The Paradox of Human Spirit

It was early. In fact, for a tonic winter morning, it was really early. And for a nocturnal man like me, it was really, really early. Not that I wake up late, but let’s just say that at 5 am, it’s best not to engage me in generic prattle.

But it was strangely different this morning. I wasn’t miffed at anything, nor did I feel jumpy. I simply sat on the sofa, staring at the television screen which had been in sleep mode since the clock had chimed at 11 the previous night.

It happens sometimes, doesn’t it — that you reflect on a specific quiet moment and find that it was filled with nothingness and chaos in equal measure? This morning’s 5 am occurrence was something like that. I’m not ascetic, so I know that it wasn’t a ‘spiritual’ realisation of the polar opposites of life and how to merge them to attain eternal peace. Nope, not even remotely close! But it was different; maybe even somewhat poignant.

We’ve all had our share of gloom over the past couple of years. Humanity has triumphed over everything since complex life began on Earth. And yet, a microscopic parasite brought down the smartest, most ruthless species on the planet — how ironic, and beautiful, is that.

I’d decided to write this piece on the impact of Omicron and that made me journey through the past several months. I drifted much beyond that. Human mind — it’s always in a state of flux!

In that morning state of numbness was a whirlwind of thoughts, I later realised. That COVID had caused great agony to everyone would be an understatement, but there were also moments of great joy and uplifting sentiments. That was the tipping point where I got up and left for my morning walk.

The proper onset of COVID in March 2020, the second wave in March-April 2021 and now the threat of the Omicron variant — this damn virus is testing us all beyond comprehension.

We’ve moved rivers, drilled through mountains, killed and ended entire species, altered the climate, sent machines across our solar system and whatnot. We’ve changed the way of life of our ‘home’. We’ve been the most destructive of all lifeforms, and also the most pragmatic. It’s the resilience of humankind that has damaged everything, and will also fix things.

I know it’s a weird column, this — much like how the past couple of years have been. But, till we all collectively figure things out and overcome the virus, please be very safe and take all the precautions. Let’s hope 2022 brings everyone great cheer and contentment.

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