02.04.2020, 11.25 pm
My morning started with a thud. Probably the loudest I’ve heard in a while. Three bell rings, one shout from my sister, and a pinch of anxiety in anticipation of “What, who’s that now? Is this the end of the world already?” Forgive the pessimism on my part but none of us in this world, on this planet today, at this moment, are expecting any pleasant visitors, are we? Today was the second time in days when I felt restless about this whole situation. First was when I tried to calculate the number of people who were about to foolishly attend the Holi parties and get infected voluntarily across India.
Long story cut short. If the lockdown weren’t real enough for us corona survivors yet, now Mumbai has quarantine zones. Who were those people at our door? They were from the BMC, first asking us if any of us (me, my sister and our neighbours) had any symptoms and how I’d hoped that was the end-all of that conversation between them and my sister, who was keeping the needed social distance by hiding behind our door and speaking with them with a straight face asking legit questions and just then, they gave us the big news. The biggest news that many Mumbai residents woke up to, today morning. Hiranandani, Malabar Hills, Andheri West, Santacruz West, you name it - they’ve sealed it from the rest of the world.
The following is what they said to us in their own words (these are mine):
“Your building has been sealed. You are not allowed to step out of the building for anything now, not even for the essentials. And nobody is allowed to come in, nobody is allowed to go out. Your guards will be your messengers until further notice from Modi ji.”
Yes. Our building and many buildings have been sealed in Mumbai. It all happened today, the baap of all lockdowns. If there’s been a positive case in your area, your building is sealed and isolated. And from what it looks like, there’s at least one case in almost every nook and corner of Mumbai. Understandable, but not digestible.
I’ve been optimistic all this while but today, I had thoughts like - “Should we stock up for the next couple of months already? Will this ever get over? Will I see my family, my mother, again?” All kinds of things came to my mind today - I thought about all the things I’d do once I was out of this helpless situation.
You know, times like these, when many of us in this city are keeping the last time we saw the face of our family close to our hearts to get through this, and something like what happened in Indore with the doctors happens, we feel stupid about our existence - the human race. I’ve not had the heart to watch the videos, but the fact that humans are willing to hurt and kill our only saviours in this time, makes me sick in the stomach. Those videos, the intention behind them and the distasteful communal comments make me wonder if we even deserve to be called ‘homo sapiens’ (wise men). Maybe the term made sense in 1758, but not anymore.
I always give humans the benefit of the doubt because of our survival instincts but the kind of things that happen in this country now are beyond me. The fact that a doctor dropped in at your place to check if you’re doing fine and you ran after him with rods and stones and your dirty nerves that ended up with the doctor running for his life, hiding his face, is a visual I cannot take out of my head. And you shouldn’t either.
Since our childhood, we were always told that Doctors are a representation of God in our lives since they keep us alive and healthy. But we are trying to kill our doctors. How then do we call this a God’s world?
We are a country where our politics runs in God’s name. Now, is that fair?
9 am tomorrow, our Prime Minister is going to release a video that millions of people are going to watch. He has a powerful voice and people listen to him, I just hope he puts a stop to the wild and disoriented behaviour of people towards their saviours.
If we want and need more doctors to step ahead to help their countrymen in this time, we should also first make ourselves worthy of their time, effort and risk.
I’m sorry, today is just one of those days. Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of my bed.