Covid and localization

Globalization was the buzz word of life until recently, localization is perhaps going to catch up now.

As economies have shut the doors to the outside world, and as distrust due to disease seeps in every corner of the world, people are looking at what is closer home in terms of jobs, businesses, health, travel, somehow the world is now rediscovering what is around them.

The citizen of world, jetsetting continents in style will now take a backseat at least for sometime. Most of us are concerned about health, ours and that of those dear to us and we are afraid to take too many chances.

Definitely, this has hit all of us hard. Parents who would have not batted an eyelid before sending off their kids abroad now think it over many times. Honeymoon couples are definitely reimagining their homes… times are such!!! Tourism industry is up in arms against lockdown restrctions so are other business, the cinema, hotel industry and all every other business is caught in a difficult situation right now.

A young man recently voiced his concern, ‘do I stay back in India or do I go abroad?’, and someone interjected to advice him to take it slow. ‘Struggles are everywhere and struggles abroad are stranger and may take a longer time to overcome, so stay put and find something near you. Surely you are young and when you have found your foothold, you may move abroad. ‘

It is true that we are but victims of the life situations, the social mileu, the zeitgiest, the time spirit and that is changing for sure.

There is a rediscovery of what is available locally and the charm of the imported is wearing off, what does this mean for livelihoods, businesses, is to be seen…

And time will tell.

Caught in covid, the common man is first and foremost concerned about putting food on the table, welfare schemes by state and central government is helping to a large extent,but what of ambitions, of careers, of travels, of dreams are they going to shrink too?

Promise of love

You promised, she told the Sky

who was busy hiding behind the clouds

It’s about time, don’t you think

she tried dropping some heavy hints

hoping him to catch the trend

He though, scratching his chin

and nodding awkwardly

did not want to speak, not yet

Knowing how silences leads to words

and then to long pregnant pauses

she prepared herself to wait

not too long but a bit maybe

So, that day went past in waiting

now the azure sky is back

a half smile playing along his lips

and she is supposed to make sense of nothing

seriously, nothing!

Jigsaw puzzles have held her hanging

far too long, but then

hope for love refuses to die

and searches for a sunbeam in a raindrop.

Watch your desires

‘Sometimes we need to be careful of what we ask for. Life gives you what you ask and so you have to be cautious about what you put out to the universe. ‘

My beloved friend was heart broken at the news of the loss of lives of his dear and near ones in his village. He was far away and could not do anything .

‘I do everything, Lekha’, he said his words aching with pain. ‘I reach out. I call every day and I support everyone but’… the words were washed out in agonised silence.

‘When the elderly at home are in pain, I can only watch from far. That is my tragedy.

You see, I have everything, I am reasonably rich, I have been successful. I have a beautiful family, yet I ache to go back and now it is near to impossible.

My children are of this land. They will never be able to adjust to my state or the ways of life there.

Its like a trap.

I come from a agrarian family. We have always had enough. Yet, once I saw an aunt who had returned from the States. It intrigued me so much that I went to inquire about studying abroad. When that did not materialize, I decided to move abroad for work and that is what I did.

Sometimes I think why it is important for all of us not to be successful. Some of us should be just ok. Ok enough to stay back with our parents. Ok enough to have no high flying ambitions to conquer the world.

At a time when there is a crisis, I can send them money, help, assistance but I cannot be present there in person.

This corona has stung me hard. It pains me everytime I think of it. What is the purpose of my achievements if I can not be of use to my parents in time of their need?

Know what you are asking for in life, Lekha. It is important otherwise you will end up feeling trapped in situations of your own making and will have no way to come out of it. ‘

My dear friend is an empath, he reaches out to all of his friends from school to college and even to their siblings and parents. He does not hesitate to help in kind when needed.

Yet, when he said these words, I realized how life has its own course to run. Another friend of mine, moved back to Chennai a few years ago, and she reasoned, ‘you know Lekha, we don’t get good tomatoes here and children’s education is better there’ . Really, I was surprised, never heard this being the reason for someone moving back to India before!

What would I tell my dear friend then who is in a dilemma, ‘relax and go about life and know that we all have the power to change anything anytime, really!. Trust your instincts’.

At times, I am offered options to move to Canada, USA and other places but seriously, all I want to do is to move closer home, yeah right back to where my parents are!

It is stressful, I agree and surely we can’t stand each other too long but may be I can put myself up at a safe yet close distance!!!

I watch their relief as I am around for a few months, the issues of internet, changing the password, going to the bank, looking up something on internet , the magic of google pay or just staying put and having dinner together. I see how much fumbling or fuming in fury is avoided in the comfort of a younger person. It is something I would not have noticed or thought about. Age does catch up and those who you thought were invincible are humbled by the advancement of years, to some extent at least.

Parents would never talk about it, but when you stay around you watch, you see and understand and probably want to give them the care they deserve.

This is my world. Yes, not everything is rosy here but it will not be so anywhere else as well.

Home is where your heart is.

Find joys around you. Live life as you wish in your place. Yes, it is not easy, but who ever said that life is a cake walk!