly needed to stay afloat in retirement. Thanks Governor!

Yes, spending the initial days of the lockdown was difficult for most of us as our movements were restricted. However, the days passed by spending time with family, watching movies on TV, reading books, writing poems, taking long walks, appreciating nature and learning to play piano. I didn’t have to hustle to enjoy the next day and the next and the next. I was free from the perpetual cycle of stress and strain to some extent.

I reconnected with long lost friends and relatives through phone conversations and video chats. We exchanged photos of gone by days and remembered our roots and the way we were. We indulged in heart-to-heart talks with loved ones. We wholly soaked ourselves in the warmth of love and affection we had never experienced before. I didn’t know that one of my cousins was really older than me. Now, I had to give her the proper respect. We laughed our hearts out at this switch of propriety. We have also learned how to use apps to connect with anybody anytime without being there.

The habit of ‘wanting’ everything is set to undergo a sea change in the coming days as we have caught up with the thought of distinguishing our ‘wants’ from ‘needs’. The orientation towards needs rather than wants, is now uppermost in our minds. This lockdown has established one major truth that life and its conveniences cannot be taken for granted and it is time the human race accepted this truth. It’s not worth getting caught up with the triviality of this material world anymore.

It was heartening to know that pollution level and production of CO2 diminished significantly during the shutdown. The buildings were visible from a distance in Delhi and Mt. Everest was visible once again from the villages of Bihar and West Bengal in India. Water was flowing again in many dried up rivers across the globe.

I also realized that despite the achievements in many fields, be it science, technology, medicine or engineering, the fact remains that differences between nations and races persist in our midst. This lockdown has made us realize that countries and races across the world have to work together forgetting the differences and setting aside prejudices so as to achieve peace and live together as one human race.

The thought of being together has blossomed in our minds and it is up to us to adapt to positive and lateral thinking.

“The one who loves all intensely

begins perceiving in all living beings

a part of himself.

He becomes a lover of all,

a part and parcel of the Universal Joy.

He flows with the stream of happiness,

and is enriched by each soul.”

(Yajur Veda)

One thought on ““Lessons from Stay-at-home” By Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

  1. I agree with you 100 percent! Especially about distinguishing between our “wants” and our “needs” during lock down, and on all other points as well.. Well put!


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