The lockdown has done great wonders! People are living with each other instead of in their respective phones, there are social praises on the society message boards instead of defaulters lists, and there’s greater sense of cooperation in general.
Instagram is full of great cooking, it’s brought out men’s house cleaning skills, suddenly studying at a stressed age doesn’t look that difficult and people are adding certificates from edX, Udemy or wherever, and there’s realisation that it’s never too late to start a hobby or learn a craft.
There’s newfound respect for hairdressers, house-helps, society guards, the delivery boys, and beer. They’re extremely underrated.
There are other gains too — the air has gotten immeasurably crisper, pollution levels are at an all time low, birds other than pigeons are crapping in the balconies, and you’re not digging the nose anymore. It’s all so lovely.
Back a couple of decades, the weather was not as temperamental and AQI display was always a smiling green face.
Pollution from all sources had made things really bad for all life forms. This global lockdown has shown everyone how good things can be.
We’ll have to re-strategise and adapt to new ways of working, evolve digitally even more, but we can work smartly to at least try and keep 30% of what we have right now? Even 40-50% maybe?
I drove out for an absolutely critical reason — the fact that I’m a member of the ‘essential serivce’ category only helps — and for the first time in years, didn’t turn on the AC in the car. There’s in fact still a lovely nip in the air in the mornings and late evenings. It’s the month of May. I live in the NCR. It’s crazy! The last time I had such an experience, I must’ve been in the embarrassing half-pant — yes that’s what it used to be known as — uniform in school.
I opened the window, got the hand out and felt the air. It was a beautiful feeling. Hardly any vehicular movement on the road, and the couple of other cars I saw — the guys driving them had the same faint smile as I did.
But I’d not felt this level of happiness of driving in the city confines for a very, very long time. And I hope we do all we can — collectively — to not go back to our stupid ways once the lockdown ends.
But then again, I’m confident in our stupidity and we will. It’s sad that it took a virus to make us enjoy the simple pleasures of life. A virus gave us clean air to breathe.