Love in the Times of Corona

By Sanjib Kr Biswas

Aspiration was my love; though Buddha warned it long back that it is the root of all evils. I used to dream of a career, a job, an SUV, a DSLR, a bungalow in a prime location. Few of them are in hands, and most of them are yet to come. Life is too short; why not dream of bigger things!!!

Nature was my love; I used to travel in its lap. I got intoxicated by her charm. I used to drive my Bullet, crossed her solitary way by car. I hunted in the wilderness of Nature with my eyes and my gun. I cheered with friends and left my signs of love: bottles of beer, the butts of cigarettes, the packets of potato chips and so on. It is okay to hurt someone whom we love. She endured for so long and we took it for granted.

Friends were my love. We had adda in our thek, even after the busy schedule of our lives. Political debates, ideological conflicts, and so many things divided and united us daily. Adda, party, restaurant, bar, picnic, cigarette and so many things… We could never sense that life could be lived without friends…

Then came the times of Corona. I am quarantined and my aspirations mock me. I go on the rooftop and Nature whispers to me to the pain she endured for me. I see the birds wandering and saying to me how they suffered when I caged them for my pleasure. Friends’ group calls, group chats have become history in the record of my cell phone. Now, conflicts in the virtual world divide many friends and don’t unite as it used to before. I turn away from the wall of social media which is full of deaths, politics and hate speech. Beckett comes in my vision frequently. Life is absurd, “nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful”.

Now, all the loves of my life have departed from me and I am living the inhuman life of being quarantined. I can see clearly how the wrinkles my father has grown over the years. I can listen to the pain of my mother which remained inaudible to my busy ears for so many days. I wonder how I could overlook love, care and anxiety for me in the eyes of my beloved! I see dreams in the eyes of my little daughter; those dreams that had been of me. I sketch, I sing and I play with my daughter and retreat into childhood with her. I see the people near me suffering from hunger and poverty and I feel the urge to stand by them. I explore the space and the people for the first time, where and with whom I had spent so many years.

Corona has given a space to introspect, to understand the very truth that love without care is fruitless. It has taught me what I should strive for the most if I survive. It has made me feel that my space and my people are my true love…

Sanjib Kr Biswas is a teacher, researcher and writer. He won two state-level prizes for writing in his college days. He published with little magazines in India and indexed journals in India and abroad. He can be reached at: sanjib.phs16@iitp.ac.in. His academic works can be accessed in https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sanjib_Kr_Biswas

We welcome your articles, stories and poems (in Bengali or English) at letters@timesofcorona.com or timesofcorona@gmail.com

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